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[4e]Mike Mearls Interviewed on the Escapist

HDimagination

Building something out of Scrap
Validated User
Link.

Huh. This interview has left a kinda bad taste in my mouth. I've been pretty ambivalent about The Essentials line but if you knew nothing about D&D as a brand you would come away thinking that 4e has largely been a comercial failure and now they are hastily trying to get their audience back and I don't think that is the case.

Justin Alexander elegantly expresses many players' problems with 4E in an essay titled "Dissociated Mechanics." Alexander damned the powers mechanics and marking system in 4E because they were not simulating anything that happened in the game world. For example, why could a Rogue only pull off his fancy Daily power once per day?
This in particular strikes me as strange. Marking abilities not simulating anything? I'm sorry but even through LRPing I know that if you are enganged in a fight with some-one and they are even a half experienced warrior you will suffer if you suddenly try to attack some-one else. Why can a rouge only use a particular daily power once a day? well it simulates a particular expenditure of effort to perform a certain heroic act. Is that really so hard to get your head around?

I think what annoyes me most is that Mearls seems to come across as some what of an apologist for 4e design. In comparison the the massive, game breaking flaws in 3.X (IMHO) 4e is a paragon of good design, and it's staggaring that they are trying to sell it by highligting it's supposed flaws. I'm not saying 4E is perfect, I have some issues over combat length and status tracking for example, but this does make me worry that we are going to see a departure in subsequent 4e products.
 

Ujio

Seer of the Throne
I think he is just playing the PR role, he is selling his product nothing much more. The writer of the article is putting his slant on things and has an obvious bias that 4E is some kind of disaster and that Mike Mearls and company are backpedaling to fix things. I don't see much more then that.
 

DegenCutter

Person of No Interest
Validated User
Ugh . . . That article was so laced with an agenda it wasn't even funny. I was willing to give this Essentials business a chance, but the more I hear, the more I'm disappointed in this "new direction." As for those apologists who claim their is no new direction, Mearls himself seems to contradict that at the end of the article.

I didn't want uninteresting martial characters back, but we have them, and after that article, I'm beginning to fear that's just the tip of the iceberg. I don't really want to sound reactionary about this, and I'm sure I'll get a lot of posts denouncing my words as doomsaying, but that article makes me very depressed about the direction of 4E.

I'm no hater. I bought Heroes of the Fallen Lands and I wanted to believe that 4E would remain the game that I've enjoyed, but I liked the initial design decisions, so moving away from them just rubs me the wrong way.:(
 

Ujio

Seer of the Throne
Ugh . . . That article was so laced with an agenda it wasn't even funny. I was willing to give this Essentials business a chance, but the more I hear, the more I'm disappointed in this "new direction." As for those apologists who claim their is no new direction, Mearls himself seems to contradict that at the end of the article.

I didn't want uninteresting martial characters back, but we have them, and after that article, I'm beginning to fear that's just the tip of the iceberg. I don't really want to sound reactionary about this, and I'm sure I'll get a lot of posts denouncing my words as doomsaying, but that article makes me very depressed about the direction of 4E.

I'm no hater. I bought Heroes of the Fallen Lands and I wanted to believe that 4E would remain the game that I've enjoyed, but I liked the initial design decisions, so moving away from them just rubs me the wrong way.:(
Well the writer also has an agenda and I am sure highlighted quotes that fit his agenda. I think it's obvious that with a new boss there would be a new direction; but that direction that far has not invalidated the material that has come before so it isn't like the old stuff is totally out the window.
 

taleswapper

Social Justice Lazy Warlord
Validated User
I think you aren't the target audience for that article. It is interesting to see Mearls walking the tightrope of designing for two different audiences.


edit: this was in response to OP
 

CleverName

nom de GM: The Bastard
Validated User
Actually, Mearls has been set up by the interviewer that way. By the time you get to Mearls' first quote the writer has painted a doom-laden picture of the most successful RPG currently in the market w/o any corroboration other than anti-4e geek rage. Not sure where the interviewer is coming from but the axe has been well ground before the interview took place...
 

Owlbear Camus

Autothrusters engaged!
Validated User
The interviewer wears his bias on his sleeve.



That said: "If you're unhappy with 4th Edition, I say take a look at Essentials and see where we're moving."

And what, Mr. Mearls, about the people who were happy with 4th edition?


Eh, I guess I'll have to chalk it up to pleasing all the people all the time, and the difficulty of doing so.

It was kind of odd for Mearls to simply accept the assertion agree that it's weird for fighters to have dailies.

I think people would react more favorably to the concept if it were presented a bit differently, explicitly as a sort of "plot point" system where you purchase narrative control to "set up" an enemy for your big, showy attack. That's generally how I view dailies on non-magic users.
 
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Ujio

Seer of the Throne
Actually, Mearls has been set up by the interviewer that way. By the time you get to Mearls' first quote the writer has painted a doom-laden picture of the most successful RPG currently in the market w/o any corroboration other than anti-4e geek rage. Not sure where the interviewer is coming from but the axe has been well ground before the interview took place...
My thoughts exactly the language is very biased.
 

Nahualt

A badder Santa
Validated User
Is Fox news writing for the escapist now? way to enforce a narrative into an interview. :p
 

Benoist Poire

New member
Banned
Well, they screwed up with 4E and its dissociated mechanics, and Mike Mearls recognizes it.

I accept the apology. Just don't do it again, please.
 
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