Legends & Lore: The Final Countdown (August 19)

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Legends & Lore:
The Final Countdown
(August 19)

Mike Mearls

Our playtest emphasis is now changing to the repetitive grind of balancing out the math and finding and dispelling abusive combinations.








Talk about this article here.
Well, I guess we can finally put complaining about the math to rest. Also, we now know what the majority of the D&D communities preferences are. I disagreed with a few of those points (chiefly the one about balance on an adventure/campaign scale) but clearly that is what the results are saying.
"You aren't edition warriors. You want the game to support a variety play styles in equal measure. You're not attached to any specific ways of doing things as long as the game works."

Huh. Who'da thunk?

Guess we forumgoers really and truly are a subset. LOL 

Danny

If this was all about nailing the feel of D&D then it failed.  I have no idea how the game is going to feel.  There was talk of inspiration but we haven't seen it.  There was talk of down time rules, but we haven't seen it.  They talk about tools for building encounters but we haven't seen it.  The math has always been broken so we haven't even seen how combat is going to feel.  We have apprentice levels and everyone hates them, will we have to live with that feel?  Skills are in limbo.  Disarm, trip and sunder are gone, is basic attack only the feel?  Gamey immersion breaking things just popped up this packet with second wind not being temp HP even though they added temp HP in the game, action surges, year and a day limits on scrolls and potions, is 4E metagamery the feel?

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

The point, I think, is not for us to figure out how Next is going to feel, but rather for the developers to understand how we want D&D to feel.
If this was all about nailing the feel of D&D then it failed.  I have no idea how the game is going to feel.  There was talk of inspiration but we haven't seen it.  There was talk of down time rules, but we haven't seen it.  They talk about tools for building encounters but we haven't seen it.  The math has always been broken so we haven't even seen how combat is going to feel.  We have apprentice levels and everyone hates them, will we have to live with that feel?  Skills are in limbo.  Disarm, trip and sunder are gone, is basic attack only the feel?  Gamey immersion breaking things just popped up this packet with second wind not being temp HP even though they added temp HP in the game, action surges, year and a day limits on scrolls and potions, is 4E metagamery the feel?


But they should know by now how we want it to feel. 
The only thing I can say after reading that is that based on their flawed surveys, bad math ruining feedback, and general inability to pinpoint what each edition's fans want out of the game is that they are way off base and reading the information wrong or something.

I sure hope D&D doesn't get shelved after this...
"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, according to Mearls, now they do. Which is why they're stopping the public playtest.
Our playtest emphasis is now changing to the repetitive grind of balancing out the math and finding and dispelling abusive combinations.



Borrowing this quote here...

In other words the thing you need more eyes on you are going to put less eyes on? Ok, sounds like a typical WotC way of dealing with things...
"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, I guess we can finally put complaining about the math to rest. Also, we now know what the majority of the D&D communities preferences are. I disagreed with a few of those points (chiefly the one about balance on an adventure/campaign scale) but clearly that is what the results are saying.



Unfortunately without good math, most of the feedback is worthless.

"I killed an Orc with one hit, this feature is awesome."

"I got shanked by a Goblin and died because it rolled too high, I didn't like my class."

"I only casted one spell per encounter and had 6 daily slots left, so Mage's must be balanced right?"

Yeah... they are deluding themselves if they thought all the feedback was useful or even accurate...
"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.
If this was all about nailing the feel of D&D then it failed.  I have no idea how the game is going to feel.  There was talk of inspiration but we haven't seen it.  There was talk of down time rules, but we haven't seen it.  They talk about tools for building encounters but we haven't seen it.  The math has always been broken so we haven't even seen how combat is going to feel.  We have apprentice levels and everyone hates them, will we have to live with that feel?  Skills are in limbo.  Disarm, trip and sunder are gone, is basic attack only the feel?  Gamey immersion breaking things just popped up this packet with second wind not being temp HP even though they added temp HP in the game, action surges, year and a day limits on scrolls and potions, is 4E metagamery the feel?



+1
"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.
No, they want paid professionals doing that part. They want the level of training and expertise the testers have to be a known quantity, not some nebulous emergent product of group consciousness.
No, they want paid professionals doing that part. They want the level of training and expertise the testers have to be a known quantity, not some nebulous emergent product of group consciousness.



You do realize that the CharOp board of 4E pointed out most of the flaws of 4E long before the internal play test was over, and WotC promptly ignored everything they said and went ahead anyway. I don't see them doing anything different this time.

Not to mention people like Cyber-Dave and me can churn out some pretty helpful math in just a few minutes.

You'll also notice that they said they were going to internally play test and not number crunch to find problems. That's akin to sending one person out into a giant field to find a baseball instead of cordoning it off and having 50 people search quadrants. Basically its one of the most innefecient ways of doing it.

What they need to do is run the math to find errors, then run computerized simulations to see where the outliers are with all combinations of options and every build possible. Then physically play test the broken combinations that are found to see if its computer bias or if players would ever see that in play. Then make changes and repeat.

They are basically doing the play test in the most inneficient way possible...
"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, I guess we can finally put complaining about the math to rest. Also, we now know what the majority of the D&D communities preferences are. I disagreed with a few of those points (chiefly the one about balance on an adventure/campaign scale) but clearly that is what the results are saying.



Unfortunately without good math, most of the feedback is worthless.

"I killed an Orc with one hit, this feature is awesome."

"I got shanked by a Goblin and died because it rolled too high, I didn't like my class."

"I only casted one spell per encounter and had 6 daily slots left, so Mage's must be balanced right?"

Yeah... they are deluding themselves if they thought all the feedback was useful or even accurate...



1st example...player likes to be powerful.

2nd example...player does not like to die too easily.

3rd example...player is concerned with balance between casters and non-casters.


WotC does get to see what makes someone like or dislike a feature, and obviously that's what they wanted to determine from the playtest.     If they get a ton of people who report that they love one shotting foes, they will figure out a way that it can be done.   It may be as simple as having enough monsters in the monster manual that have 4 or less hit points.     If they find out that players don't like to die from 1 unlucky blow, they can balance the math so that at level attacks against the PC will not take them out in 1 hit...maybe they'll even come up with ways that PCs can avoid taking critical hits if they expend some resource.     I think they have received a lot of important information.   They don't want us to make the game.   They want to make it.   They just needed us (an aggregate of all playtesters not just ones that post on the forums) to confirm what makes us happy and what ticks us off.


I do hope they use good math people to help them balance and calibrate though.    I'd vote for you and Cyber-Dave to run math.  

A Brave Knight of WTF

No, they want paid professionals doing that part.



  I'm hoping it isn't the same "professionals" that gave us feat tax, a DM screen with the wrong DCs and 2 useless monster manuals before getting it "right".


@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

No, they want paid professionals doing that part.



  I'm hoping it isn't the same "professionals" that gave us feat tax and 2 useless monster manuals before getting it "right".




Me too.
Well, I guess we can finally put complaining about the math to rest. Also, we now know what the majority of the D&D communities preferences are. I disagreed with a few of those points (chiefly the one about balance on an adventure/campaign scale) but clearly that is what the results are saying.



Unfortunately without good math, most of the feedback is worthless.

"I killed an Orc with one hit, this feature is awesome."

"I got shanked by a Goblin and died because it rolled too high, I didn't like my class."

"I only casted one spell per encounter and had 6 daily slots left, so Mage's must be balanced right?"

Yeah... they are deluding themselves if they thought all the feedback was useful or even accurate...



1st example...player likes to be powerful.

2nd example...player does not like to die too easily.

3rd example...player is concerned with balance between casters and non-casters.


WotC does get to see what makes someone like or dislike a feature, and obviously that's what they wanted to determine from the playtest.     If they get a ton of people who report that they love one shotting foes, they will figure out a way that it can be done.   It may be as simple as having enough monsters in the monster manual that have 4 or less hit points.     If they find out that players don't like to die from 1 unlucky blow, they can balance the math so that at level attacks against the PC will not take them out in 1 hit...maybe they'll even come up with ways that PCs can avoid taking critical hits if they expend some resource.     I think they have received a lot of important information.   They don't want us to make the game.   They want to make it.   They just needed us (an aggregate of all playtesters not just ones that post on the forums) to confirm what makes us happy and what ticks us off.


I do hope they use good math people to help them balance and calibrate though.    I'd vote for you and Cyber-Dave to run math.  



Actually if you paid attention to the surveys they literally don't ask you why you liked something, just to rate it on a scale of whether you liked it or hated it.

In other words they asked and got:

Did you like the Fighters power attack?
"I killed an Orc with one hit, this feature is awesome."
Really Liked

Do you like the Rogue?
"I got shanked by a Goblin and died because it rolled too high, I didn't like my class."
Really Disliked

Did you like the casting mechanism of the Mage?
"I only casted one spell per encounter and had 6 daily slots left, so Mage's must be balanced right?"
Loved it.

That's what I'm saying they got. In other words bad surveys and bad math and they somehow think they got the full picture of what people want in a D&D game.

I say they don't know what they are talking about...
"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.

Unfortunately without good math, most of the feedback is worthless.



Absolutely correct.

It's fine to run broad surveys about concepts like "Do you want vancian casting?" or "How deadly should critical hits be?"

What they should seriously be doing is posting up design principles on the forum and having people try to disprove them so they can see how thier math is doing. Something like "No PC class should be able to one-shot kill an equal level monster more than 75% of the time." Then let people post examples that break the design principle.

It's not particualrly hard to balance the math out. 
Well, I guess we can finally put complaining about the math to rest. Also, we now know what the majority of the D&D communities preferences are. I disagreed with a few of those points (chiefly the one about balance on an adventure/campaign scale) but clearly that is what the results are saying.



Unfortunately without good math, most of the feedback is worthless.

"I killed an Orc with one hit, this feature is awesome."

"I got shanked by a Goblin and died because it rolled too high, I didn't like my class."

"I only casted one spell per encounter and had 6 daily slots left, so Mage's must be balanced right?"

Yeah... they are deluding themselves if they thought all the feedback was useful or even accurate...



1st example...player likes to be powerful.

2nd example...player does not like to die too easily.

3rd example...player is concerned with balance between casters and non-casters.


WotC does get to see what makes someone like or dislike a feature, and obviously that's what they wanted to determine from the playtest.     If they get a ton of people who report that they love one shotting foes, they will figure out a way that it can be done.   It may be as simple as having enough monsters in the monster manual that have 4 or less hit points.     If they find out that players don't like to die from 1 unlucky blow, they can balance the math so that at level attacks against the PC will not take them out in 1 hit...maybe they'll even come up with ways that PCs can avoid taking critical hits if they expend some resource.     I think they have received a lot of important information.   They don't want us to make the game.   They want to make it.   They just needed us (an aggregate of all playtesters not just ones that post on the forums) to confirm what makes us happy and what ticks us off.


I do hope they use good math people to help them balance and calibrate though.    I'd vote for you and Cyber-Dave to run math.  


thats what it sounds like they were aiming for, yep. Now, a solid argument could be made that it was not an efficient way to go about designing the game. But it would not amount to much, because whether we think it was a terrible approach or a great one doesnt make a difference. That's the way they are doing it, and no amount of us criticizing that decision here is going to change that.

I have to admit I laughed my ass off reading that post. Reading between the lines he pretty much said, "Oh, and all you 4vengers who hate Next, we've been totally ignoring your forum posts for the last 9 months. Sorry we didn't tell you before you did all that typing."

This was the money quote:
 I also believe that D&D had wandered away from what players are looking for from it.

 
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
You thought they were reading anything in this cesspool? Our opinions are all far too passionate to give them any useful, objective feedback.
"It's the final countdown!"
*start playing some long intro rock music* 

The end is near. Soon we will see the final form and more people raging over the changes.

And I, the min-maxer will try to find new broken combos in the last playtest packet.  
If this was all about nailing the feel of D&D then it failed.  I have no idea how the game is going to feel.  There was talk of inspiration but we haven't seen it.  There was talk of down time rules, but we haven't seen it.  They talk about tools for building encounters but we haven't seen it.  The math has always been broken so we haven't even seen how combat is going to feel.  We have apprentice levels and everyone hates them, will we have to live with that feel?  Skills are in limbo.  Disarm, trip and sunder are gone, is basic attack only the feel?


+1


I think they've been saying that we'll get to see a lot of these things in the next (final) packet. I sure hope we do. Of course, this means it's feedback will have the most influence on the final form of the game. 
Heck, if they get too much bad feedback, they might even release another packet with the changes.
I'd wait it out until this next packet, and see where it goes from there. 
I'll tell you what I am reading out of that article:

1.  They are telling us that "no they really do know better then we do what we really want".  The things they have 'learned' are the assumptions they all had at the start of the public playtest.  We "aren't edition warriors"?  Really?  That doesn't jibe not only with my experiences on any of the rpg public boards, but it also doesn't jibe what what I am seeing overall.

2.  The math and the abusive combinations are the one thing you absolutely want the most eyes on.  There is tremendous computing power in having thousands of tables try out your rules.  Such an audience and an will find every possible flaw and a few you might not realize are flaws.  It i9s well known that the Charp OP people on an internal playtest found every flaw in 4e that hampered the game for a full year out of release....but were promptly ignored.

Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.  Without knowing how on a quantative level things fit together, it's impossible to get any meaningful feedback on the feel of any given mechanic.  If you think otherwise, you are simply kidding yourself and IMSNHO, the Devs are doing a lot of that....kidding themselves.

-Polaris
I can't wait to see lokiare's super awesome pefect game, being sold at DrivethroughRPG.net.

Though I thought that was 13th Age, which was the perfect game.  But of course, now we are all able to look at it, and see that's it's full of "Mother may I", and depends entirely on the DM and player's being on the same page on everythign from the overall story, to individual charachter powers.  (Which btw, does sound like a fun game to me, but I can't imagine those who think that DndNext is throwing 4e under the bus, would actually enjoy)


As for this Legend's and Lore... I will admit I'm rather disastisfied.  I think there was only 1 or 2 sentences with new information in it. (And they were not very informative sentences at that) 
Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.



Yeah, I wish Mearls had told us we were just supposed to be gauging the feel of the game, and not actually playtest the playtest package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at any point in the playtest did they tell us that it was primarily a "how does it feel?" process, and not an "examine the numbers" process? IIRC, they've always said "We'll fix the math in the future", but never qualified it as "after the public playtest ends."

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

Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.



Yeah, I wish Mearls had told us we were just supposed to be gauging the feel of the game, and not actually playtest the playtest package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at any point in the playtest did they tell us that it was primarily a "how does it feel?" process, and not an "examine the numbers" process? IIRC, they've always said "We'll fix the math in the future", but never qualified it as "after the public playtest ends."

Yes, they told us they were playtesting the "feel the of the game" and not much else.


For example in this article:

www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/2013/05/...

"It’s also really important for that first couple levels to make sure that we’re true to what D&D is, so whether you’re playing a computer game, a board game, any sort of version of D&D, there’s a shared view of what a fighter is, what a cleric is. That’s really more about managing the complexity. There are some changes to a couple of our character classes, tying into the idea about making sure that the fighter and the rogue have clear roles in the world… We’re trying to make the language of D&D more evocative, and make sure it’s consistent."


How has player feedback from the playtest changed what you thought the final rules might look like?


I thought we’d be looking at a lot more of the mechanical elements, where people would say ‘Hey, I played fourth edition or I played first and I need a lot of these specific rules to make the game work for me.’ Instead what we’re seeing is that people have this vision of D&D that’s independent of what rules that they play or what editions that they started with.


I think we’re finding consistently that it’s the story element, it’s that idea of what a character is, that’s really important. And the mechanics, as long as they are easy to understand and easy to use, they just kind of have to go in the background. What people really want is to be able to make an evocative character. To play through an interesting story, to be really engaged in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. The mechanics are really just a means to an end. So having like powers versus feats versus whatever other new thing we could add doesn’t really interest people anywhere near as much as the feeling of being able to create a really cool dungeon, or exploring and having a great time and making a really interesting funny story.


I was really worried going in, a year ago before we started the open playtest that we would find that if you started with fourth edition and  that’s all you’ve known, that there’s no way we could make you happy, compared to someone who started with second edition. And instead what we’re finding is that the essence of Dungeons and Dragons, and what’s important to people, is the ability to sit down with your friends and share an adventure, to get really immersed into a fantasy world. And the rules should really just be something that’s on hand for players who ant them to help make an interesting character –they kind of what the rules to fade into the background. They’re not coming to D&D saying oh, I need mechanics.


That’s actually been really encouraging. It’s made our job a lot easier than I was worried it would be."





 
Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.



Yeah, I wish Mearls had told us we were just supposed to be gauging the feel of the game, and not actually playtest the playtest package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at any point in the playtest did they tell us that it was primarily a "how does it feel?" process, and not an "examine the numbers" process? IIRC, they've always said "We'll fix the math in the future", but never qualified it as "after the public playtest ends."

Yes, they told us they were playtesting the "feel the of the game" and nothing else.   



Which is entirely pointless without the right math to back it up...
"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.
Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.



Yeah, I wish Mearls had told us we were just supposed to be gauging the feel of the game, and not actually playtest the playtest package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at any point in the playtest did they tell us that it was primarily a "how does it feel?" process, and not an "examine the numbers" process? IIRC, they've always said "We'll fix the math in the future", but never qualified it as "after the public playtest ends."

Yes, they told us they were playtesting the "feel the of the game" and nothing else.   



Not initially they didn't.  They only started to sing that tune when more and more people complained about the lack of an underlying foundational (mathematic) structure.  They were wrong then and they are wrong now.  They've essentially wasted a year and a half because in getting the "math right" now, they are going to have to tear everything down and rebuilt it and it's almost guaranteed they will miss something in the process.

This is why you do the math FIRST.

Not only that but during this process, you want as many testers stress-testing your system as possible.  There is a tremendous amount of computing power inherent in having thousands of people try something out.

-Polaris
Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.



Yeah, I wish Mearls had told us we were just supposed to be gauging the feel of the game, and not actually playtest the playtest package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at any point in the playtest did they tell us that it was primarily a "how does it feel?" process, and not an "examine the numbers" process? IIRC, they've always said "We'll fix the math in the future", but never qualified it as "after the public playtest ends."

Yes, they told us they were playtesting the "feel the of the game" and nothing else.   



Which is entirely pointless without the right math to back it up...



Indeed.  This should be obvious to anyone that's actually designed anything.

-Polaris
Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.



Yeah, I wish Mearls had told us we were just supposed to be gauging the feel of the game, and not actually playtest the playtest package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at any point in the playtest did they tell us that it was primarily a "how does it feel?" process, and not an "examine the numbers" process? IIRC, they've always said "We'll fix the math in the future", but never qualified it as "after the public playtest ends."

Yes, they told us they were playtesting the "feel the of the game" and not much else.


For example in this article:

www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/2013/05/...

"It’s also really important for that first couple levels to make sure that we’re true to what D&D is, so whether you’re playing a computer game, a board game, any sort of version of D&D, there’s a shared view of what a fighter is, what a cleric is. That’s really more about managing the complexity. There are some changes to a couple of our character classes, tying into the idea about making sure that the fighter and the rogue have clear roles in the world… We’re trying to make the language of D&D more evocative, and make sure it’s consistent."


How has player feedback from the playtest changed what you thought the final rules might look like?


I thought we’d be looking at a lot more of the mechanical elements, where people would say ‘Hey, I played fourth edition or I played first and I need a lot of these specific rules to make the game work for me.’ Instead what we’re seeing is that people have this vision of D&D that’s independent of what rules that they play or what editions that they started with.


I think we’re finding consistently that it’s the story element, it’s that idea of what a character is, that’s really important. And the mechanics, as long as they are easy to understand and easy to use, they just kind of have to go in the background. What people really want is to be able to make an evocative character. To play through an interesting story, to be really engaged in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. The mechanics are really just a means to an end. So having like powers versus feats versus whatever other new thing we could add doesn’t really interest people anywhere near as much as the feeling of being able to create a really cool dungeon, or exploring and having a great time and making a really interesting funny story.


I was really worried going in, a year ago before we started the open playtest that we would find that if you started with fourth edition and  that’s all you’ve known, that there’s no way we could make you happy, compared to someone who started with second edition. And instead what we’re finding is that the essence of Dungeons and Dragons, and what’s important to people, is the ability to sit down with your friends and share an adventure, to get really immersed into a fantasy world. And the rules should really just be something that’s on hand for players who ant them to help make an interesting character –they kind of what the rules to fade into the background. They’re not coming to D&D saying oh, I need mechanics.


That’s actually been really encouraging. It’s made our job a lot easier than I was worried it would be."





 

I edited my post, and didn't realize that 5 people had allready responded... so here I'm quoting the post again.


The details of the math is NOT important.  That is one of the things they LEARNED from the playtest.

the majority of 120,000 people dissagree with you  lokiare.  Please stop repeating the same thing over and over again, hoping it will become true.


To re-state this again...  Mearls and company ASSUMED that MATH and MECHANICS were the most important part of designing D&D.   That is, at first they agreed with the "go math" people.   However, after a year of playtesting, they learned that the Math and Mechanics were NOT the most important part of getting the feel of D&D correct.
Our playtest emphasis is now changing to the repetitive grind of balancing out the math and finding and dispelling abusive combinations. We'll continue to work with a big list of testers, but our needs are such that we require focused, directed play to drive our results. Frankly, that kind of testing can be fairly boring. It also mandates a level of feedback that is more detailed and demands more work than the testing done so far.



What is up with the idea that a public playtest can't help with math or specific rules? They totally depended on internal playtesting leading up to 4e, and look what happened. It took the public, once the game was released, about 10 minutes to figure out that the math behind skill challenges was fundamentally flawed, that the monster math was off, etc. And what have the internal playtesters been doing all this time? The game has been in development internally for like 2 years now, maybe more. And yet, only now are they finally admitting that the math is messed up and promosing to fix it.


You like that every class has the potential to contribute in most situations, but you're OK with some classes being better at certain things if that fits the class's image. You see balance on a larger, adventure-based or campaign-based scale.



In other words, it's okay for fighters to dominate combat, but to totally suck at the other 2/3 of the game: exploration and interaction. Because, you can totally balance across pillars, as long as you look at things on a campaign-based scale!...  Ugh.

Is this really what the playtesters have been telling you guys? It's kind of odd, because I don't remember being asked that question in any of the surveys.


You aren't edition warriors. You want the game to support a variety play styles in equal measure. You're not attached to any specific ways of doing things as long as the game works.



I agree with the first two sentences, but the third sentence is way off the mark. 4e "worked", and yet WotC lost most of its gamers to another game company because they didn't like how it did things. To say that most people don't care how the game works as long as it does work is just... wrong. People do want the game to support multiple playstyles, but only as long as it supports theirs. If it doesn't, they'll just find another game that does!
Our playtest emphasis is now changing to the repetitive grind of balancing out the math and finding and dispelling abusive combinations. We'll continue to work with a big list of testers, but our needs are such that we require focused, directed play to drive our results. Frankly, that kind of testing can be fairly boring. It also mandates a level of feedback that is more detailed and demands more work than the testing done so far.



What is up with the idea that a public playtest can't help with math or specific rules? They totally depended on internal playtesting leading up to 4e, and look what happened. It took the public, once the game was released, about 10 minutes to figure out that the math behind skill challenges was fundamentally flawed, that the monster math was off, etc. And what have the internal playtesters been doing all this time? The game has been in development internally for like 2 years now, maybe more. And yet, only now are they finally admitting that the math is messed up and promosing to fix it.


You like that every class has the potential to contribute in most situations, but you're OK with some classes being better at certain things if that fits the class's image. You see balance on a larger, adventure-based or campaign-based scale.



In other words, it's okay for fighters to dominate combat, but to totally suck at the other 2/3 of the game: exploration and interaction. Because, you can totally balance across pillars, as long as you look at htings on a campaign-based scale!...  Ugh.

Is this really what the playtesters have been telling you guys? It's kind of odd, because I don't remember being asked that question in any of the surveys.


You aren't edition warriors. You want the game to support a variety play styles in equal measure. You're not attached to any specific ways of doing things as long as the game works.



I agree with the first sentence, but the second sentence is way off the mark. 4e "worked", and yet WotC lost most of its gamers to another game company because they didn't like how it did things. To say that most people don't care how the game works as long as it does work is just... wrong. People do want the game to support multiple playstyles, but only as long as it supports theirs. If it doesn't, they'll just find another game that does!

Odds are, Paizo won lots of customers because of their better Adventures and stories. Not their really bad 3.5 mechanics
1.  They are telling us that "no they really do know better then we do what we really want".  The things they have 'learned' are the assumptions they all had at the start of the public playtest.



+1

Ok, I'm going to stop posting.  This podcast needs to be listened to.  They explain this LEgends and Lore article, much better than how they wrote it.

www.thetomeshow.com/2013/08/18/gencon-20... 

The details of the math is NOT important.  That is one of the things they LEARNED from the playtest.

the majority of 120,000 people dissagree with you  lokiare.  Please stop repeating the same thing over and over again, hoping it will become true.



And they are wrong.  They are wrong because decades of game design experience (almost fourty years of it in fact) have shown that it's wrong.  Now, if you tell me that a lot of people don't care about the math (as long as it seems to work),  then sure, I'll give you that.  However, if the game is published with broken math, I assure you that people will care.  What's more, people don't buy a home because it's foundation is solid and it's got the best support beams, but I damn well wouldn't want to buy a house WITHOUT a foundation.

See the difference?  The designers apparently don't get it.  Also saying 120,000 people disagree is a gross mischaracterization.  There may have been 120,000 listed on the playtest, but how many are:

1. unique accounts.
2. Actually active in returning surveys?

I would gess that about 1:100 at best fill both categories.  I notice (I wonder who else has) that while Wotc shouts the size of the ids on it's playtest list to the world, it's very, very quiet about the number that actually are active and bother to return surveys.....

-Polaris
Odds are, Paizo won lots of customers because of their better Adventures and stories. Not their really bad 3.5 mechanics



I know quite a few people that play with the Pathfinder rules that don't use Paizo's setting or adventures.

The details of the math is NOT important.  That is one of the things they LEARNED from the playtest.

the majority of 120,000 people dissagree with you  lokiare.  Please stop repeating the same thing over and over again, hoping it will become true.



And they are wrong.  They are wrong because decades of game design experience (almost fourty years of it in fact) have shown that it's wrong.  Now, if you tell me that a lot of people don't care about the math (as long as it seems to work),  then sure, I'll give you that.  However, if the game is published with broken math, I assure you that people will care.  What's more, people don't buy a home because it's foundation is solid and it's got the best support beams, but I damn well wouldn't want to buy a house WITHOUT a foundation.

See the difference?  The designers apparently don't get it.  Also saying 120,000 people disagree is a gross mischaracterization.  There may have been 120,000 listed on the playtest, but how many are:

1. unique accounts.
2. Actually active in returning surveys?

I would gess that about 1:100 at best fill both categories.  I notice (I wonder who else has) that while Wotc shouts the size of the ids on it's playtest list to the world, it's very, very quiet about the number that actually are active and bother to return surveys.....

-Polaris

Listen to the podcast I just posted.  About 10 - 15 minutes in.  They are very explicit about what they thought going in, and what they learned from the playtest.

The details of the math is NOT important.  That is one of the things they LEARNED from the playtest.

the majority of 120,000 people dissagree with you  lokiare.  Please stop repeating the same thing over and over again, hoping it will become true.



And they are wrong.  They are wrong because decades of game design experience (almost fourty years of it in fact) have shown that it's wrong.  Now, if you tell me that a lot of people don't care about the math (as long as it seems to work),  then sure, I'll give you that.  However, if the game is published with broken math, I assure you that people will care.  What's more, people don't buy a home because it's foundation is solid and it's got the best support beams, but I damn well wouldn't want to buy a house WITHOUT a foundation.

See the difference?  The designers apparently don't get it.  Also saying 120,000 people disagree is a gross mischaracterization.  There may have been 120,000 listed on the playtest, but how many are:

1. unique accounts.
2. Actually active in returning surveys?

I would gess that about 1:100 at best fill both categories.  I notice (I wonder who else has) that while Wotc shouts the size of the ids on it's playtest list to the world, it's very, very quiet about the number that actually are active and bother to return surveys.....

-Polaris

Listen to the podcast I just posted.  About 10 - 15 minutes in.  They are very explicit about what they thought going in, and what they learned from the playtest.



I don't care if JC himself can down from heaven to tell me that water isn't wet.  I happen to know it is.  The same applies to DOING THE MATH FIRST.  The Devs are wrong.  Period.  End. Of. Discussion.

-Polaris
Not only that, but what they are really telling us is that we've wasted more than a year of our time.



Yeah, I wish Mearls had told us we were just supposed to be gauging the feel of the game, and not actually playtest the playtest package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at any point in the playtest did they tell us that it was primarily a "how does it feel?" process, and not an "examine the numbers" process? IIRC, they've always said "We'll fix the math in the future", but never qualified it as "after the public playtest ends."

Yes, they told us they were playtesting the "feel the of the game" and nothing else.   



Not initially they didn't.  They only started to sing that tune when more and more people complained about the lack of an underlying foundational (mathematic) structure.  They were wrong then and they are wrong now.  They've essentially wasted a year and a half because in getting the "math right" now, they are going to have to tear everything down and rebuilt it and it's almost guaranteed they will miss something in the process.

This is why you do the math FIRST.

Not only that but during this process, you want as many testers stress-testing your system as possible.  There is a tremendous amount of computing power inherent in having thousands of people try something out.

-Polaris


You know what? You're right! You've been right all along, and we are all so impressed at how much you won! We're sorry we ever doubted you, you always knew what was best for the game, what were we all thinking?

And yet, none of that matters because as bad and wrong as those horrible people at WotC are, it doesn't change the fact that this is the way they've been designing the game for over a year, and its the way they're going to keep doing it until the game is finished. You can accept that and play the game they are making, or you can take your ball and go home. But they are not going to see the error of their ways and design it the way you want them to, no matter how right you are. Deal with it.

The details of the math is NOT important.  That is one of the things they LEARNED from the playtest.

the majority of 120,000 people dissagree with you  lokiare.  Please stop repeating the same thing over and over again, hoping it will become true.



And they are wrong.  They are wrong because decades of game design experience (almost fourty years of it in fact) have shown that it's wrong.  Now, if you tell me that a lot of people don't care about the math (as long as it seems to work),  then sure, I'll give you that.  However, if the game is published with broken math, I assure you that people will care.  What's more, people don't buy a home because it's foundation is solid and it's got the best support beams, but I damn well wouldn't want to buy a house WITHOUT a foundation.

See the difference?  The designers apparently don't get it.  Also saying 120,000 people disagree is a gross mischaracterization.  There may have been 120,000 listed on the playtest, but how many are:

1. unique accounts.
2. Actually active in returning surveys?

I would gess that about 1:100 at best fill both categories.  I notice (I wonder who else has) that while Wotc shouts the size of the ids on it's playtest list to the world, it's very, very quiet about the number that actually are active and bother to return surveys.....

-Polaris

Listen to the podcast I just posted.  About 10 - 15 minutes in.  They are very explicit about what they thought going in, and what they learned from the playtest.



I don't care if JC himself can down from heaven to tell me that water isn't wet.  I happen to know it is.  The same applies to DOING THE MATH FIRST.  The Devs are wrong.  Period.  End. Of. Discussion.

-Polaris

Where can I buy your game?