Mid-September will be the last public playtest packet

From GenCon today:

Gato, CH News Robot          @criticalhits     

Surveys report increasing satisfaction with rules. Final public playtest in mid-September. Work on game not done, but enough public feedback



Well, I wonder what will be in the upcoming packet.  Otherwise, it looks like the game is actually moving closer to entering production, as they are heading into the private playtest again to finish up.   



CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!
It means no module ( Tactical module etc..) will be publically playtested unfortunatly. 

It look like a Gen Con 2014 publishing is possible 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Unless the state of the fundamental math improves greatly by then, this is not good news.  In fact I take it as a sign they are going to push Next out in 2014 read or not.

-Polaris
The math could be stellar, and I am still ambivalent on whether I will buy it, and even more disappointed they actually called what happend over the last couple years a playtest.
They will have plenty of time to clean up the math i'm sure.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter


Surveys report increasing satisfaction with rules.



All this means is that they've finally pushed away enough good playtesters through wave after wave of garbage, leaving nothing but people incapable of critical analysis.
I killed Aleena.
I accidentally started another thread, but it got instantly locked. Look out, the mods are back...

As to the news.

I told you so!

You guys didn't believe me.

So basically people can quit saying:

"Just wait there's a module for that."

and

"Don't worry, you'll get a module for that, just wait the play test is no where near over."

"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

Well not being in the public playtest doesn't mean you won't ever get a module for something.

-

Well not being in the public playtest doesn't mean you won't ever get a module for something.

-



No, but it does mean it won't be properly tested and that its math will be questionable at best...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Also the tactical module will feature as its defining mechanic "facing"...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
It means no module ( Tactical module etc..) will be publically playtested unfortunatly. 

It look like a Gen Con 2014 publishing is possible 



I think the modularity was dropped from the drawing board like 6 months ago, mister.....
Could it be possible we have been testing modules this whole time, ones they think are broken? Are we not giving them enough credit?

Nah...

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

Could it be possible we have been testing modules this whole time, ones they think are broken? Are we not giving them enough credit?

Nah...



Yup,  most likely.  Especially in the most recent packet,  I suspect a sizeable quantity of what we're looking at is the Modules.
Each playtest packet is the revised version of the complete game and is therefore indicative of a progression rather than an isolated test version. Therefore, D&D Next will not have skills, sorcerers, warlocks, bards or balanced math.

Am I doing it right? 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

One word: 


DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!
 
...whatever
The downside: no more playtests.

The upside: Anything that is NOT in the September playtest (eg warlords, warlocks, non-Vancian magic) we can all bellyache about until Mearls gives us an oath signed in blood that it will be in the final game. No more patient waiting for stuff we've been told is in the work for 20+ months!
Huh.
That's, well, stupid.

It means the playtest was never actually a playtest but a concept test.  We're not testing mechanics to fine tune them and look for problems. That's a mistake. 
And the modules certainly need to be tested. They should move to having us test those until launch (and after).

I understand the reasoning. WotC doesn't want  to give away the game for free. Because people won't pay for something they can get for free.
Except... they totally will.
If the quality is good and people want to support the product they will throw money at it. If you make paying for the core rules optional you can also get more people into the game as the buy-in to start playing is low.

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

Could it be possible we have been testing modules this whole time, ones they think are broken? Are we not giving them enough credit?

Nah...



You appear to be relatively new here. As someone who's been playing D&D since 2E and been participating in the community since 3E was announced (my join date is because of messed up account change over when the forums went to the new style 2 iterations ago) WotC and Mearls in particular we may be giving too much credit to...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
The downside: no more playtests.

The upside: Anything that is NOT in the September playtest (eg warlords, warlocks, non-Vancian magic) we can all bellyache about until Mearls gives us an oath signed in blood that it will be in the final game. No more patient waiting for stuff we've been told is in the work for 20+ months!

Or any class from the core PHBs not in the September playtest simply aren't making the cut, period (including subclass representation). We could be looking at an end to core Sorcerers, Warlocks, Warlords, et al here.
It's not like they can playtest forever.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

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

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

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huh.
That's, well, stupid.

It means the playtest was never actually a playtest but a concept test.  We're not testing mechanics to fine tune them and look for problems. That's a mistake. 
And the modules certainly need to be tested. They should move to having us test those until launch (and after).

I understand the reasoning. WotC doesn't want  to give away the game for free. Because people won't pay for something they can get for free.
Except... they totally will.
If the quality is good and people want to support the product they will throw money at it. If you make paying for the core rules optional you can also get more people into the game as the buy-in to start playing is low.

Indeed. Witness Pathfinder.
Unless the state of the fundamental math improves greatly by then, this is not good news.  In fact I take it as a sign they are going to push Next out in 2014 read or not.

-Polaris



Sorry, don't see the issue.  None of my D&D sessions in almost 35 years have the combat take place in arena style combats where resources regen after every battle.  In actual play, I haven't really seen very many issues with the math, let alone "fundamental problems."

RPGs are supposed to be designed to give a certain feel to a social interactive game, not necessarily be balanced like a computer game.

Well not being in the public playtest doesn't mean you won't ever get a module for something.

-



No, but it does mean it won't be properly tested and that its math will be questionable at best...




Yeah but that will always happen with any iteration of D&D (probably any RPG).

Even if 5 or 10 or 15 modules are thouroughly tested through months of public playtests, there will always be 100 more suplements released later that can just as well mess things up.

The only "solution" is do what every good DM has ever done. Use common sense and judge what should and should not be allowed in his campaign. Pick only the bits of suplemental material that you think is right for your game.

Every game of D&D I've ever seen that didn't do that, where people insisted that "it's written in an official book so it must be allowed" quickly ended up in ruins, no matter the edition. 
This is somewhat disturbing. There are so many things that still will need feedback. We can see this because of how much all the important things have changed after feedback. I understand that the concept for how to do the classes is almost done--and that's a major part of the game. But there are a lot of little details that just aren't going to get addressed without our feedback. Things like making sure there is a reason for a rogue not to dual-wield, or catching issues with stealth and evasion, or a number of other things. The biggest asset we are is a bunch of extra eyes to see problems that need addressing that they can't be expected to find (all of them, at least).




By the way, I'm not saying they did an impecable job with the basic rules. The game is far from "where it should be" yet in terms of the core systems, imo. Basic classes still need a lot of work, rules like feats and skill are still lost in the wind, etc.

Just saying advanced modules and suplemental stuff will come after release all the same, no matter how many of those we playtest before. 
As a player since the early 80s and DM since 88 I feel I have a good grasp of D&D, I have come full circle on my desires for complexity. I only began posting once Next was announced. But Hasbro is a corporation, not a hobbyist like we are. While I did intend tongue firmly in cheek with my comment (hence the Nah at the end), I do feel many on these forums, you included lokiare, do underestimate what Next can bring. I see the possibility of modularity giving us all the play style we want, but I have my doubts that Mearls and crew will deliver...

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I think folks need to understand that just because something isn't part of a public playtest, doesn't mean it hasn't been tested.

How many games don't have public playtests?  Does that mean none of those games had anything tested?


Honestly, after what?  1.5 years the WotC team has seen that there's no way anyone ever agrees on anything so what's the point of a large scale public playtest.  Group A over here says the packet got a lot worse and the math sucks.  Group B says the packet got better and the math works fine.  Group C over there just wants to make sure that they let everyone know, every single day since the packet was released, that Next sucks.  Group D wants the packet to go back to earlier versions, or for the love of God give fighters back expertise dice and doesn't give two craps about making sure the math is perfect.

So ultimately it just comes down to them putting out a product they want to put out.  Anyone can do a fantasy RPG.  Some people can do great ones.  I just hope it feels D&D to me, because that's why I play the game.  If I personally think a skill point based fantasy game is better, I'll go play that.  But when I want a "D&D experience" which means the good and the bad, I play D&D.

It means the playtest was never actually a playtest but a concept test.  We're not testing mechanics to fine tune them and look for problems.


I've been saying that for months. They have paid designers and developers doing the actual play testing. What they wanted from us was to confirm that it "feels" enough like D&D that traditionalists won't abandon ship. That's also why the math was out of whack the entire time, we were never testing the math. We were testing to let them know if the concepts would be popular. Now that they have met their target for the level of approval they will run with this concept and internally test and hopefully fix the math behind it. I'm surprised this is news to anyone, they've been telling us the whole time that was what they were doing. They prettied it up with a lot of marketing buzzwords and political ambiguity, but I don't think they were really trying to hide that this was a popularity test not a functionality test.

And the modules certainly need to be tested. They should move to having us test those until launch (and after).


they will be. And it will be done By paid professionals, not by popular opinion. And honestly, I am ok with that. Better that then have the math decided by which ever version is the first to cross the "80% voted satisfied or better" finish line like they're doing with the concepts.

I understand the reasoning. WotC doesn't want  to give away the game for free. Because people won't pay for something they can get for free.
Except... they totally will.
If the quality is good and people want to support the product they will throw money at it. If you make paying for the core rules optional you can also get more people into the game as the buy-in to start playing is low.


True, but good luck convincing the hazbro executives of that.
Know what?

I'm "ok" with this packet.

I'll likely be "ok" with the next one.

They've gone from a game I wouldn't play at all to one that's passable.

They've moved this in the right direction and I'll drink to the team for the efforts. (I'm not super pleasable).

But imma keep fighting wit y'all until the game gets released.

Love you guys really.

(I'm actually kinda blasted here).

Well not being in the public playtest doesn't mean you won't ever get a module for something.

-



No, but it does mean it won't be properly tested and that its math will be questionable at best...




Yeah but that will always happen with any iteration of D&D (probably any RPG).

Even if 5 or 10 or 15 modules are thouroughly tested through months of public playtests, there will always be 100 more suplements released later that can just as well mess things up.

The only "solution" is do what every good DM has ever done. Use common sense and judge what should and should not be allowed in his campaign. Pick only the bits of suplemental material that you think is right for your game.

Every game of D&D I've ever seen that didn't do that, where people insisted that "it's written in an official book so it must be allowed" quickly ended up in ruins, no matter the edition. 



Or they could, you know, test every module properly whether its in a public play test or in a big closed play test like the DDi members of the CharOp board in 4E. That alone would catch almost all broken bits...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I understand the reasoning. WotC doesn't want  to give away the game for free. Because people won't pay for something they can get for free.
Except... they totally will.
If the quality is good and people want to support the product they will throw money at it. If you make paying for the core rules optional you can also get more people into the game as the buy-in to start playing is low.



Yeah, if there is any lesson that 3E should teach us about RPG design, it's that having a free online SRD is an incredibly good marketing idea. WotC really should take note that Pathfinder (who beat 4E) expanded on the SRD idea, including splatbooks and 3rd party content in theirs, while 4E pulled back on the SRD and required monthly fees to access the compendium.

Really, why they don't just go ahead and release constantly evolving playtest SRDs is beyond me. You can get completely free playtesting for virtually no cost.

Online SRD is really where modern RPG design philosophy got it right in a big way. They just need to take the extra step and totally open source the design process.
As a player since the early 80s and DM since 88 I feel I have a good grasp of D&D, I have come full circle on my desires for complexity. I only began posting once Next was announced. But Hasbro is a corporation, not a hobbyist like we are. While I did intend tongue firmly in cheek with my comment (hence the Nah at the end), I do feel many on these forums, you included lokiare, do underestimate what Next can bring. I see the possibility of modularity giving us all the play style we want, but I have my doubts that Mearls and crew will deliver...



With the right design and focus on modularity, 5E could have been a game that everyone could play and enjoy, like you I don't think Mearls and crew can deliver on their stated goals, especially since they don't seem to understand what people wanted out of each edition...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

It means the playtest was never actually a playtest but a concept test.  We're not testing mechanics to fine tune them and look for problems.


I've been saying that for months. They have paid designers and developers doing the actual play testing. What they wanted from us was to confirm that it "feels" enough like D&D that traditionalists won't abandon ship. That's also why the math was out of whack the entire time, we were never testing the math. We were testing to let them know if the concepts would be popular. Now that they have met their target for the level of approval they will run with this concept and internally test and hopefully fix the math behind it. I'm surprised this is news to anyone, they've been telling us the whole time that was what they were doing. They prettied it up with a lot of marketing buzzwords and political ambiguity, but I don't think they were really trying to hide that this was a popularity test not a functionality test.

And the modules certainly need to be tested. They should move to having us test those until launch (and after).


they will be. And it will be done By paid professionals, not by popular opinion. And honestly, I am ok with that. Better that then have the math decided by which ever version is the first to cross the "80% voted satisfied or better" finish line like they're doing with the concepts.

I understand the reasoning. WotC doesn't want  to give away the game for free. Because people won't pay for something they can get for free.
Except... they totally will.
If the quality is good and people want to support the product they will throw money at it. If you make paying for the core rules optional you can also get more people into the game as the buy-in to start playing is low.


True, but good luck convincing the hazbro executives of that.



Unfortunately we can't test concepts without a good mechanical and math system behind them:

Mage Player "I unleash a massive ball of fire from my finger flinging it into the center of the goblins to fry them with my awesome magical power 'Muahahahah'"

DM "Ok, none of them make their save and they get a little singed before running up and ganking you to death. You'll need to make another character now..."

Concepts without good math are worthless and not testable...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Concepts without math are like apple pie without crust. It's tasty but hard to eat.

Well not being in the public playtest doesn't mean you won't ever get a module for something.

-



No, but it does mean it won't be properly tested and that its math will be questionable at best...




Yeah but that will always happen with any iteration of D&D (probably any RPG).

Even if 5 or 10 or 15 modules are thouroughly tested through months of public playtests, there will always be 100 more suplements released later that can just as well mess things up.

The only "solution" is do what every good DM has ever done. Use common sense and judge what should and should not be allowed in his campaign. Pick only the bits of suplemental material that you think is right for your game.

Every game of D&D I've ever seen that didn't do that, where people insisted that "it's written in an official book so it must be allowed" quickly ended up in ruins, no matter the edition. 



Or they could, you know, test every module properly whether its in a public play test or in a big closed play test like the DDi members of the CharOp board in 4E. That alone would catch almost all broken bits...



I question how much usefull information would come out of the CharOp board and DDI.  You're talking about a severely imbalanced selection of Players with major bias.  I honestly doubt you could get usefull information about pre-4th edition mechanics out of a group of people wholely dedicated to 4th edition.  It's far more likely you'd get bad information as the group uses the "Power" it gives them to mold the design of DDN into what they want by selectively reporting findings.

I mean let's be honest,  if you want good data on how well implemented a Vancian system is,  is it really a good idea to ask the people who're dedicated to AEDU?  Do you think you're going to get good feedback on Cleric-based healing out of a group of people dedicated to Inspirational Healing?

I would suggest they're better off with the DDN General Board,  at least there's some degree of representation by other groups here.     

Or they could, you know, test every module properly whether its in a public play test or in a big closed play test like the DDi members of the CharOp board in 4E. That alone would catch almost all broken bits...




Yeah but you know probably as well as I do that closed testing only never delivers a flawless product, be it an RPG, board game, video-game. Sometimes not even with public testing. No matter how hard they try to catch flaws, exploits, "broken" builds and all this kind of stuff... once it's released the hardcore people come into play and always find something.

Also, from a design point of view it would be awesome to have a public playtest for every module/suplement after the initial release. Now from a marketing point of view (and we have to remember Hasbro is a profit-seeking company as any other)... it's not very wise to have all your released material out there before they're actually released. There's the expectation for a new product to come out, when you know what it's about but not really what's in there, that builds up interest in the public to rush and buy the product once it's released. So I don't think constant public playtests will happen.

Not to mention deadlines pushing products to be released in a hurry, that aren't uncommon at all.

Now fortunatelly it's not all pain and tears!
Because RPGs allow us something other games don't usually allow. Customization. The ability to decide what you want and don't want in your game, whereas with video-games and such, you get what you get and that's it.
No way. Litigation is a poster above reproach. There are bunches of decent dudes.

Gatt, this is bias on your part and unfair - and you're a decent dude
I will not pay money for DDN if the only spellcasters are Vancian. I'm not a guy with a lot of lines in the sand, but that's one. And I imagine there are plenty of other cautiously optimistic play testers with "dealbreakers" if all the promises we've heard about extra classes, subclasses, modules, etc. never see the light of day.
Why would anyone think that modularity would be party of the playtest anyway?  I don't even expect that out of the PHB to any large degree.    Splat books should have all the modularity we need. 


I am happy to hear this. Things will roll internally in the next months and eventually release, which i really forward to.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

No way. Litigation is a poster above reproach. There are bunches of decent dudes. Gatt, this is bias on your part and unfair - and you're a decent dude



I'm not trying to be mean Bawlie,  just saying that the idea of CharOps and DDI is limiting the feedback loop only to 4th edition players,  and I've spent a year reading about how everything pre-4th edition is "Mediocre" by some number of people who fall into that group.

It would be equivalent to limiting the feedback loop to present-day Pathfinder players or Dragonfoot members,  they're all very biased groups. 

I'm not saying they're evil,  just pointing out they're biased.  We all are.  It's just human nature.  As such,  faults with something we're biased against are inherently larger than faults with something we like.  I'm personally perfectly happy with Vancian,  I'm not going to see any faults in it (Even though people are right and memorization is nonsensical,  and I recognize that to be true).  I strongly dislike AEDU,  I'm not going to give valid feedback on AEDU because I don't like it at all.