Results for tag: essentials
Posted by: The_Jester on Jul 15, 2012 at 04:22:45 PM
It's time again for the contract-mandated Doom 'n' Gloom entry for "Jester" David's blog.
5e is coming closer and closer with the first playtest done and the second due "sometime". Last I heard the second round was the end of summer, so late August or early September, meaning it might be the last playtest before the books have to get finished and out to the printers. So there's still time for WotC to royally F-up D&D Next, producing instead what more cynical people have called "D&D Last".
But just how could WotC turn such a hyped and positive experience built around a framework of crowd sourcing and open playtesting into a poor edition and commercial failure?
I'll tell you.
Not Enough Testing
Despite the mass public playtest, this might happen. While WotC is being silent regarding...
Posted by: The_Jester on Mar 21, 2012 at 05:22:13 PM
And now for something a little controversial: where 4e went wrong, and the mistakes WotC made.
This is a long one, be warned.
Now, this blog is not to bash the edition (much) or be unfairly negative to Wizards of the Coast. Instead, I’m viewing this as a way to establish what not to do the next time round, or at least what I think shouldn’t be done. It’s a “those who do not learn from history...” and such. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about WotC and their potential mistakes (as seen by the territory my review of the Chaos Scar blog meandered into) and looking at where the last edition failed seemed like a good idea and worthy of blogging.
But did 4e Fail?
Without sales numbers this is impossible to quantify.
If you count 3.0 and 3.5 as one...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 28, 2011 at 08:54:44 AM
I think it’s time to take a good long, hard look at controllers. What works and what does not.
I’ve looked at the roles a couple times before, dedicating this blog to assumptions of controllers, and this blog to the various roles. I’ve been thinking about this again lately, tweeting about it and even discussed it on the At-Will web-chat.
(If you haven’t tried the At-Will chat, why the heck not?? All the cool kids are doing it. And a couple weeks back Steve “WotC_Huscarl” Winter dropped by to answer question.)
When In Warcraft...
This is another blog inspired by World of Warcraft.
Control is a very minor part of that game, spread out over multiple classes. Mages can polymorph, shamans can hex, warlocks can fear, and rogues can sap. Really, every damage...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:40:00 PM
I’ve only played a little bit of D&D Encounters. My 4e groups were on hiatus and their resumption was questionable. Nothing else was going on in my life on Wednesday nights so I tried out most of the local season of Encounters and my Only Local Gaming Store.
I wasn’t really impressed.
The turn-out was poor and inconsistent, as life pulled people in and out. The timing was unforgiving. And most of the Encounters felt, well, superfluous. The local Encounters lasted only a season: the store was the second in a small, local chain of comic ‘n’ gaming stores, and the DM at the other store received the DM reward pack for their time and energy while my DM did not. It seemed arbitrary, a purposeful slight, so he opted to withdraw his DMing leaving the suburb without future...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 6, 2011 at 04:23:24 PM
Whatever are we to do about the seekers and runepriests?
These two classes, new classes out of the PHB3, are notorious for their lack of support. Struck down before their prime and relegated to second-stringer status, riding the bench for the rest of the edition. They were so heavily hyped during the build-up to PHB3 only to be forgotten and dismissed once the book had been released.
What happened? How can we stop it from happening again?
Everything Is (Not) Core
One of the tenants of the edition was that “everything is core”, there would be no secondary books with options that did not receive future support. For example, the warlock in 3e was a great class, but only saw new content in two books: Complete Arcane and Complete Mage. The four new classes in the 3e PHB2 never...
Posted by: The_Jester on May 25, 2011 at 09:21:45 AM
There is an astonishing amount of vitriol for D&D Essentials and its related products, including the newly released Heroes of Shadow. Many have dismissed HoS as an “Essentials product”, completely ignoring all of its content. There are reviews on websites that give HoS 1 star, solely because it follows the Essentials design. I find this was interesting, as not every Essentials class is different from the base classes and not all the content is incompatible. My classic 4e druid uses a utility power from Essentials (goodberry as we have a large group but only one leader, so a dash of extra healing is good).
Very little of the content seems inaccessible.
It’s interesting how a minor change that only affects some classes and content, while not being imbalanced, can be so...
Posted by: The_Jester on Apr 28, 2011 at 07:28:46 PM
In case you hadn’t heard the news, D&D is dying. The game is digging its grave while on its last legs and circling the drain of over-used mixed metaphors. WotC is preparing to launch a new edition to bolster its sales, possibly as a last-ditch effort to keep Hasbro from cancelling the product line. Meanwhile, Essentials was a badly received bomb that has greatly hurt sales as fans have rejected that product line.
Let’s look at this issue a little deeper.
First, let’s look at the issue of sagging sales. There’s little evidence to back this up as WotC does not release its sales figures. But it’s still possible to guesstimate the line’s health. From its launch, 4e was doing well but could have done better. It wasn’t as successful...
Posted by: The_Jester on Apr 15, 2011 at 05:44:35 PM
Today, I’m looking at magic items, as requested by ramius613 a little while back. I’ve mentioned magic items quite a few times, but I don’t believe I’ve dedicated an entire blog to the fail that is 4e’s magic items. Or, at least not since 2009 and this embarrassingly early blog.
I think my biggest problem comes from the inherent lack of rarity of magic items. Magic items are assumed for the math of the game. It wasn’t until the DMG2 and its addition of optional inherent bonuses – a full year into the edition – where a low(er) magic game became possible. And that rule is buried in the back of the book, hidden under a wall of text. I can never find it when I needed and often turn to the Dark Sun book where the rule was reprinted...
Posted by: The_Jester on Mar 3, 2011 at 05:32:19 PM
Indulge me, while I engage in some game mechanical fan-wanking.
I was never a big fan of the same-ish design of classes that initially came with 4e, where every class was a 3e sorcerer. Yes, I’m aware that class features can impact how a class plays, as rangers with identical powers will act completely different depending on if they use two-weapons or a bow, but that’s a corner case; most of the time how a character plays at the table depends entirely on their role and if they’re a close-range character or a long-range character. Everything else is nuance. And class features don’t change with level; a 1st level fighter has the same features as a 21st, yet plays differently.
With Essentials there’s the possibility for some fantastic creativity and diversity...
Posted by: The_Jester on Feb 25, 2011 at 04:10:11 PM
Once again, I’m returning to the topic of the Game System Licence. This is a topic I’ve discussed many times before. A couple earlier blogs can be found here and here. For your review, the GSL and SRD can be found here.
Basically, I was a big fan of the Open Game Licence of 3e, like so many others. In retrospect, it may have been a little too open, but it was revolutionary and created a whole legion of other publishers that served as a farm team for WotC. How many current staffers and freelancers cut their teeth on d20 3rd Party Products?
With 4e, the licence became much more restrictive, banning reflavouring of races and classes and alteration rules: you can add options, but not customize or tweak. This has prevented more major and creative alterations...