How close did they get to the mark?

967 posts / 0 new
Last post
There are a lot of people who think 4e is a perfect game, flawless in every way. Others have been dissapointed with some aspects of the game, since its release.

For those not entirelt satisfied with all aspects of the product, I'd like to know: How much would it have taken to satisfy you? Is every aspect of the game irredeemable to you, or would a few minor tweaks have made it a game you can respect and enjoy?

For me, it would have taken very little effort, a little more effort here and there, to make 4e a game I could enjoy, and proudly claim as the sucessor to 3E. For others, it may require a complete re-write. For those not happy, I'm curious: How far off from the mark was 4e, for you? How badly did it miss the 'target audience' of 'you'?

For those entirely satisfied with edition, there's little to say, of course. But hardly anyone is ever *entirely* satisfied with anything, so I'm sure everyone, even the designers, would have some contributions, here.
Nope. 4E is perfect in every way.
For those not entirelt satisfied with all aspects of the product, I'd like to know: How much would it have taken to satisfy you? Is every aspect of the game irredeemable to you, or would a few minor tweaks have made it a game you can respect and enjoy?

Two (admittedly large) design choices cause 90% of the complaints I have with the system. The first is the seperation of PC and NPC design. The second is the powers system, mostly (but not entirely) because I enjoyed the idea of different classes using different subsystems.
The distinction between NPC and PC mechanics definitely makes my list, as well. It's something I can't forgive - there's no reason to revert to that, when they had previously unified the mechanics for NPCs and PCs, so everyone worked off of the same inherent mechanics.
Hmm... If they added more technology like firearms, clockwork devices, steam-powered stuff, early electricity, etc.

Also if they had a concrete measurement of bonuses Powers would give to Skills. I free hand it easy enough, but be nice to see official numbers for say what using Tide of Iron to shove someone into a wall would give to Intimidate.

Besides for those two, I am pretty much set. Be neat to see more different ways of handling Skill Challenges, but I am already having tons of fun with messing with it, just be nice to have more stuff to get ideas from.
Separation of PC and NPC design was done to make the DM's life easier, to allow greater flexibility in monster creation, and because there's no real reason to merge the two into an identical system. I can't really see what possible complaint anyone could have about the two not working off the same exact set of mechanics. It's easier and more flexible this way.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
4ed as a system is perfect. a few bugs here and there but nothing errata cant fix.
Mechanically I really have no problem with the system. I like the power system (then again this is coming from someone who plays and loves exalted as well). The npc/pc thing was a little weird at first but overall I got used to it since when I started making npcs for my pcs to fight with the new system and realized who easy and quick it is. No more hours of slaving over character sheets and having all my 3.X books on my bed coming up with npcs for my party to fight.

My beefs with the system are mostly on the fluff level. I am still divided on the dragonborn being a pc race and I also don't personally like the look of tieflings but all of those just opinion stuff.

The system does have it share of typos and errata but my 10 year experience with rpg's has shown me that they all do.
I don't like how there are across the board increases in numbers for little apparent reason. For example, BAB when it was different for different classes was meaningful, but when it's the same for everyone, I tend to think the extra numbers are superfluous and add math to the game because the marginal numbers don't change, same with skills(i do like being less able to pump up skills but don't see why they all needed to go up with levels).

I don't think that it's really necessary to have full blown craft skills and such, but simply a background trait or feat taken only at level 1 that would give bonuses to certain skill checks would do a lot to help a player think 'maybe i ought to think about this'.

Seperate subsystems were interesting but never ever really equal, because dnd magic was an either/or proposition that made you really awesome and able to replicate being good at basic combat anyway, while mundane combatants who had to share a mechanic with everyone weren't all that much better at it than casters, if you take buffs into account.

Also, whereas in 3e you could pretty easily make up classes for npcs or use the generic ones, with the powers system you'd have to work out some toned down generic powers for npcs to use, would be an interesting idea for a splatbook to explore.
Characters don't do enough damage. Rituals cost too much. Orbizards are broken. Sure Strike is a piece. Wizards are a joke as controllers. Warlocks are crappy strikers. Skill challenges are broken. "Epic" characters aren't.
Daily powers are bad (house ruled to one per milestone long ago). Besides that I'm loving it.
To elaborate on my earlier post, 4E is perfect because it fixes the glaring flaws of some previous editions, finally nailing the "fun casual RPG" genre.

BTW, I have a prediction: that this thread devolves into an edition war.
I can't answer this question, because my expectations haven't evolved yet. When 3.0/3.5 came out, I thought it was clearly the superior system to any previous DnD system and that no future system would trump it. It borrowed many of the best ideas from other systems and removed bad ideas from itself (ThAC0). But, after a while, the flaws began to show up. Still, even with the flaws, no other system fixed the flaws, so it was still the superior system.

4e has fixed a majority of the flaws and borrowed good, new ideas from other systems. In a sense, 4e is the 3e of 10 years ago. Is it perfect? No. Are there problems? Yes. Could it be improved? Of course. But, at this point, I don't have the perspective to know what new design philosophy or rules technology (yes, rules are a form of technology) would be a massive improvement to the current state. I know AD&D was better than D&D (I'm of mixed opinion on the quality between 1st and 2nd). I know 3e was better than previous editions. Heck, I know 3Paizo is better than 3.5. And, I know 4e is better than all 3e (including Paizo). But, until I see 5e or possibly some other RPG system that nails it, 4e is currently "the mark".

-SYB
4e was a perfect match for me and my group. It was almost as if they read our mind in what we wanted for the D&D system and Heroic fantasy in general. But it isn't a perfect system when comparing to other RPGs, just perfect when comparing to it's predecessor.
It's in comparison to its predecessor, where 4e falls shortest, for me, because it seems to ignore the strides the previous edition took.

The simplest thing to make the game appeal to me? Give it a different name. Market it as an alternate fantasy RPG. Make it the new D&D miniatures. Make it D&D: Basic. But don't replace an existing framework without improving upon it.

Aside from that, I would have been happier had the game included:

Craft, Profession and Perform systems, not as primary skills, but sub-systems.

Mechanical incentive for RP, such as tying action points to fulfilling the character's motives or portraying their personality, rather than a static option.

A unified PC and NPC system, not different systems for monsters and players.

Shorter combats by design, either through methods to bypass HP, such as instant kill abilities, or simply lower HP values all around, so sessions don't waste hours with an encounter.

Non-combat abilities within the power system. I'd like to see a 50/50 ratio of battle powers to powers designed for other purposes. For all classes. At wills of this nature, too.

A balanced skill system, that either grants all classes the same number of skills, or less skils and "ritual caster" to compensate, so character's aren't useless out of battle.

RP incentive within the skill challenge system, giving players mechanical rewards for acting within their character's nature in such scenarios.

No mention of roles.

Racial penalties, as characters should be defined by flaws as well as strengths.

A better system for handling small characters and weapons.

"Fluff" - rationalization for every classes powers, and their structure. Martial classes can simply be tapping into an external reservoir of superhuman energy, using their motions as conduits for that energy. Their bodies can't handle such energy more than once per day, in the case of stronger abilities, however, or more than once in a short period of time, in the case of encounter powers. If you're going to make martial characters magical, go ahead and make them magical.

A full alignment system, along with a personality archetype system, and a system for fulfillment of 'ego', 'short term satisfaction', and 'long term satisfaction', along with mechanical rewards for playing thusly.

A treasure system that doesn't scale at such jarring jumps at certain points, or an alternate 'low wealth' treasure table, for campaigns where you want high level characters who don't deal with tens of thousands of gold pieces worth of goods.

High and low magic options built into the PHB. Slow and fast experience tables.

Powers that heal, buff, or debuff, that aren't tied to an attack, or the option to forgo the attack, in all such cases, and simply have the buff/debuff/healing occur. For example: Healing Strike, or, simply Heal - player's choice.

A few.
Hmm... If they added more technology like firearms, clockwork devices, steam-powered stuff, early electricity, etc.

4e would be my game of choice if this was the case.

To answer the question. I would remove the NPC/PC disparity. Magic item usage limit (which I've already done with house rules) and add more class abilities beyond the first level. Feats would have more impact. Sub-systems would be nice too. ;)
-I got ran over my a squirrel the other day. -I'm going to steal my own idea. -My fruits of labor are not fruits... *sniff* they're vegetables. *sobs*
RC,

I have suspected for a long time, but now I finally have proof. You really just dislike 4e and prefer 3e. Every thing you complained about is either something that 4e changed or that is the same in 3e and 4e.

So, I have to ask, why do you bother posting on the 4e boards? 4e is NOT going to devolve back to 3e. And, since you seem to like 3e so much, why not simply play 3e and make suggestions for it (have you considered the Paizo boards)?

Ironically, most of the things you complain about in 4e are what I consider some of the stronger changes. And, many of the other things you request are easily (and reasonably) houseruled if you would like them in your campaign (in either edition). But, that is unimportant details. The general truth is, you don't like 4e. You can either continue to rant about it on 4e boards (until you eventually get blocked) or you can play your game and let the people who like 4e play their game.

-SYB
The core is solid, but the details did not read my mind and translate them into the book:

- the rogue weapon thing bugs me.

- alignment yet remains.

- multiclassing feats should give you required powers.

- fear of flying remains

- they didn't use any of my monsters or firearms rules. Shame on them.

Yeah, it's all just things I can tweak, but they should have consulted me every step of dev.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
It's in comparison to its predecessor, where 4e falls shortest, for me, because it seems to ignore the strides the previous edition took.

The simplest thing to make the game appeal to me? Give it a different name. Market it as an alternate fantasy RPG. Make it the new D&D miniatures. Make it D&D: Basic. But don't replace an existing framework without improving upon it.

I kind of agree with this.

I think 4th edition and 3rd are different enough that they could've continued to support both product lines. Some would play one system, others the other, but they would still get sales from both groups. It may be interesting to see what Hasbro does after the sales numbers a year out roll in - epecially since they can guage demand for 3.5 products via prices on amazon and ebay.

Things I would have done differently in 4th:

I would've kept the old alignment system.
I would've kept free multiclassing in some form (even if only as an option in the DMG).
I don't really like the NPC and PC disconnect, but it's easy enough to just make every NPC like a PC if you want.
I'm not entirely sold on the loss of Vancian magic, but I understand why they did it - I view this as "different - not better or worse".

Naturally, some powers need to be balanced and stuff like that, but 3.0 had its issues (haste and harm come quickly to mind) along those lines as well. Time and errata will fix those.
RC,

I have suspected for a long time, but now I finally have proof. You really just dislike 4e and prefer 3e. Every thing you complained about is either something that 4e changed or that is the same in 3e and 4e.

So, I have to ask, why do you bother posting on the 4e boards? 4e is NOT going to devolve back to 3e. And, since you seem to like 3e so much, why not simply play 3e and make suggestions for it (have you considered the Paizo boards)?

Ironically, most of the things you complain about in 4e are what I consider some of the stronger changes. And, many of the other things you request are easily (and reasonably) houseruled if you would like them in your campaign (in either edition). But, that is unimportant details. The general truth is, you don't like 4e. You can either continue to rant about it on 4e boards (until you eventually get blocked) or you can play your game and let the people who like 4e play their game.

-SYB

+1
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Hmm... If they added more technology like firearms, clockwork devices, steam-powered stuff, early electricity, etc.

Got your back, sigil! watch my CS website. I've already got balanced firearms and mechanical devises should be coming down real soon.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
Characters don't do enough damage. Rituals cost too much. Orbizards are broken. Sure Strike is a piece. Wizards are a joke as controllers. Warlocks are crappy strikers. Skill challenges are broken. "Epic" characters aren't.

All that, and:

Epic Capstone abilities aren't balanced in the least. Some aren't even playable.

Published Monsters don't stay within the games assumed range for defences.

NAC defences aren't on average low enough to justify the difference in attack bonus between implements and weapons, especially for reflex and fortitude.

They didn't bother to define essential game terms (like 'attack', for instance).

They didn't devise and follow proper templating for their powers (I'm looking at you, commander's strike).

They didn't realize that the point of at-will, encounter, and daily powers is to have all the characters work on a similar flow. You can't have one classes' "thing" be daily powers, and then allow them to have substandard encounter or at will powers, doing so ruins encounter design.


Basically, I love the principles behind 4e, but feel the excecution lacks polish.


On a side note, I for one love the seperation of PC and NPC. Now I can make NPCs quickly and easily. It's not like the PC rules aren't there for me to use in special cases should I desire.
Got your back, sigil! watch my CS website. I've already got balanced firearms and mechanical devises should be coming down real soon.

Cool shall check it out. I am interested to see what WoTC will do given that they said they won't be tied down to history when it comes to making firearms.
Its not everything I hoped it would be to be honest. But I think its a good start. I tend to hold my final judgments about a game system/edition/printing at the end of its run, rather than the beginning.

But IMO they could have done a lot worse. 3e was not all I hoped it would be when it was released either. But it too had a good start, followed by a great run, and a bad ending. And I ended up really liking the system by the time it was over (with the exception of some of the last books in the run). I predict 4e will be the same way. 2adnd will probably forever live on as my "favorite" version of the game even though I don't get to play it often.

But my group has been playing 4e for several months now. We have been able to work around the areas that it falls short, and some of the new mechanics are pretty fun. I am not sure how they will stand up to the sands of time. But I have been content with a lot of whats been released thus far.

love,

malkav
There are a lot of people who think 4e is a perfect game, flawless in every way.

Except for those offering such statements in obvious sarcasm, I have not met anyone who makes thinks 4e is a perfect game, flawless in every way. Rather, many who like 4e like a lot of things about it. They may feel it suits them perfectly. They may feel its flaws are so easy to overcome that it in no way detracts from the system. They may even feel it is the best version of D&D thus far. But they don't go to the hyperbole with which they are often labeled.

However, I have met many folks who simply do not like 4e that often claim there are a lot of people who think it is perfect.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
The simplest thing to make the game appeal to me? Give it a different name. Market it as an alternate fantasy RPG. Make it the new D&D miniatures. Make it D&D: Basic. But don't replace an existing framework without improving upon it.

This is something that has struck me as well. It's a decent system, and has some improvements in design over 3.x, but in some ways it's just too simple. An 'advanced' ruleset that could be built over the top that can reintroduce things like more realistic areas might be a significant boon for those who appreciate that added complexity.

It could even be done as web enhancements, or *shudder* through Insider. But it would be nice for the option to be supported in some fashion.

The other beef is the tendency for PCs to be able (and often encouraged) to blow their wad fairly early in the encounter before getting down to the serious business of spamming their at-wills. In my opinion, PCs could benefit from a recharge mechanic similar to monsters - what are now encounter skills could have a recharge chance each round, while what are now dailies have a recharge chance, say, every milestone. Taking the appropriate rest, of course, recharges them automatically. This would bring PCs more in line with NPC recharge and encounter skills, which become equivalent to what are now encounter and daily skills respectively for the PCs.

As for the seperation of PCs and NPCs... In principle, it's a decent system. Ideally, however, it should be possible to recreate any member of a PC race in the Monster Manual as a PC. (Doing the reverse seems fairly trivial.)

Regarding BAB - It's kind of a requirement of the new system that all classes have the same progression. Previously, it was something that was more important for some classes than others - and, not surprisingly, those classes that needed higher BAB more tended to have higher BAB. Nowadays, though, since everything is based on it, you can't give a class a lower progression without seriously gimping them, especially at high levels.
I took a very long time for 4e to grow on me. It's only now, many months after launch, that I'm really getting into the game. The big stickler for me was mini use/tactical movement.

Here's why I think my opinion changed: With 3.5, I never used minis much; I didn't really have to. They were nice but for my DMing and playing style, they weren't necessary beyond props for my imagination.

So, when 4e came along, I held firmly onto the idea that I didn't need (or want) minis. For a while, I DMed without minis. According to my playstyle under 3.5 and before, they just weren't necessary, and I was a bit stubborn of course ;).

Earlier this week, I played in a 4e game with friends who did use minis. For the first time, I was able to see the game system on its own merits; or at least I wasn't thinking, "Hey, that's not how we did it in 3.5.". That game was a blast.

Thinking back, that 4e game had a very different feel than a 3.5 game. For me to really enjoy each system, I have to basically forget what I know of the other. Both are fun in their own ways. Hard to explain but that's what's working for me.

At first, I would have said 4e missed the mark. In the end however, I can honestly say I haven't had so much fun playing D&D in years. Neither game is perfect of course. Where 4e fails to hit the mark, 3.5 is there for me, and vice/versa.

It's the craziest thing: I've went from the opinion tactical combat is a distaction, to tactical combat is an attraction. It's taken some time, and I never thought it would happen, but here I am-- and glad to be here ;).
/\ Art
Not game mechanics related, but I hate what they did to the Realms.

You've got a game setting with more published lore about its people and places than some real world countries, and you butcher it to mesh with the new game mechanics.

Go Go WotC! :golfclap:
I've been playing D&D since 2E. Played boatloads of 3 and 3.5. I've enjoyed every version of D&D I've played immensely.

But I look forward to my 4E campaign every week far more than any others I've played.
Yeah, it's all just things I can tweak, but they should have consulted me every step of dev.

Do you think it would have mattered? Caelic got fed up because they didn't listen to his feedback.
I started with 3E (okay, I played 2E with my mom at age 10, but that doesn't really count). I had an absolute blast with it and made lifelong friends because of it. It really turned me into a gamer in every aspect (I even paint mini's, ffs)

But after 3 years of 3.5E, D&D began to wear me down big time. I was tired of the arbitrary rules, the unnecessary rule checking, and the general clunkiness of the whole system and that turned me off from D&D for a good... two years?

With the release of 4E, it brought me back to D&D. Wizards decided to make a game instead of a tabletop version of Garry's Mod.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed 3.5e thoroughly. It was great in its prime. But it got a little silly. 4E, if anything, was just a reboot of the whole brand, a good detoxing of D&D.

4e has a few quirks that bother me, but that's easily fixed compared to the whole system of 3.5.

:D
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
Saving throws. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.

They make absolutely no sense, from a logical viewpoint AND game viewpoint.

Why is a medusa's stone gaze as effective against a commoner as a fighter? Just having to roll a 10 doesn't seems to make any sense... your level should affect it somehow! (Besides just the likelyhood for it to hit - I don't see how poison as powerful against a fragile young girl as a big tough guy)

And for gameplay it's terrible! Wizards can pretty much perma-stun anything with their orb and spell focus... having to rely ONLY on luck is really annoying. I realize the whole game is luck, but you have modifiers and stuff to improve your chances. With saving throws you get hardly anything.

Hmm... that's about it... oh, they could have used the old alignment system... I see no reason not to.
Resident generic resident.
Not game mechanics related, but I hate what they did to the Realms.

You've got a game setting with more published lore about its people and places than some real world countries, and you butcher it to mesh with the new game mechanics.

Go Go WotC! :golfclap:

You know, no one yet has ever explained to me how the Spellplague was worse than all the other times FR has ruined itself forever. I got fed up and quit when all the dragons went nuts, personally.

Not an argument, because I'm only aware of the realms via books and one abysmal game only player RP kept afloat in a sea of DM 'self love' over realsmlore, just... no one has ever said what the difference was.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
Saving throws. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.

They make absolutely no sense, from a logical viewpoint AND game viewpoint.

Why is a medusa's stone gaze as effective against a commoner as a fighter? Just having to roll a 10 doesn't seems to make any sense... your level should affect it somehow! (Besides just the likelyhood for it to hit - I don't see how poison as powerful against a fragile young girl as a big tough guy)

And for gameplay it's terrible! Wizards can pretty much perma-stun anything with their orb and spell focus... having to rely ONLY on luck is really annoying. I realize the whole game is luck, but you have modifiers and stuff to improve your chances. With saving throws you get hardly anything.

Hmm... that's about it... oh, they could have used the old alignment system... I see no reason not to.

They kept those in there as a legacy item so that people could still say, "Roll a saving throw." This was stupid and fail.
Do you think it would have mattered? Caelic got fed up because they didn't listen to his feedback.

It matters to me because I like *my* ideas, not Caelic's.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
I've been playing D&D since 2E. Played boatloads of 3 and 3.5. I've enjoyed every version of D&D I've played immensely.

But I look forward to my 4E campaign every week far more than any others I've played.

That pretty much sums it up for me as well. In my group all but one person had played 3.5. Two of them hated 3.5 and now love 4e. An other liked 3.5 and very much wanted to hate 4e but now also loves it. Currently I have a old 3.5 player that loves to rant on how 4e sucks that has joined the group to see what his friends are all ranting about.
It matters to me because I like *my* ideas, not Caelic's.

I can't tell whether you missed the point or whether you're trying to be funny.
They kept those in there as a legacy item so that people could still say, "Roll a saving throw." This was stupid and fail.

Yeah, Saving throws ain't perfect, but the question is: What mechanic would work better?


Giving every effect a duration could do it, but what about "permanent" effects? There's gotta be a way to toss this stuff off.
TO those of you who want 4E to be named something else, I'd much rather 3E stuck with the earlier moniker: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition.

And 4E keeps the simpler, Dungeons and Dragons, Fourth Edition. Because it IS simpler.
Why is a medusa's stone gaze as effective against a commoner as a fighter? Just having to roll a 10 doesn't seems to make any sense... your level should affect it somehow! (Besides just the likelyhood for it to hit - I don't see how poison as powerful against a fragile young girl as a big tough guy)

It isn't more effective.

Because, as you apparently have not noticed, Saving Throws are different now. They are a duration mechanic now. All it does is tell you how long an effect lasts.

The gaze is less effective on the Fighter because he has higher Defenses. The gaze has to first hit the proper Defense, as all effects are now attack rolls. If it hits the Defense, the effect starts, and the Fighter or commoner gets to make a Saving Throw after each of their turns. If it is 10+, the effect is gone.

This is extremely basic game information. If you have read the books, you should know this stuff.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
I've played since original, but skipped 3rd; I was in college and not playing DnD in those days.

I think 4e is a great game, I like it a lot. I guess it hit the "mark" for me. If you're asking if its perfect, of course not. There's no such thing.

I feel kind of fortunate that I didn't play 3rd. Ignorance is bliss, I don't really have to think about these edition wars. Personally I find them funny - if you hate 4e so much, why keep coming back here to post? To torture yourself? LOL I'm not talking about anyone specifically, just in general.

I wonder, when 3e came out, did everyone complain how it was so different then 2nd? Or was it, even then, the perfect game some would have me believe?