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[4E] Insights on the It's-Like-WoW issue

Bradford C. Walker

New member
Banned
Playing a 5-man dungeon in WOW and playing in a similar-sized D&D4 group produces similar gameplay experiences; experience in WOW is transferable, down to jargon, without much loss of information transmission due to the similar role and power structures as well as the similar theory and use of NPCs (hostile and otherwise). It's so close as to make all of the tabletop people in my main guild, with one exception, forswear it entirely.
 

Leif Hellmann

Retired User
Sigh...

4e = WoW
3e = Diablo 2
2e = Final Fantasy
AD&D/0D&D = Pong? Pac-man? Gauntlet?
This is a good point, I think, though I don't feel Dialo II in 3e. But, Video games and Pen-and-paper Rpg's have been trading ideas since the beginning. You guys have got to have heard of "Rogue" right? Probably the first graphic video game and it was based off D&D dungeon-crawling. Check it out:

http://www.fanpop.com/external/1422836

Awesome!

Anyways, while I can see the rules aspect of the WoW/4e arguement, but for me I think that the real cause goes straight to the artwork. In the PHB, look at the picture of the Warlord, with the big shoulder pads. The other classes indeed look a little more epic than usual compared to 3e.

I always thought 3e showed pictures of lower level characters, while 4e seems to show higher level, epic looking characters.

just my two cents :p
 

Prince Facestab

Registered User
Validated User
Playing a 5-man dungeon in WOW and playing in a similar-sized D&D4 group produces similar gameplay experiences; experience in WOW is transferable, down to jargon, without much loss of information transmission due to the similar role and power structures as well as the similar theory and use of NPCs (hostile and otherwise). It's so close as to make all of the tabletop people in my main guild, with one exception, forswear it entirely.
I guess I could see this with a few conditions. Like, if you ran the same module every week with the same character. If some of your players were random people off the street, one of whom is blatantly racist, and at least one of whom would be drunk to the point of being incapacitated. You'd also need a terribly railroady GM, who would limit players in what they could do, and NPCs to a simple script from which they could not deviate. Also, everytime someone tries to roleplay, have someone at the table question their intelligence, sexuality, or both. Last, have someone read from a list of Chuck Norris jokes periodically.

Oh, and you'd have to burn the DMG.

Actually, one more thing. People in your WoW guild forswear 4e because it provides a similar experience to WoW? Maybe you'd better keep an eye on replacements if they hate the experience that much.

EDIT: I do like WoW, by the way. I don't mean to sound too hard on it.
 
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Bleach

Retired User
*Shrug*

I twitch when I hear the meme 4e = Wow.

4e's closest videogame analogue are he japanese tactical RPGs like Disgaea and Fire Emblem.

It's so blatantly obvious to me that when people shout 4e=WoW, it means they think Disgaea is just like WoW.

Needless to say, I'm really going to beat you over the head. It's like saying House of the Dead is just like Halo as they're both shooters.
 

Matthew

SquareMans
Validated User
I'm not sure when the last time I saw or read a video game manual was. 10 years ago at least.

The reason, from where I sit, that people say "it's like WoW" is because their friends stopped gaming and went and played WoW and they're bitter.
 

Doctor Futurity

Camazotz the Death Bat
Validated User
Thanks to Pathfinder getting me back in to 3.X I'm a bit confused these days on my feelings about 4E, which I've been GMing six times a month for the last 15 months now....

But at tonight's game I had yet another one of those moments I frequently experience during 4E combat when the ranger was doing his second wind and I couldn't help but imagine that he had a "glowing nimbus of light" around him....and an earlier power attack which knocked all enemies back three squares reminded me entirely too much of a video game ability in which with one furious swing of the sword, all polygonic enemies go flying.

Anyway, this was just the latest in a series of suspicions that the video game relationship with 4E boils down to a matter of "perceived realism." Every iteration of D&D has its curious tropes that seem to defy realism, albiet within the context of the game's internal logic, but for some reason the 4E power structure seems loaded with tons of "this could only happen in a videogame universe" moments, rather than "okay, I can see a very skille fighter doing that." So I guess, for me at least, that's where the video game relationship creeps in. WoW just gets pegged (I think) because its the easiest or most popular video game to reference these days.

Playing/running Pathfinder and C&C on the side recently has also brought this to light.....the C&C and PF games are very "comfortable" and I am surprised at how much more quickly combats are resolved in these systems....given I stopped playing 3.X in 2006 because prep time and combats were so damned long. Now, I can run a Pathfinder game with 3-5 good battles in a 5 hour session mixed with loads of role playing, while the 4E game is about 2 hours of role playing followed by one arduous 3 hour combat. How the worm has turned!
 

Beri

Only One
I say "thank goodness" to the OP. Video games face a different pressure from RPGs - all their information has to be easily accessible and understandable, and it needs to be clear how doing one thing ties to another. It's about time that got brought back home to an RPG.
So: if powers and classes look a lot like WoW, I think that's a really good thing. It means that WotC was actually paying attention over the last few years as the social gaming industry has changed.
 

Beri

Only One
Also, "It's like WoW" may just be them trying to look like they've made an intelligent insight - the same way that, whenever I show anyone a board game with hexagons, they say "This looks a lot like Settlers of Catan!" It's best to just smile and move the conversation on.
 
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