Is 4th ed 'new' D&D?

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Me and my man Cyber-Dave almost thread jacked another thread with this topic and I promised to put up a thread committed to it.

Please refrain from making any comments or remarks about which edition or feature you like more or is better on this thread.

The very narrow topic of this thread is, weather the transition from 3.5 to 4 is substantially more different than the previous edition transitions. (again not caring weather it would be 'good' or 'bad')

I think this is intuitively very clear, and so do many others; both 4th ed and older ed fans have made remarks like 'forget all you know about old D&D, this is new D&D'. But since you can find about any comment on anything on the net, we can't really lean on that. We have to look at the facts. And since there's always people willing to debate anything, this is the place for this debate.

I'll make the first post shortly to get thing started. (unless someone beats me to it)
4th has 2 main mechanics of resolving an action. Use a power or use a skill. While the skills have always been a part of D&D in an ever increasing fashion, nothing like the power system has ever before been a part of D&D. This alone makes 4th fundamentally different than any other edition. But then I've heard arguments that the same has happened with every edition change. This is not the case however. The core mechanics and ideas have remained similar during OD&D, AD&D, AD&D2nd, 3rd and 3.5. The difference is merely that class balances have been fiddled with, notation has been changed and some additional rules and features have been presented. Additional. Not totally replacing the old fundamentals.

Attack bonus

4th: every class has the same attack bonus. A characters ability to swing a Halberd is not influenced by a characters class, except for very minor exceptions like a fighters Weapon Talent +1. All characters' attack bonus advances at the same rate undependant of class.

1-3rd: Class heavily influences your to hit bonus. Different classes' to hit bonuses advance at a different rate.


Healing

4th :every character has the ability regain hit points by themselves quickly, even during combat. Healing magic will stop working on characters after certain amount during a day.

1-3rd : Generally characters regain hitpoints through magic or long rest. Healing magic works unlimitedly.


Hit point diversity

Lets consider a lvl 10 character with a neutral constitution of 10. Lets see the median hp variability between the class with the most hp and the class with the least.

1st: min hp 25, max hp 45. Ratio 1:1.8
2nd: min hp 25, max hp 55. Ratio 1:2.2
3rd: min hp 26.5, max hp 70.5. Ratio 1:2.7 (full hp at lvl 1)
4th: min hp 56, max hp 79. Ratio 1:1.4

So while the trend has been to increase the hp diversity through the older editions, the hp diversity by class in 4th is substantially less than in any other edition. Also constitution affects less in 4th. If you increase con from 10 to 18 in 4th you get 8 more hp total. In older editions you get atleast 2hp per lvl, often more.


Spell casting

4th: Casters have some spells that they can cast unlimitedly, some once per encounter and some once a day. Each time a caster achieves a new spell tier, she has in general a list of 4 spells she can choose from.

1-3rd: Casters have a spell allotment for the day. Each spell prepared can be cast once, then it's gone. When a new spell tier is achieved, a caster has over a dozen spells to choose from. In addition she often recieves additional spells from lower tiers.


Melee attacks

4th: Pick a power and resolve it. The power defines the stat you use, possible bonuses to hit and the amount of damage inflicted and usually some secondary effects. If the power was not one of the few 'at-wills' you can't use it again until next day or encounter.

1-3rd: Roll to hit using your hit bonus. Damage is determined by your weapon and stats and maybe some special abilities, but they apply always the same. The situation may allowe you to use some additional special ability like backstab or cleave. Nothing is expent, you can do this and use your abilities when ever the situation arises.


Saving throws

4th: Except for few exceptions granted by feats or the use of a power, saving throw is always 10+ with d20. No matter if you're on fire, suffering from poison, paralyzed or dominated. If you're the target of an unconventional attack, you have a defence rating, against which the attack is made.

1-3rd: Saving throws are variable depending on class and level. If you're the target of an unconventional attack, you make a saving throw against a variable target number.


Remark about Thac0. I talk about attack bonus when I talk about editions 1-3. Thac0 and attack bonus are mathematically equivalent systems. If we set old AC0 equals new AC20, hit bonus is merely 20-Thac0.

Well, there are some of the fundamental similarities with editions 1-3 that are replaced in 4th. There's propably many more smaller. But I guess this post is monstrous enough by now. Oh and please avoid multi quote monster replies and rather concentrate in one point at a time.
ok.. so here are my thoughts. I don't think the change from 3rd ed to 4th ed was anything like the change from 2nd to 3rd.. and the main reason is the standardized d20 mechanic.

I mean changing from 2nd to 3rd.. mechanics for combat changed, multi-classing was greatly altered, the skill/proficiency system was different, even stats changed (Str of 18/00 anybody??), saving throws changed completely, Class kits went out the window, Feats where introduced, racial level limits where removed, all of a sudden everybody could get multiple attack sper round.. not just the ranger, and the list really does go on..

The change from 3rd ed to 4th ed does make some significant changes (mainly in the character creation part of the game - i.e Power Selections, and no skill points), but the core mechanics have been altered very little. The system is still based on 3rd eds d20 mechanic. The biggest alteration in combat rule is have noticed is no multiple attacks just for being a high level and wizard shave a different casting system.

So yes, while 4th ed is the new D&D.. it is still the old D&D to me as well, and i don;t think 4th ed really made that much of a change to the system, it just does more to curb ubercasters and multiclassing... in my opinion.
If you have any 4E conceptual issues or rules that you would like help with feel free to PM me. Roleplaying since 88! Guide To Dealing With Problematic Posters
Having briefly played 2nd edition when I went to uni, I left the system largely alone, focusing on games that were easier to get into. (I was a physics student, so my maths ability was more than enough, the system was simply not user friendly). Heck, I found GURPS simpler, and that is quite a big statement...

3rd edition though, was much easier. Many numbers changed 'direction', so to speak. Now, higher is always better. A +2 weapon no longer lowered your attack score...

Skill system? 2nd edition didn't have one, unless you were playing a thief, that I recall. 3rd edition introduced a pretty damn big change right there. Suddenly, everyone had a chance of being able to do stuff that didn't involve ending another creatures existance. (craft weapon skills fall into both categories, I know... :P )

Feats, same again. big change to the game. The closest there was in 2nd ed was the weapon proficiencies, but feats add a LOT more than simply being a bit better with your weapon.


In 4th edition, weapon skills seem identical, until you realise that since your level scales in theory equally to AC of monsters, give or take, your lack of proficiency and relevant attack powers as a wizard means that you are in fact only hitting on an 18+, whereas the fighter who is halberd specced is hitting the same monster on a 6+. Class makes no direct difference, but there are many differences behind the scenes, so to speak.


I have got one question though. How could someone start a character in 3rd edition with a half hit point?...
Reality is a reference point, not a limitation.
just like to point out that the task resolution mechanics only really had a big leap from 2nd to 3rd, not 3rd to 4th.

3rd initiated the d20 system, which while it had many mechanics, they pretty much boiled down to d20+mod VS target number, followed by a result (which sometimes was a second d20+mod VS target number).

4th's powers system still uses that task resolution mechanic, it just gives each class abilities that utilise it. a "power" is still just d20+mod Vs target number, followed by a result.
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as for healing magic that stops working, that's false. a cleric's "cure light wounds" or a warlord's "stand tough" still work after you have no surges left. a healing surge represents your character's natural healing.
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also for 3rd magic not being unlimited see:
-warlock class (complete arcane, small amount of magical invocations but with unlimited uses, these usually mimicked spells like "dispel magic", "true sight" or "evard's black tentacles")
-incarnum (Incarnum is used to create persistent magical effects that usually have unlimited secondary uses if bonded to a chakra, some had the unlimited uses as the primary ability)
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generic melee attacks
4th still has those. see page 287 "actions in combat" : melee basic attack & ranged basic attack. a power is a class specific ability that is used in place of those, but it doesn't mean that you don't the option to not use a power.
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The very narrow topic of this thread is, weather the transition from 3.5 to 4 is substantially more different than the previous edition transitions.

Yes.
Multiclassing has changed drastically in each edition. But I wouldn't consider that a fundamental feature. If everyone would make a single class character, you would still have a complete game with everything. Multiclassing rules wouldn't come in to play at all but providing that there are enough different characters, all the other rules could still be in use.

Like I said originally, skills have grown steadily through 1-3. In 1st only Rogue, Elf and Halfling (they were classes back then) had 'skills'. In 2nd, you had Non-weapon proficiencies which were used by a d20 stat check and secondary skills which were resolved by whatever check DM deemed appropriate. There forewards it has basically just shifted around a bit. Skills in 4th I consider in line with old D&D editions.
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as for healing magic that stops working, that's false. a cleric's "cure light wounds" or a warlord's "stand tough" still work after you have no surges left. a healing surge represents your character's natural healing.
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Well yes there are these few exceptions. But compared to 1-3 their scope is extremely limited. No matter what, you can only cast 1 cure light wound a day. But I could rephrase: Most of 4th healing magic stops working, none of 1-3 healing magic stop working.

also for 3rd magic not being unlimited see:
-warlock class (complete arcane, small amount of magical invocations but with unlimited uses, these usually mimicked spells like "dispel magic", "true sight" or "evard's black tentacles")
-incarnum (Incarnum is used to create persistent magical effects that usually have unlimited secondary uses if bonded to a chakra, some had the unlimited uses as the primary ability)
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Well yes with the amount of splatbooks in all of D&D 1-3 there are rare cases when a class has unlimited magic-like powers. We are talking about 'in general' and 'fundamentally'.

generic melee attacks
4th still has those. see page 287 "actions in combat" : melee basic attack & ranged basic attack. a power is a class specific ability that is used in place of those, but it doesn't mean that you don't the option to not use a power.

The 4th basic attacks are used only in rare specific cases like charging and AOOs. 1-3 the basic attacks are used always.
in 3rd however you did have a limit: your casting slots or potions. a group with a neutral (using negative enerty) or evil cleric, as well as a group with a druid would require preparation of spells so your would have a limited amount. saying 3rd had limitless healing is false, 3rd had the potential for limitless healing, but that was rarely the case.

as for the magic, going core only then yes, they used the vancian system. 4th got rid of that system though and integrated the "powers" in it's place for the casters.

the rare cases in 4th come up far more often then you think though. many of my characters have thrown weapons for mid-range combat, and one of the fighter's basic abilities (his mark) uses them. many characters have a few backup weapons for melee or ranged in case they can't reach the enemy with their powers or are forced in a corner.
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
The very narrow topic of this thread is, weather the transition from 3.5 to 4 is substantially more different than the previous edition transitions. (again not caring weather it would be 'good' or 'bad')

3e to 4e was the biggest by far. 1e to 2e wasn't in the same ball back, 2e was little but a cleaned up 1e.

2e to 3e looks like a lot of changes on the surface, but if you look deeper most of it is just reorganizing the math. Thac0 was replaced with AC, but the underlying mechanic was the same.

2e to 3e changed a lot of class details, but the class concepts where the same with the exception rogue/thief. 4e radically reworks most of the classes, not only do they work differently, but they have different archetypes and roles in combat.

The whole power system is a radical change in the underlying theory of the game mechanics. There is nothing in the 2e to 3e change that comes close. The skill system was the biggest shift, but 2e had various systems that cover the same idea.

Jay
Every eddition has made changes, this is a good thing. If they did not change the game it would not be a new eddition, I dont see what the big deal is.
in 3rd however you did have a limit: your casting slots or potions. a group with a neutral (using negative enerty) or evil cleric, as well as a group with a druid would require preparation of spells so your would have a limited amount. saying 3rd had limitless healing is false, 3rd had the potential for limitless healing, but that was rarely the case.

My point is, in 4th the ability to benefit from most healing is limited by surges. In 1-3 you can receive any amount available. -> radically different.
as for the magic, going core only then yes, they used the vancian system. 4th got rid of that system though and integrated the "powers" in it's place for the casters.

Yes exactly. Totally replaced.

the rare cases in 4th come up far more often then you think though. many of my characters have thrown weapons for mid-range combat, and one of the fighter's basic abilities (his mark) uses them. many characters have a few backup weapons for melee or ranged in case they can't reach the enemy with their powers or are forced in a corner.

I have played several sessions of 4th. Using basic attack is a total waste of action. When you get a 'mark' attack, it's free and you can't use anything else. Not sure about thrown weapons. I'd feel that the only reason to use one is that you're all out of powers and can't reach target. Otherwise it'd be more beneficial to use an action to just close in on your target. Again, in general. Special occasions may always rise.
I feel that 4e has made major fundamental changes to the D&D system. It is, to me at least, what makes the transition much more substantial. As it is the philosophy how the D&D game works at its core. The core idea for D&D is to take the creative ideas from a person and translate those into working mechanics that other people can relate to.

In 1-3e you could pretty much have an idea in your head of what you were wanting to create and the names and roles would be the same for each of these editions. Yes you could probably make a better build in 3e with your creative idea, but taking a basic class still had the same notions from each of these editions.

4e has really changed what a class and or role is from previous editions. I believe this is from paring down what a class can choose as its abilities. This to me is the biggest change from 3e to 4e.

Also note the options for classes from earlier editions than 3e were very limited, but the basic ideas of how the classes played and worked stayed the same in the transition from 2e to 3e.

An example: I want to play a fanciful swashbuckler who uses two blades and is great at sword play.
In 1e through 3e the usual response would be to take fighter and build up your two weapon abilities with proficiencies or feats.
Now in 4e you are thrown a curve and told to become a Ranger and refluff.

I'm not saying this is bad, but it does make transition from 3e to 4e very substantial for many.
D20 rules makes 3E to 4E much similar than 2E to 3E so IMO it was a much easier change to understand.
This is going to be a monster post. I'm sorry. Its just the way I work.

Lazzo, I disagree with absolutely everything you have written. Pretty much every point you have made requires that one blindside themselves. You intentionally focus in on a small element without looking around at the peripheral qualities surrounding that element. Do you find changes? Sure. But in no way do I believe or agree that those changes are any more fundamental than the changes made from 2e to 3e. Like I said before, I think you want to believe that those changes are larger, so you try and stack the argument in your favor. You do this in large part by changing goal posts (that was never in a previous edition: oh wait, yes it was, but it was not "fundamentally" in a previous edition), and by not applying the same standards of observation to the changes between both editions (THAC0 is not a fundamental change, even though it totally alters the base mechanic, but using the same base mechanic and removing the effect of class is a HUGE change... and that change only happened from 3e to 4e... never mind the MASSIVE changes between how class effects multiple attacks based on THAC0 or BAB from 2e to 3e... or you know, the many other similar changes that can be easily spotted with minimal effort). As a result, from my reading, your argument has fallen flat on its face. The arguments made by other posters on this thread read a lot more logically to me. Let me provide a few examples to illustrate my point...

Attack bonus

4th: every class has the same attack bonus. A characters ability to swing a Halberd is not influenced by a characters class, except for very minor exceptions like a fighters Weapon Talent +1. All characters' attack bonus advances at the same rate undependant of class.

1-3rd: Class heavily influences your to hit bonus. Different classes' to hit bonuses advance at a different rate.

See, you have found a difference. But, nobody is arguing that there are not differences between the different editions. This difference, however, in no way illustrates that the difference between 3e and 4e is any larger than the difference between 2e and 3e. For example, the method of calculating the number of attacks a character gets was fairly similar until 2e. It changed drastically with 3e. If such a change indicates that 4e is not D&D, than it also indicates that 3e is not D&D. If you argue that 3e kept the same spirit of mechanic, by making the number of attacks effected by your classes BAB, I will claim that you are oversimplifying the argument. The mechanics were still drastically different. And, even if we accept your oversimplification, this oversimplification is equally applicable to the spirit of the 4e rules. The combative classes abilities (such as fighters weapon talent) and free proficiencies (which now add bonuses to hit) do end up causing fighters to have an easier time hitting targets with a weapon than a wizard. That was the spirit of the rule in the past, and that spirit has not changed. If you claim that it is different, because now the wizard can manage to end up with a similar bonus to attack to the fighter if the wizard chooses to purchase applicable abilities designed to boost their attack bonus, I will point out that the same was possible (albeit through a slightly different mechanic) in 3e... one could multiclass in order to boost their BAB. Considering that multiclassing in 4e is now done through feat acquisition, I would say that the use of feats to boost ones attack bonus to a level similar to that of the fighters is directly analogues to the use of multiclassing to boost ones BAB in 3e. In other words, I think that 4e still captures the same spirit of rules that was present before, and I think that the mechanical difference between 4es rules is no different than the mechanical difference between 2e to 3e in rules surrounding the effects of THAC0 or BAB on ones character. I'm sorry, but this difference proves nothing.

Healing


4th :every character has the ability regain hit points by themselves quickly, even during combat. Healing magic will stop working on characters after certain amount during a day.

1-3rd : Generally characters regain hitpoints through magic or long rest. Healing magic works unlimitedly.

You are absolutely right. This is one of the areas where 4e has seen a drastic change. But, again, this doesn't really prove anything. Equally drastic changes are still visible in the switch between other editions. Again, the switch from no feats to feats from 2e to 3e, the massively different multiclassing rules, races no longer effecting which levels you can or can not take, and what levels you can reach in a particular class, no longer requiring certain prerequisite stats at 1st level to take certain classes... these are all changes that are just as huge as the change in the rules surrounding healing. Again, providing a difference proves nothing unless you can prove that there are NO equally drastic differences in the change of rules between other editions. And, that is impossible to do in regards to other editions, because simply by examining the change in mechanics between 2e and 3e one can discover changes that are at least as massive.

Hit point diversity

Lets consider a lvl 10 character with a neutral constitution of 10. Lets see the median hp variability between the class with the most hp and the class with the least.

1st: min hp 25, max hp 45. Ratio 1:1.8
2nd: min hp 25, max hp 55. Ratio 1:2.2
3rd: min hp 26.5, max hp 70.5. Ratio 1:2.7 (full hp at lvl 1)
4th: min hp 56, max hp 79. Ratio 1:1.4

So while the trend has been to increase the hp diversity through the older editions, the hp diversity by class in 4th is substantially less than in any other edition. Also constitution affects less in 4th. If you increase con from 10 to 18 in 4th you get 8 more hp total. In older editions you get atleast 2hp per lvl, often more.

And here is one of my favorite aspects of your post. Its a wonderful example of you using a double edged sword, and different standards, to back up your argument with straw men. How about we examine the difference between a cleric and a fighter? In earlier editions the cleric received 1d8 hit points per level, and the fighter received 1d10. That's an average of 4.5 or 5.5 hit points per level. The difference in hit points per level is 1 hit point. In 4e the cleric receives 5 hit points per level, and the fighter 6. That's a difference of 1 hit point per level. What we see here is a minimal change. All 4e did is remove random hit point generation. But, 3e made an equally large change... it included random hit point generation at higher levels (which was not present in earlier editions). So, why are your findings so different from mine? Its because you added the following clause to stack your findings in your favor: Lets see the median hp variability between the class with the most hp and the class with the least. What is the class with the least hit points? The wizard. In the past, the wizards drastically lower HP and drastically more powerful capabilities has caused some vary serious balance issues. Part of what 4e did was to rebalanced these features, because many players complained that they did not work well. According to your own admission, or at least set of definitions, a difference that "merely" fiddles with class balances should not be considered. As such, in this case, comparing the difference between the "lowest hit point class," the wizard, and other classes, is not acceptable. 4e merely fiddled with the balance of the wizard by effectively "giving it a higher hit die." It went from being a "1d4 hit die class" to being a "1d6 hit die class," but presented in the "slightly altered hit point and hit die notation" that 4e uses. If you were to stop trying to use a change that you yourself admitted should not be factored into the calculation, the slight rebalancing of class features, you would find that your supposed change nearly disappears here. Classes like the cleric and fighter (as one example) continue to have the same hit point diversity that they always have. And, if the change in a die type is going to be considered a massive and fundamental change in mechanics that stops the new edition from being "D&D," I would like to point out that in 2e one would roll initiative with a d10 and would roll every round. In 3e one uses a d20, and rolls once per encounter (a mechanic that shares far more in common with 4e than 2e). I guess, since using different "die types" changes everything, 3e is a completely new game with a completely different set of mechanics as well... it too must actually not be D&D!

Spell casting

4th: Casters have some spells that they can cast unlimitedly, some once per encounter and some once a day. Each time a caster achieves a new spell tier, she has in general a list of 4 spells she can choose from.

1-3rd: Casters have a spell allotment for the day. Each spell prepared can be cast once, then it's gone. When a new spell tier is achieved, a caster has over a dozen spells to choose from. In addition she often recieves additional spells from lower tiers.

Again, you have noticed a difference. 4e intentionally removed the vancien spell casting mechanic. Many players complained about this mechanic. However, 3e made efforts to remove it with later splat books as well. Tome of Magic is a perfect example of a book that introduced new spellcasting mechanics. Indeed, the spell casting mechanic used in shadow magic has a direct resonance to that used by 4e. So, 4e's mechanic is not actually totally new to 4e. Earlier incarnations of it were already being experimented with in 3e. And, once again, proving that there is a difference between 3e and 4e means nothing unless you can prove that 3e made no drastic changes from 2e. Feats and feat trees was a HUGE and MASSIVELY DRASTIC change. Even 3e's skill system was a fairly huge and massively different change. Though, to be fair, 3e's skill system resonates with the AD&D Players Option books much the way 4e's magic system resonates 3e Tome of Magic. But, again, noticing this similar resonance only serves to further strengthen a perceived similarity in the nature of change between the various editions. Once again, your point here proves nothing.

Melee attacks

4th: Pick a power and resolve it. The power defines the stat you use, possible bonuses to hit and the amount of damage inflicted and usually some secondary effects. If the power was not one of the few 'at-wills' you can't use it again until next day or encounter.

1-3rd: Roll to hit using your hit bonus. Damage is determined by your weapon and stats and maybe some special abilities, but they apply always the same. The situation may allowe you to use some additional special ability like backstab or cleave. Nothing is expent, you can do this and use your abilities when ever the situation arises.

Another perfect example of your double standard. So, the change from THAC0 to BAB is just a difference in notation (despite its huge difference in actual mechanical play, even if the mathematics between the two does indicate inversion)... but, an at-will is somehow different from what was capable in 3e? Please. 4e features a basic attack. This basic attack is very similar to the basic melee attack of 3e (mechanically). 4e then includes at-will powers. These powers are directly relational to certain feats from 3e such as cleave, whirlwind attack, shot on the run, etc. And, the fact that some of these powers change the stat modifier used to supplement the abilities chance to hit is no different than the use of weapon finesse, zen archer, or that blade singer prestige class ability, which change the stat used as a modifier for your melee (or ranged) attacks. All I am seeing here is a double standard being used to intentionally ignore the obvious... that the "at-will" powers are little more than a "change of notation" of certain powers, coupled with a "slight fiddling of balance" in regards to what classes can acquire what powers. In both cases you claimed that "changes of notation" and "rebalancing of powers" should not be included in the comparison of difference between various editions. And, if we are going to include them, I submit the obvious THAC0 to BAB change. Also, lets not forget, 3e is the edition that actually included the first versions of the powers whose notation would later be changed to become 4e's at will powers... so, really, all we see here is a BIGGER change between 2e and 3e!

Saving throws

4th: Except for few exceptions granted by feats or the use of a power, saving throw is always 10+ with d20. No matter if you're on fire, suffering from poison, paralyzed or dominated. If you're the target of an unconventional attack, you have a defence rating, against which the attack is made.

1-3rd: Saving throws are variable depending on class and level. If you're the target of an unconventional attack, you make a saving throw against a variable target number.

Please. Speaking about blindsiding yourself to the obvious! If we are talking about pure mechanical difference, then the mechanic difference between how and what modifiers are applied in 2e and 3e is just as big as the mechanical difference between how and what modifiers are applied in 3e and 4e. If we are talking about the spirit of the rules, you have narrowed in on the term "saving throw" and intentionally ignored that 4e's defenses are directly relational to the saving throw mechanics of the past. Your class still effects your defenses, as does your level, just like your class and level effected your saving throws in the past. The difference here is no bigger or smaller than the difference between THAC0 and BAB. BAB inverted THAC0 (and made huge changes in regards to the calculation of the number of attacks a character gets). Likewise, 4e new defense system inverted the saving throws so that it is now the attack who must roll against a number (for an ability to effect a target) instead of the attacker automatically hitting, and the defender being forced to roll and see if the power took any effect. I thought you said we were not going to include "changes of notation" in this comparison? And, if any difference in mechanics stops it from being a "change in notation," then the difference in saving throws between 2e and 3e is just as great. After all, where is my "rod, staff, wand" saving throw in 3e? And, where are my fortitude, reflex, and willpower saving throws in 2e? Because, all I am seeing in 3e is a fortitude, reflex, and will saving throws, and those saving throws are not the saving throws of 2e (nor are they calculated in the same manner)... and notice how those names are directly relational to the new 4e defenses? If anything, considering the similarity in naming conventions we see between 3e and 4e, and the drastic difference in the types of saving throws being used between 2e and 3e, all you have done here is prove that 3e and 4e actually share more similarities than differences when compared to the changes between 2e and 3e.

This post has already become massive, so I am going to stop here. But, everything else you have posted can be logically torn apart in a similar manner Lazzo. You are using double standards, and changing goal posts. The problem is, however, that careful examination proves that the points used by posters such as oxybe and Outlaw68 are totally valid. Healing abilities still work on characters without surges. Some classes in 3e did use "unlimited magical powers." No amount of double standards or changed goal posts stops these statements from being true.

So, my final conclusion has been stated already by someone else.

Every eddition has made changes, this is a good thing. If they did not change the game it would not be a new eddition, I dont see what the big deal is.

4e certainly does make some large changes. But, these changes are no greater than the sort of changes we saw when AD&D 2e went D&D 3e, or when OD&D went AD&D 1e. The change between AD&D 1e and AD&D 2e, however, was smaller... but that change is more akin to the change between 3e and 3.5 edition than anything else.
I'm sorry Philos, but your post does not prove what you set out to prove. All it proves is a fundamental lack of knowledge or understanding about any edition prior to 3e.

I feel that 4e has made major fundamental changes to the D&D system. It is, to me at least, what makes the transition much more substantial. As it is the philosophy how the D&D game works at its core. The core idea for D&D is to take the creative ideas from a person and translate those into working mechanics that other people can relate to.

That core idea has not changed with 4e.

In 1-3e you could pretty much have an idea in your head of what you were wanting to create and the names and roles would be the same for each of these editions. Yes you could probably make a better build in 3e with your creative idea, but taking a basic class still had the same notions from each of these editions.

This is much true (or not true) of 4e as it is of any other edition. You still have an idea in your head, and then pick a class to represent this idea. The names and roles of the classes in 4e are still essentially exactly what they were in every prior edition. Small changes can be found, but these changes are no bigger or smaller than the "thief->rogue" change from 2e to 3e, or the bard change from 1e->2e, or the change of assassin from class to kit from D&D to AD&D.

4e has really changed what a class and or role is from previous editions.

Prove it. I don't agree.

I believe this is from paring down what a class can choose as its abilities.

Wuaaah!? Are you playing the same games as me? 4e gives you a large number of choices in what class abilities you would like to pick. You don't get a set class ability for a level of any class, you get a list of powers from which you can choose what class abilities you will gain. The term "paring down" indicates that one has less abilities to choose from in 4e, at any particular level of any class, then one did before. This statement is blatantly false. While some people like to argue that 3e has more character choice than 4e (an argument that I believe is totally bologna), this argument largely hinges on the ability to multiclass in 3e. Without 3e multiclassing rules, one once again has NO choice in what class abilities one would like to choose at any given level. In 2e and prior editions, the multiclassing rules worked totally differently. You could choose which classes you wanted to level in at 1st level, and after that you were stuck with your choice (and distributed experience equally between both classes). You could also only do this if you were not human. And, once you chose your classes at 1st level, there was no more character building to speak of... So, parring down of options in 4e? Bologna.

Also note the options for classes from earlier editions than 3e were very limited, but the basic ideas of how the classes played and worked stayed the same in the transition from 2e to 3e.

Really? Um... the assassin from D&D to AD&D? How about the mechanics for playing a Bard? How about the mechanics of the Barbarian class from 2e to 3e? What about the massive change in relation to the fighter via the inclusion of feats? Your statement here is blatantly false, and the answers to the questions I present here proves it.

An example: I want to play a fanciful swashbuckler who uses two blades and is great at sword play.
In 1e through 3e the usual response would be to take fighter and build up your two weapon abilities with proficiencies or feats.
Now in 4e you are thrown a curve and told to become a Ranger and refluff.

!?!?!?! What? All this proves is that you didn't really play 2e very much! Feats? What feats? Those didn't exist until 3e. Proficiencies? Um... weapon proficiencies in 2e worked nothing like 3e. And, there was no option to play a fanciful swashbuckler by "building up your character" in the manner you are suggesting. The only way to build such a character was by using the swashbuckler kit from the Fighters guidebook (brown cover, or players, line of books). Now, its been a long time since I played, so I might be wrong here... but from what I remember, even the swashbuckler needed a high strength. Unlike 3e, there was no way to make your melee attacks key off dexterity instead of your strength.

I'm not saying this is bad, but it does make transition from 3e to 4e very substantial for many.

No bigger than the transition from OD&D to AD&D, or 2e to 3e.
I have played several sessions of 4th. Using basic attack is a total waste of action. When you get a 'mark' attack, it's free and you can't use anything else. Not sure about thrown weapons. I'd feel that the only reason to use one is that you're all out of powers and can't reach target. Otherwise it'd be more beneficial to use an action to just close in on your target. Again, in general. Special occasions may always rise.

i don't know what you mean by "you can't use anything else". you can mark then attack with the pally, same with the swordmage. fighter can mark whether he hits or miss, as long as he attacks someone.

you use thrown/ranged weapons when getting next to the enemy is difficult or not advisable. doesn't mean it's useless. same with a basic attack. just because 4th gives you better options doesn't mean that the basic one is unusable, it's just not your best option.

same thing with a focused fighter build. why "basic attack" when trip/grapple/charge/power attack/ect... are better options?
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
No, 4e is an entirely different game and should have been marketed as such.

Do you think 4e would have done so well if it wasn't called D&D?
Honestly asked and I would like honest replies...

Ill say it again. New eddition=new mechanics if they had tried to sell me the same crap I would have tossed it. 3.0-3.5 was bad enough. As is I love the fact that they finally killed some of the sacred cows. Change is a good thing without change their is only death.
No, 4e is an entirely different game and should have been marketed as such.

Do you think 4e would have done so well if it wasn't called D&D?
Honestly asked and I would like honest replies...

maybe? one could ask the same thing about 3rd, 2nd & ADND... would those editions have done as well if not for the brand recognition?

i only updated to 3.5 a year or so ago after my FLGS was selling a starter set (the softcover book) complete with dice and minis for approx the same price as an actual hardcover PHB. otherwise i was pretty grumpy with the 3.5 update. i continued to buy books, but we used 3.0 as the baseline, unless otherwise stated by the books.

i upgraded to 3rd because it gave me better mechanics then 2nd ADnD. same reason i upgraded to 4th. same brand name so i could grab more players, but mechanics i like more.
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
I don't know why you bother responding to him Williamhm or Oxybe. DoppleGangster is one of those posters who I learned early on has nothing to really contribute. He comes here only to get a rile out of those who like 4e. I mean, look at the portion of his post Williamh just quoted:

No, 4e is an entirely different game and should have been marketed as such.

Do you think 4e would have done so well if it wasn't called D&D?
Honestly asked and I would like honest replies...

Lets dissect that for something of value to the discussion at hand. He starts out with:

No, 4e is an entirely different game and should have been marketed as such.

But does he provide evidence? Can he? I mean, anything he can put out will be cut to shreds with just a tiny dollop of logic... but I think he knows that. He doesn't even bother trying. So far, at least from where I am standing, the arguments on this thread about how "4e" is not really "D&D" because it makes the most drastic changes of any edition change to date have been soundly trounced. Still, this thread has maintained an aesthetic of discussion. There is an assumption that someone can come back, and in turn try to use logic to discuss why it is in fact more different from the base mechanics of (whatever it is that constitutes) "D&D" than any other edition to date. But, he didn't make that post to discuss. He made a statement, and made that statement like fact. His statement is, "No, 4e is an entirely different game and should have been marketed as such." He never bothers trying to validate that statement, despite logic that clearly indicates that that statement is false. Next he asks a question.

Do you think 4e would have done so well if it wasn't called D&D?
Honestly asked and I would like honest replies...

And the question is a trick. If you respond to that question, then you admit that 4e is not D&D. But, as this thread (at least up to now) clearly indicates, if any previous edition of D&D after OD&D can be called D&D, then 4e meets an equal standard of criteria. So, like usual, he is not really participating in the thread. He is throwing out a remark that he wants to be true. He is not backing it up with evidence. And then he is asking a question in an attempt to trick those who do believe that 4e is D&D to state that it is not, despite the fact that all logical evidence points to the contrary.

Do yourself a favor William and Oxybe, ignore him. He has nothing to contribute to this discussion.
well, the did say that 4th was a whole new game instead of a cosmetic update,

i mean seriously, they openly said that they were not making another 3rd edition or previous, but a whole new game that is still D&D. and to me (along with many others) it still is.
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
well, the did say that 4th was a whole new game instead of a cosmetic update,

i mean seriously, they openly said that they were not making another 3rd edition or previous, but a whole new game that is still D&D. and to me (along with many others) it still is.

Absolutely. But, the question is how do you quantify a different game? How do you quantify what it means to be D&D? 4e is not like any edition before it. But, neither is any other edition like any edition before it (with the exception of 3.5 like 3.0, and 2e AD&D to 1e AD&D). The argument presented by Lazzo is that 4e is not "D&D" because its edition is more "different" in comparison to the previous edition than any other edition was to their previous editions. I contest that this statement is false. Certainly 4e can be described as a new game. It is not a cosmetic update. But, I would argue that 3e was a completely new game from AD&D as well. There are still enough similarities for all of these edition to be called D&D though, at least if any of them can be called D&D. Like you, I believe they can.

Its like William stated:

New eddition=new mechanics if they had tried to sell me the same crap I would have tossed it. 3.0-3.5 was bad enough. As is I love the fact that they finally killed some of the sacred cows. Change is a good thing without change their is only death.
Reply With Quote

I mean changing from 2nd to 3rd.. mechanics for combat changed, multi-classing was greatly altered, the skill/proficiency system was different, even stats changed (Str of 18/00 anybody??), saving throws changed completely,

The basic mechanics for combat remained the same. AC & to hit stayed the same. There were additional actions to take in combat but the basic mechanics didn't change at all.

Due to having standardized XP requirements multiclassing became easier.
It went from no real sill system to a fleshed out one.

It was pretty easy to convert from a 2nd Ed Fighter to 3rd, Wizard, cleric, etc as well. The classes pretty much remained the same.

3rd to 4th? Much more differences than similarities, this is born out by the FACT that direct conversion is not really doable and isn't meaningful.

It i an entirely different game system. Different isn't good or bad it is just different.

It would be like going from Traveller to Star Wars RPG.
Roll up a wizard with Con 8 and on your initial hp roll you get a 1.

Your character dies at char-gen :P or has half a hp ;)

wrong min is 1 per die
No, 4e is an entirely different game and should have been marketed as such.

Do you think 4e would have done so well if it wasn't called D&D?
Honestly asked and I would like honest replies...

NO without the dnd label it would have totaly bombed unless they had given it its true name WoW pnp 2.0
Very different and much larger change they only really change for original-2.0 to 3.0-3.5 really was savings throws and ac and on the ac it made much more since but really wasnt a major change.
Do you think 4e would have done so well if it wasn't called D&D?
Honestly asked and I would like honest replies...

Hmm, I don't think so as people playing 1st - 3.X wouldn't recognize it as a new version.

Whereas, 3.0 was similar enough to 2nd to be able to tell it was a different version of the same game.
Ill say it again. New eddition=new mechanics if they had tried to sell me the same crap I would have tossed it. 3.0-3.5 was bad enough. As is I love the fact that they finally killed some of the sacred cows. Change is a good thing without change their is only death.

change isnt always good, look at new coke.
C-D, the appropriate person for the 2nd quote is williamhm75, not myself

Kursk:

AC and to hit did change from 2nd to 3rd. AC went from a sliding +10 (worse) to -10 scale (better) from (generally) 10 and above. your to hit was a class based bonus that you wanted to reduce. also a +2 sword made your to hit bonus decrease instead of increase.
-----------------
multiclassing in pre-3rd was restricted by race level limits AND combinations. only humans could outright switch classes (and they lost previous abilities other then HP until they gained levels in the new class equal or higher then the old one). non-humans chose to single-class or multiclass at the start and devided their XP between the classes.

a fighter/wizard/rogue elf (one of the what, 10 or less possible multiclass options) with 12000 xp actually had 4000 fighter XP/4000 wizard XP/4000 rogue XP, so his levels would actually vary between classes, even though his XP total was consistent between his classes and the party.

a 4th level human fighter wanting to multiclass into wizard would loose all fighter abilities (except HP) until he was a level 4+ wizard
-----------------
as for converting characters i would have to disagree. NWP/WP made for strange translations between editions and me and my group during conversion decided it was best (and easier) to just recreate from scratch instead of trying to follow a conversion. especially that fighter/wizard/rogue elf
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
The basic mechanics for combat remained the same. AC & to hit stayed the same. There were additional actions to take in combat but the basic mechanics didn't change at all.

Due to having standardized XP requirements multiclassing became easier.
It went from no real sill system to a fleshed out one.

It was pretty easy to convert from a 2nd Ed Fighter to 3rd, Wizard, cleric, etc as well. The classes pretty much remained the same.

3rd to 4th? Much more differences than similarities, this is born out by the FACT that direct conversion is not really doable and isn't meaningful.

It i an entirely different game system. Different isn't good or bad it is just different.

It would be like going from Traveller to Star Wars RPG.

Bologna, as earlier posts in this thread have already very clearly indicated (using logic, and not blanket statements devoid of anything resembling proof or fact) that the difference between 2e and 3e were just as big as the difference between 3e and 4e. Direct conversion from 2e to 3e was just as impossible as it is from 3e to 4e. Both required that you take the concept, and rebuild it from scratch using the new rule system. You claim otherwise... but like I said, in light of earlier posts on this thread, I call bologna. After all, care to show me where my kits are in 3e? Also, the "basic mechanics" underwent MASSIVE changes from 2e to 3e. Feats? The resolution of initiative? Inverted THAC0? How many attacks a character gets in a round? Class design? When you really break it down, the only things which stayed similar between 2e and 3e is that you roll a d20 to hit things, and roll other sized dice for damage. That mechanic is still the same in 4e.
change isnt always good, look at new coke.

and yet change is sometimes good. lots of positive things in history were brought because of change. saying that change isn't always good is obvious, but leaving things as is can sometimes cause more problems then change.
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Direct conversion from 2e to 3e was just as impossible as it is from 3e to 4e.

LOL!

Take a 1st level fighter and convert from 2nd to 3rd. No problem. Wizard same.

Wizard 3.5 to 4.0. Spell system?, Actual spell comparison between 3rd & 4th? Spell progression?

I've had to convert for each new edition. 1st to 2nd, easy. 2nd to 3rd, a little work. 3.5 to 4th, not possible unless you just want the class names the same...

You're too funny. If you ever lose your job you have nothing to worry about. Become a comedian, you'd never starve.
4e is called "D&D" simply because the people who own the name decided to call it that, that's it.

They could have went with a percentile based resolution system and it would still be "New" D&D because the people who own it say so.
So sad. This thread used to be a place for logical discussion. Once the anti 4e team got soundly trounced (on the logical discussion based front), they stopped even trying to discuss. They realized they they were logically outgunned, so they gave up and just started using blanket statements. Oh well... there is hope that Lazzo will return and do what they can't: hold a discussion.

Take a 1st level fighter and convert from 2nd to 3rd. No problem. Wizard same.

Really? Prove it. I want you to convert my level 1 elf fighter/wizard with the bladeweaver kit. Lets see him as a level 1 character. Converting characters from 2e was just as hard as converting characters from 3e to 4e is. The mechanics are totally different. You can capture the same spirit of concept, but you can not capture the same mechanics. But, you know that, or you would use some evidence to support your statement. To bad none exists.

Wizard 3.5 to 4.0. Spell system?, Actual spell comparison between 3rd & 4th? Spell progression?

As has already been logically proven, difference proves nothing. First you must prove that there is no difference of an equal or similar degree between the mechanics of 2e to 3e. Yet, I have already proven that differences of an equal or greater degree do exist...

I've had to convert for each new edition. 1st to 2nd, easy. 2nd to 3rd, a little work. 3.5 to 4th, not possible unless you just want the class names the same...

Just because you make the claim does not mean it is true. Back it up with evidence and logic, and make sure that your evidence and logic has not already been trounced earlier in this thread.

You're too funny. If you ever lose your job you have nothing to worry about. Become a comedian, you'd never starve.

But that is what it really breaks down to. You can't back it up with evidence or logic. You just can't. All you have is blanket statements, and now personal attacks. Welcome to my ignore list.
4e is called "D&D" simply because the people who own the name decided to call it that, that's it.

They could have went with a percentile based resolution system and it would still be "New" D&D because the people who own it say so.

This has already been proven as false. Unless you have some evidence and logic to back the statements up, they mean nothing.
LOL!

Take a 1st level fighter and convert from 2nd to 3rd. No problem. Wizard same.

Wizard 3.5 to 4.0. Spell system?, Actual spell comparison between 3rd & 4th? Spell progression?

I've had to convert for each new edition. 1st to 2nd, easy. 2nd to 3rd, a little work. 3.5 to 4th, not possible unless you just want the class names the same...

You're too funny. If you ever lose your job you have nothing to worry about. Become a comedian, you'd never starve.

well, there is no way i can have my first level fighter in 3rd have weapon specialization, yet my first level fighter in 2nd could.

as for the spell system, they dropped it as was but they still kept some of the concepts that the wizard gets to choose between 2 dailies/utilities per level and can change the selection after an extended rest.

they scrapped the entire vancian system entirely so it's impossible to convert. then again people were asking for alternates or entire scrapping of it. the vancian system was daunting to a lot of players and i know several who flat out refused to play a vancian caster (wizard/cleric/druid/bard/sorceror) and pretty much ignored the casting the ranger and paladin got outside cure X wounds. i'm comfortable playing a wizard in pre-4th as i'm used to the vancian system, but that doesn't mean i necessarily like it... i just like the options it affords me so i'm willing to settle. the 3rd ed warlock however, i just love. all the casting i want without the vancian system.
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
NO without the dnd label it would have totaly bombed unless they had given it its true name WoW pnp 2.0

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

*Calms down*

*Silence...*

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
Deep breath Rustmonster. If you keep on in that vein, you are going to break a rib.
On the whole, the most significant changes to the core mechanics of the game were made between 2E and 3E. However, even though the mechanics were streamlined and made more accessible the basic game played very much the same.

3E to 4E involves fewer changes in the core mechanics, but the play is dramatically different.
3E to 4E involves fewer changes in the core mechanics, but the play is dramatically different.

Really? All classes heal. Totally different combat system. Totally different spell system...
On the whole, the most significant changes to the core mechanics of the game were made between 2E and 3E. However, even though the mechanics were streamlined and made more accessible the basic game played very much the same.

3E to 4E involves fewer changes in the core mechanics, but the play is dramatically different.

Rikiji, would you mind clarifying how you find that the play is dramatically different? I'm not sure whether I agree or disagree with you... and part of the reason why is because I don't know exactly how you mean.