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[Anti-4e] 4e sucks!

hackmastergeneral

Pope of Chili Town
Validated User
It would explain it to some degree if the responses weren't invariably so extreme, regardless of circumstances.

It would be one thing if I'd been the one to actually broach the subject (which I was not), or if I had been using it as an insult. But I was neutral. And yet, not only was the response the same as if I'd been using it as an insult, my motivations have been called into question.
No, it wasn't. My response, the first to you, was in no way a response to an insult. Your continued attempts to paint yourself as an aggrieved party are doing more to call your own motivations into question than anything else anyone here has done.

The person who "broached the subject" was doing so in a joking fashion. Not a true "broaching of the subject", as you are claiming.

Noone's called your motivations into question, directly. The thing is, once again, you are fighting a battle against posting history.
 

hackmastergeneral

Pope of Chili Town
Validated User
In other words: would a hypothetical attempt to appeal to electronic gamers necessarily make the game system a "bad" one? I would argue not.
No, it wouldn't.

Listen you need some perspective. There was a fellow, RSC, who had a very particular history with 4ed. WOTC was asked the "WoW" question, and their response was "of course we looked at the most successful video game rpg to see if there was any inspiration we could take from it to enhance and improve our game. We'd be stupid not to". He argued, quite vehemently, that the mere CONSIDERATION of WoW by WOTC meant 4ed was the worst most stupid game ever. Not that the game DID play like WoW, that the mere CONSIDERATION, even if they determined there was nothing they could take from it, was enough to poison the game. It was one of the most vitriolic exchanges I've seen around this forum, and it continued for some time (he was VERY anti-4ed).

And that was merely the most extreme example.
 
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Jet Bastard

Active member
Validated User
No, it wouldn't.

Listen you need some perspective. There was a fellow, I think it was John Wick (someone correct me), who had a very particular history with 4ed. WOTC was asked the "WoW" question, and their response was "of course we looked at the most successful video game rpg to see if there was any inspiration we could take from it to enhance and improve our game. We'd be stupid not to". He argued, quite vehemently, that the mere CONSIDERATION of WoW by WOTC meant 4ed was the worst most stupid game ever. Not that the game DID play like WoW, that the mere CONSIDERATION, even if they determined there was nothing they could take from it, was enough to poison the game. It was one of the most vitriolic exchanges I've seen around this forum, and it continued for some time (he was VERY anti-4ed).

And that was merely the most extreme example.
If I had to guess, I'd say you're thinking of WalkerERP.
 

Arevashti

Aspiring World-Builder
Validated User
No, it wasn't. My response, the first to you, was in no way a response to an insult.
You know, you're right. While it was a flat denial, perhaps I read a bit more indignation into it than was there. I'm willing to admit as much.

The same can't be said of your later posts.

Your continued attempts to paint yourself as an aggrieved party are doing more to call your own motivations into question than anything else anyone here has done.
I am no more attempting to "paint myself as the aggrieved party" than is anyone else here.

And I'm sure there's some dubious behavior for which I could call you out. But I'll refrain.

The person who "broached the subject" was doing so in a joking fashion. Not a true "broaching of the subject", as you are claiming.
Mocking or not, it was brought up. Twice, no less.

Noone's called your motivations into question, directly.
I'd disagree on that count, but we'll skip that.

The thing is, once again, you are fighting a battle against posting history.
We all are.

No, it wouldn't.

Listen you need some perspective. There was a fellow, I think it was John Wick (someone correct me), who had a very particular history with 4ed. WOTC was asked the "WoW" question, and their response was "of course we looked at the most successful video game rpg to see if there was any inspiration we could take from it to enhance and improve our game. We'd be stupid not to". He argued, quite vehemently, that the mere CONSIDERATION of WoW by WOTC meant 4ed was the worst most stupid game ever. Not that the game DID play like WoW, that the mere CONSIDERATION, even if they determined there was nothing they could take from it, was enough to poison the game. It was one of the most vitriolic exchanges I've seen around this forum, and it continued for some time (he was VERY anti-4ed).

And that was merely the most extreme example.
All right, then. I was unaware of that exchange. That's not what I was trying to get at, at all.

Again: I disagree, quite strongly, that taking hypothetical cues from video games necessarily makes the system inferior.
 
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ExoKnight

Registered User
Validated User
For reference that is John Wick's review of D&D 4e.


D&D 4E


Jared's keen insight into roleplaying games changed the way I wrote games. He didn't change the way I played or ran games, but he made me realize I could write games the way I ran them.

See, if truth be told, first edition L5R looked absolutely nothing like the way I ran it. My style of Game Mastering has always been very loose. I encouraged player feedback. I seldom, if ever, used dice. In fact, I only ever used dice if I didn't know what should happen next. I gave players NPCs to run on their own, encouraged them to contribute to the world with suggestions and used narrative techniques that would make most roleplayers wig out. In fact, most did wig out until they figured out what was going on, and then, they jumped on board the train and never looked back.

Reading Jared's work taught me that I could write a game with the same philosophies I was using to run them. I could not have done this at AEG. In fact, the staff at AEG was moving closer to a more traditional RPG approach while I was moving in a far less conventional one. I was tired of making compromises in the games, tired of putting in rules that would discourage cheating or wankery, tired of forcing cliches into the world to satisfy D&D tropes.

(Yes, like guys in armor walking around a swashbuckling RPG.)

I met Jared at exactly the right time. I'd just finished Orkworld--my transition game from "big games" to "little games." We had a long talk at a convention about game design and I found him to be insightful, funny and damn scary. Scary because what he was saying made perfect sense, but I didn't understand what he was saying at all. Yes, that's a contradiction. If you've never met Jared, you don't get it. If you have, you understand exactly what I mean.

I listened to him talk, but it wasn't until I actually read what he designed that everything clicked. I really could make games the way I ran them. I really could. And then came the daunting task of trying it.

All of this is leading to a very important topic I've been waiting to discuss for some time. Something I've been holding off until I had exactly the right words. And, strangely enough, a gmail chat with Jared finally gave me the words to say exactly what I mean.

You see, I've had the D&D 4E box set on my shelf for a long time. I read through it. I liked a lot of advice I found in the DM's Guide, but reading it was like walking through a maze of mirrors: it's all things I've seen before. A lot of it read like Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering and the dozens of indie games I have on my shelf. Stuff about narrative control, stuff about player empowerment, stuff about spotlight... I mean, yeah. I've seen this before. In fact, I wrote a lot of it for the L5R and 7th Sea GM sections. And I wrote those books a decade ago. I'm glad they put it in the DMG: this may be the first time D&D players ever see it... but I don't think it will affect the way people play D&D at all. I mean, you can give all the narrative advice in the world, but if your game is still about kicking down the door, killing the ork and taking his stuff, that's exactly what players are going to do.

Which brings me to the Player's Handbook.

Reading this book and reading the DMG is a lot like reading two different roleplaying games. One of them rewards killin' shit and the other encourages roleplaying. Now, granted, those two goals are not mutually exclusive, but pay close attention to my wording here. One of them rewards killin' shit and the other encourages roleplaying. The mechanics do not reward slowing down the game to have talking time.

But that isn't what I really want to say about 4E is something a bit different. 4E feels a lot like a summer movie blockbuster to me. A whole lot of flash and not a lot of substance. More than that, though, D&D 4E doesn't move game design forward at all. There isn't anything innovative or new or daring. In fact, the game itself is... what's the right word?

Oh, yeah. Bland.

When 3E first came out, I said it felt like the design team had been playing Diablo. I'm not the first to say this, but I'll confirm the reports: this version feels like the design team has been playing World of Warcraft. That isn't insight on my part: I'm just confirming it. And that's a symptom of my chief problem with it. The game doesn't feel at all inspired. It feels... adequate.

Adequate. Sufficient. Satisfactory. What's more, it doesn't feel like any fun. Quite simply, there are no risks in the game design. Everything is perfectly safe.

You would think with a ton of money, time and manpower, the most powerful roleplaying game company in the world could design something that was at least a bit more spicy than oatmeal. Now, there's nothing wrong with oatmeal, but nobody eats just oatmeal. You eat what an ex-girlfriend of mine called "oatmeal with..." Oatmeal with honey, oatmeal with sugar, oatmeal with fruit. But this feels like the oatmeal except someone forgot to add the "with."

The real question--the real test--I think, is asking this: "Will this change how gamers play D&D?" The answer, I feel, is "No." They will continue to play the same game, except with different dice tricks. They may as well be playing GURPS or Hero. It's just another generic system designed to produce generic results from a generic fantasy world using the most safe choices possible so they will offend the least number of players.

And that's the part that really disappoints me. I like comparing the Watchmen novel to the Watchmen movie in terms of manpower and money. One of them cost a far less amount of cash, a far less amount of time and a far less amount of resources. The authors had near complete control over the content and the result was a book that's regarded as a classic of human creative endeavor. The other spent a fortune that's the equivalent of the GNP of some countries and produced something... adequate.

D&D 4E feels like that. Given the same amount of time, money and manpower, I think of what Greg Stafford would have made. Or Robin Laws. Or that punk Jared Sorensen. And, frankly, I get kind of weepy. A game that probably cost more than a million dollars to make and it's just oatmeal. It doesn't suck. It isn't a bad game. It's a good game, in fact. It does exactly what it says it does.

But that's all it does. And, to me, that's just a little sad.
 

Arevashti

Aspiring World-Builder
Validated User
I can't say that I entirely disagree with that review, and I only see a brief mention of electronic games. But I take it this represents the reviewer's previous attitude mellowing considerably?
 
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Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
I can't say that I entirely disagree with that review, and I only see a brief mention of electronic games. But I take it this represents the reviewer's previous attitude mellowing considerably?
No, as was mentioned earlier it's more likely that the poster who completely flipped his shit was walkererp (who has since been banned from posting in D&D Open), not John Wick.
 

Flawless Glory of Silence

New member
Banned
Well there are equivalents of flashbangs, smoke grenades (not a bad thing). I have this hunch they were in at least one previous edition though.

Wasn't there a vehicle that used terminology such as crew?

Are you sure 4e isn't going to move towards Advanced Squad Leader levels of play? With dragons instead of tanks and squares instead of hexagonals?
I would pay hard cash monies for Advanced Orc Leader. No joke.
 
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