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tumble check
2008-07-23, 11:34 AM
Fascinated by such hotly debated opinions on the new direction of 4e, I've been scouring the internet for 4e discussion and reviews.

One of the more common comparisons often invoked (even by professional reviewers, not just forum-dwellers) is to liken 4e to MMOs. To be fair, most of these statements come from the "anti-4e" side, but I've in fact seen them come from both.

I think it's hard to deny MMOs' influences on the new Dungeons & Dragons. If anyone has seen the WotC 4e video podcast that demonstrates a 4e encounter, you'll notice that in the beginning of the video, a 4e developer is actually in his cubicle playing WoW, and is markedly recognized as so. The fact that 4e has been streamlined so much can be seen as a notable change in accessibility to gain new players as opposed to satisfying older ones, new players which are more likely to have been raised on video games and not "pen & paper" RPGs. Add that to the fact that the new D&DI is catering to a more computerized edition of D&D, and that it also costs about the same as your average MMO monthly fee, and you've got a decent conspiracy theory on your hands.

But that's not the issue I'm raising here. I was to talk about mechanics. Rules. Crunch. Whatever you want to call it. I find myself tending to agree with the points that compare 4e to MMOs, but I've been questioning myself why. Despite many attempts to explain why, there are only really 2 fairly abstract reasons that I can fathom:

1) The class roles[which are combat-only definitions] are now explicitly defined, not implicitly defined.
2) 4e is more "gamey" or "gamist" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamist) than previous editions, especially 3.5e.

However, even with these two points out there, I find that they have not really been very well exemplified in any arguments or opinions.


So here is the question for the topic that I'm hoping can result in more fact (through examples) than opinion. If you think 4e is not like an MMO, this question is not for you.

If you think that 4e feels akin to an MMO(whether that's good or not), why? Cite specific examples; the larger-scope, the better.

Thrawn183
2008-07-23, 11:54 AM
More rounds in a fight and effective in-combat healing. My experiences with 3.5 taught me that if it wasn't a Heal or Mass Heal spell, it didn't have much place in combat. In-combat healing is rather crucial from level 1 in 4e. In addition, there aren't those times where two full-round attacks on a solo monster and it goes down. A solo elite with hundreds upon hundreds of HP is going to take many rounds to go down which is similar to the bosses in WoW.

I disagree that more defined classes makes 4e feel like a morepig. I played fighters, barbarians and knights in 3.5 and felt a lot more pigeonholed than I do with 4e. Therefore while 4e may have more explicitly defined class roles, they feel a lot different to me.

Phil Lucky Cat
2008-07-23, 12:00 PM
It's a vibe thing.

When your character/arcade figure can do 5 "powers" : 1 once a day, 3 during one encounter a day, and 1 at will, I guess people look for the "fire" button on their joysticks.

The fact that each class now has a videogame like "power increase" when they go up a level... hang on, I'll quote : "Sudden Surge : Fighter Attack 7... move a number of squares equal to your dexterity bonus (minimum 1)"... I'm not even comparing it to WoW anymore. I'm looking for my Playstation controller. You start seeing these ghostly numbers hanging in front of you when you are playing... am I playing D&D or Baldur's Gate : Dark Alliance? Hold L1 and hit button "x" to move wherever my left joystick is pointed... special move!!!

And healing surges (which after an extensive forum thread, we could only collectively justify as cinematic... but I always thought as the video game version of "hitting the healing button"). And the replacement of Vancian magic with a more "points based" magic system is also in that direction.

I own 4e and think its pretty cool. But the parallels are there, as you are no doubt aware. However, the creators of 4e are trying to move the entire thing to the next level... which I think will probably be a complete video game conversion within two years at least.

Whereas the oldskoolers will still be playing 1e and 2e until the rulebooks disintegrate. We (and I am one of them) hold the entire old system pretty dear to our hearts. If Wizards convert 4e to a videogame system, they have now completed the groundwork to do so fluidly and in an awesome way. I just shudder at the idea of meeting so many leetspeakers in a fantasy setting.

Elitist? Me? :smallcool:

tumble check
2008-07-23, 12:15 PM
Then what is your response to the already-existing D&D Online?

Cybren
2008-07-23, 12:23 PM
Then what is your response to the already-existing D&D Online?

http://gapyx.com/cmt/2006/11/jay_sherman_critic_1994.jpg

That sums it up nicely.

Armoury99
2008-07-23, 12:29 PM
There are certainly some strong influences, but these aren't necessarilly a bad thing. MMOs were themselves heavilly influenced by tabletop RPGs, so the process seems nicely cyclical; different corners of our 'fantasy-hobby-thing' inspiring each other. Off the top of my head, I'd say the biggest indicators are:

- Classes designed to be entirely equal (although admittedly I think I prefered the more comnplicated dynamic of 3e). Powers that essentially are click-recharge time-click, and a lot more combat power in classes... to the extent that by the look of things its imposible to not be heavilly combat orientated.

-The move from narrative to tactical combat (i.e. battlemap almost essential now), the "more gamey feel" mentioned above sums it up nicely. The perceived move towards combat-orientated games (not sure if its accurate, D&D was always pretty light on rp rules but spellcasters have certainly lost a lot of non-combat spells).

- Roles are defined in World of Warcraft pretty much exactly like 4e

- Minor stuff like say... Breaking magic items to get magical components (a direct, err... 'homage' to WoW); the Armour Proficiencies, which sound like WoW's categories (and are diferent from previous editions), etc.

- Lack of any real non-combat information on monsters.

- Design shift towards a world that only exists as a backdrop for the PCs actions (see monsters, above), rather than a 'realistic' (internally consistent)world. D&D didn't exactly have glowing credentials in this area previously, however...

- Emphasis on online play and the "virtual gaming table" (whenever it arrives). The monthly subscription fee that will allow this is also (openly admitted by WotC) a business strategy taken direct from MMOs.

- THe perception that all of the above is designed to target the MMO audience over existing D&D fans.

Anyway, that's my two cents. At the moment I don't particularly love or hate 4e... its just a different game.

Phil Lucky Cat
2008-07-23, 12:36 PM
http://gapyx.com/cmt/2006/11/jay_sherman_critic_1994.jpg

That sums it up nicely.

Ummm, to be fair, pre-existing D&D is probably best represented by Bioware's NWN (which to borrow from freakin' leetspeakers : OWNS), and Obsidian's NWN2 (which is one of those children which... ahem... needs a little time...).

Unfortunately, WoW and its brethren have removed some of the amazing talent base of module developers that made NWN such a success, so I am not sure that the same ballistic arc of development will occur for its sequel.

I am sure (for commercial and other reasons) WotC will want to turn D&D 4e into, if not an MMO, at least something like it... my feeling about the rules is that it almost read like a handbook of "how to play this online" and is the basis of a massive (online) conversion.

Andras
2008-07-23, 12:45 PM
Ummm, to be fair, pre-existing D&D is probably best represented by Bioware's NWN (which to borrow from freakin' leetspeakers : OWNS)

...what? NWN can be fun, but it's hardly a good representation of 3E.

Phil Lucky Cat
2008-07-23, 01:03 PM
...what? NWN can be fun, but it's hardly a good representation of 3E.

Well, I still haven't found a better representation computerised of the game, virtually, than NWN. If you have, please let me know. HotU, for example, is an amazing oldskool romp through the lower planes. Plus the brilliant and extensive proliferation of both P'n'P conversions (stretching back to Gygaxian stormers and even obscure Judges Guild modules) and new content developed by volunteers that come to life in a way that I have never before and since seen in any way...

Comparatively, the NWN2 versions look a little cartoonish... no offense... it just doesn't... FEEL... right. However, as WoW may be the new paradigm, cartoonish might be the way forward... which leads me to 4e...

I think it will become THE fantasy game platform on PC's and (what I was trying to get to in my previous posts) consoles. Hit your r2 button to access your Encounter Exploits! Hammer that triangle button for your At Will exploit!

It has been consciously constructed that way. Thus the resistence (and other qualms) from some gamers.

And that's why 4e is compared to MMO's.

wodan46
2008-07-23, 01:10 PM
I have fond memories of Baldur's Gate. Was my first taste of D&D, and one of the first RPGs I ever was interested enough to play the whole way through.

RukiTanuki
2008-07-23, 01:19 PM
I was hoping to get in before the sarcasm. Alas.

Generally speaking, I have a few strong beliefs about game design:
* It's a good thing for your designers to play as many games as possible.
* It's a good thing for your designers to identify what works well within other games, and why it does so.
* It's a good thing for your designers to identify what works poorly, why it doesn't work, and what might replace it.
* It's a good thing for your designers to use good ideas.
* It's a bad thing for your designers to reject good ideas, soley on the grounds that they've been used elsewhere.
* Using the good parts of another design does not inherently imply that you automatically picked up the bad parts of said design.
* Corollary to the above: Thus, while a consensus may be reached that 4e and MMOs share common elements, this does not imply that other elements of MMOs (that work poorly in D&D) are inherently in 4e. Such statements must be demonstrated and proven.

That said, I'll dodge the rest of the silliness and hyperbole.

Phil Lucky Cat
2008-07-23, 02:05 PM
Thus, while a consensus may be reached that 4e and MMOs share common elements, this does not imply that other elements of MMOs (that work poorly in D&D) are inherently in 4e. Such statements must be demonstrated and proven.

Eh! :smalleek:

Are you saying that 4e EXCLUSIVELY picks the GOOD (i.e. D&D friendly aspects) only from MMO's and uses them for the tabletop RPG? This does imply some level of infallibility from Wizards of the Coast into the conversion into a MMO style gaming system? *confused*

I believe that 4e is actually taking a whole new direction, that is, converting the entire tabletop RPG system into a new, totally ready for computer upload RPG... that is, if, your version of an roleplaying is a new "tabletop wargaming system." First of all, they need to get us used to the new "canon" pen and paper version, before it is conveniently converted in the new form.

Which was my point of my previous post.

They are essentially changing D&D into an ready-to-be-converted-computer-version, with pencil and paper, prior to lifting the whole kit and kaboodle into a computer form. Within two (or a few) years. Believe me.

If (and I hope to God they do this, and it will kick ass) they manage to incorporate freeform versions of Bioware's conversation trees, Bethesda's absolute immersion, and some of their own chutzpah, I am sure that this will be the best computer version of an RPG ever seen. If, instead, they prefer to go for WoW's cartoonishness, Guild Wars' repetitive mission structure, and leetspeekishness freeform PvP of a World of Whatever... that will be a tragedy... changing the entire experience of Dungeons and Dragons into a pixelated cartoon of our imagination's boundless potential.

I think it CAN be done well.

It can be done in a way that you meet parties of roleplayers for amazing adventures within worlds that we can contribute to. A Dungeon Master can create a world that his group can access. And imagine the worlds that the "house/Wizards" could create that different people can referee, and play through, and build upon. MMORPG? Not so much. Instanced worlds of our own creation, either OOTB (out of the box) or home made? That, it is the very heaven. Maybe not in two years... but THAT is the aim.

However, some tabletop gamers will prefer the old version. More face-to-face character action, development, interaction. Less "uber"class action and "mutant powers" exclusive to the PC's. Some will even prefer 1e and 2e for that, and do already. There is the resistance.

Hmmph. I have been ranting. Off to bed. ;)

I do like your quote of (4e) page 42 from the DMG though... freestyle if you are a GM, please... :)

Artanis
2008-07-23, 02:17 PM
Eh! :smalleek:

Are you saying that 4e EXCLUSIVELY picks the GOOD (i.e. D&D friendly aspects) only from MMO's and uses them for the tabletop RPG? This does imply some level of infallibility from Wizards of the Coast into the conversion into a MMO style gaming system? *confused*
I don't think he was even close to implying anything like that.

He was saying that taking elements from something does NOT mean that it AUTOMATICALLY takes the worst elements from that something as well.

Now, it very well may take bad elements, but you have to prove them on a case-by-case basis. Saying "OMG, 4e takes one thing from teh MMOz so 4e is an MMO wit teh grinding and pplz azking how 2 mine 4 fish!" is idiotic, but is logically similar to what some people do.



And yes, writing that sentence made me feel dirty. I'm going to go shower now. In bleach.

Starbuck_II
2008-07-23, 02:38 PM
Don't want a debate but some ideas are wacky enough to be commented on.



- Roles are defined in World of Warcraft pretty much exactly like 4e

I thought roles were invented by players not the game in WoW.


- Minor stuff like say... Breaking magic items to get magical components (a direct, err... 'homage' to WoW); the Armour Proficiencies, which sound like WoW's categories (and are diferent from previous editions), etc.

And yet, D&D did it first. Artificer is the primary culprit.

Tis funny, that few remember this.


- Emphasis on online play and the "virtual gaming table" (whenever it arrives). The monthly subscription fee that will allow this is also (openly admitted by WotC) a business strategy taken direct from MMOs.

Buh, online play is a complaint only when DDI is finished.



- THe perception that all of the above is designed to target the MMO audience over existing D&D fans.

The only ones who mention this are the obne who think this I feel. Seems like self perpetuated destiny rumour (they think it so keep repeating it and other hear it so repeat it).


Anyway, that's my two cents. At the moment I don't particularly love or hate 4e... its just a different game.

Only wish all could be at least level. Hate is a bad thing. Leads to dark side.


Now: I feel D&D is considered morepig because morepig stole ideas from D&D.

So when the new edition was made, the ideas D&D was working on
(Vancian: dailys)/ (Bo9S?Encounter)/ (At wills/eldritch blast/melee attack) were close to other games. But D&D made the new edition anyway.

I mean, it wasn't like Book of 9 Swords wasn't created prior, but not everyone looks logically at history. Some miss information; so they forget or don't know 4th edition was already being attempted long before 3.5 was old.

I do hope they bring out a computer game like Buldar's Gate for 4th. I do hear the next Buldar's Gate is in development so here is hoping.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 02:48 PM
Okay, I've just got to actually say something, at this point.




I believe that 4e is actually taking a whole new direction, that is, converting the entire tabletop RPG system into a new, totally ready for computer upload RPG... that is, if, your version of an roleplaying is a new "tabletop wargaming system." First of all, they need to get us used to the new "canon" pen and paper version, before it is conveniently converted in the new form.

Which was my point of my previous post.
It's also blatantly ridiculous. Hey, did you know that there were some computer games made out of 2e? I think there were a couple called "Baldur's Gate" or something that people absolutely LOVED. I guess that makes the AD&D rules a VIDYA GAYM ZOMG!!!111111onkjwnrestupidstatement. And then they had this Neverwinter Nights thing for third edition? And Temple of Elemental Evil, which played turn-based and everything.

It's pretty gosh-darn hilarious to hear a guy who's reminiscing about 1e and 2e talk about how 4E is about WARGAMING OH NOES, not ROLEPLAYING, when 4e has more rules support for noncombat stuff than any of the previous editions thanks to skill challenges and DMG p.42. Meanwhile, AD&D had... ummm.... nonweapon proficiencies? I guess? CLEARLY A BRILLIANT SYSTEM FOR ROLEPLAYING GOOD SIR I AM PERSUADED



They are essentially changing D&D into an ready-to-be-converted-computer-version, with pencil and paper, prior to lifting the whole kit and kaboodle into a computer form. Within two (or a few) years. Believe me.
Why should I believe you? You sound like a conspiracy theorist. "They're going to KILL TABLETOP! And turn it into a VIDEO GAME! Because they only care about MONEY!"

There are going to be computer games that use 4E mechanics--just like Neverwinter Nights and ToEE existed for 3E and Baldur's Gate existed for 2E.


Maybe not in two years... but THAT is the aim.
No, the aim is a TABLETOP RPG. You can tell, because that's what they've actually published and that's what they're about to publish the usual swarm of splatbooks for (Martial Power, Forgotten Realms, Draconomicon, tome of treasures, I missed you, my little game-enhancing supplements... er, I don't mean steroids, there).

The only thing they're planning to release in that respect is D&D Insider's online gaming table. Suggesting that they reworked the system just to make it easier to do that is absolutely ridiculous, since online gaming tables already existed for 3E, check OpenRPG, and since the D&DI online gaming table won't even enforce the rules (for purposes of house rules, DM adjudication, etc--things that are explicitly the opposite of the "video game experience" you suggest), likening it to "they're turning our D&D into a video game!!!" is pretty darn wild.


However, some tabletop gamers will prefer the old version. More face-to-face character action, development, interaction. Less "uber"class action and "mutant powers" exclusive to the PC's. Some will even prefer 1e and 2e for that, and do already. There is the resistance.
I think it's hilarious when AD&D grognards get elitist about their gaming. (PROTIP: using a cumbersome system doesn't make you a better roleplayer. Not having any rules for noncombat stuff doesn't make the game good for roleplaying, you can freeform the roleplaying in any system.)
You guys should talk to some of the elitists in the White Wolf crowd, who will sneer at your "ROLLplaying", tee hee, and suggest that D&D is for chumps and real roleplayers play Vampire or whatever.

What does "uber" class action even mean? You think the PCs are too powerful? They're less powerful than they were in 3E (except at level one, because level one has always completely sucked--until now). This isn't Exalted or anything, but it's a heroic fantasy game. It's not like the characters don't get challenged. But the numbers are different, so it must be "uber!"
"Mutant powers exclusive to the PCs" is hilarious considering that metagame mechanics like action points have been around in other games for decades... and that in AD&D monsters and PCs don't work the same way. 4E powers are just class features you can pick. It's really not that complicated.

In conclusion, your conspiracy theory about how WotC is turning D&D into, OMG, a VIDEO GAME is really, really out there.

Tengu_temp
2008-07-23, 02:51 PM
I compare 4e to WoW and Final Fantasy because these names are synonymous with good quality.

Chronicled
2008-07-23, 02:51 PM
stuff

Your name and avatar are utterly hilarious.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 02:53 PM
Your name and avatar are utterly hilarious.

I try.

(Batman HATES bees.)

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-07-23, 02:59 PM
Though the above observations seem valid in part, I suspect the WoW comparisons come from that some of the 4e powers have similar names to those powers had by their analogous WoW classes.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-23, 03:18 PM
It's pretty gosh-darn hilarious to hear a guy who's reminiscing about 1e and 2e talk about how 4E is about WARGAMING OH NOES, not ROLEPLAYING, when 4e has more rules support for noncombat stuff than any of the previous editions thanks to skill challenges and DMG p.42. Meanwhile, AD&D had... ummm.... nonweapon proficiencies? I guess? CLEARLY A BRILLIANT SYSTEM FOR ROLEPLAYING GOOD SIR I AM PERSUADED
I can't speak to 1/2e, but 3.5e had much more mechanical support for non-combat activities than 4e, by every credible account I've heard. Whether this is a flaw or a virtue may be a matter of opinion.

Also, skill challenges were appallingly broken prior to some errata, according to The Alexandrian (http://www.thealexandrian.net/archive/archive2008-07c.html#20080722) (who doesn't seem to like much of 4e, but this is more than a flavor complaint).

(My view on 4e is that I might read the books, someday, if they happen to be lying around and I'm bored. I don't want what they're selling.)

Capfalcon
2008-07-23, 03:23 PM
I compare 4e to WoW and Final Fantasy because these names are synonymous with good quality.

Eh... I dunno. I wouldn't say that ALL of the Final Fantasy stuff was good. None of them were BAD, but I would say that FF9 was phoned in. I even think that FF7 is pretty overrated, but still a good game.

Of course, if we count FF: The Spirits Within...

/off topic

Anyway, I think it's rather funny that people accuse Wizards of stealing from Morepigs. If Iíve said it once, Iíve said it a million times. You canít steal from yourself. I mean, the idea that Roles were invented by MMO's makes me smile.

To illustrate...

In tonight's performance, the troupe will be performing an old classic, "Kick Down the Door, Stab Anything with Green Skin, then Rob them Blind."

Fighter McStabKill will be playing the part of the Defender. He will do his best to keep the nasties from eating the rest of the party.

Rogue McSneakShank will be playing the part of the Striker. He will do his best to stabinate squishie monsters before the other monsters know he was there.

Cleric McHealerton will be playing the part of the Leader. He will do his best to buff and heal his allies during the fight.

Finally, taking the place of Wizard McChantBoom, who has fallen under the weather, Deus ex Machina, the Warforged Wizard, will be playing the part of Controller. It will do its best to lock down monsters and make the battlefield a safer place for its friends.

So, what edition does this performance take place in?

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 03:23 PM
And while I'm at it, I might as well pick on a few more mindboggling statements.


There are certainly some strong influences,
Don't be so certain, by golly.


- Classes designed to be entirely equal (although admittedly I think I prefered the more comnplicated dynamic of 3e). Powers that essentially are click-recharge time-click, and a lot more combat power in classes... to the extent that by the look of things its imposible to not be heavilly combat orientated.
You may not realize this, but the classes were *intended* to be equal in 3E, too. And in AD&D (except that they had no idea of how to design a good game, so they went with things like "racial level caps" and "suck now to be awesome later"). Good games are at least decently balanced, and aiming for balance doesn't make a game "like an MMO" any more than it makes it like other tabletop games.

If you think 4E powers are "click-recharge time-click", what must you have thought of the Tome of Battle (you know, one of the best D&D splatbooks ever published)?
(Pssst. 4E PC powers don't recharge. You're thinking of 3E--breath weapons recharge in 1d4 rounds, the Horizon Walker's dimension door ability recharges in 1d4 rounds, and that's just in core--the Binder in ToM has abilities that are actually "every 5 rounds". Wow, 3E is just like a morepig.)


-The move from narrative to tactical combat (i.e. battlemap almost essential now), the "more gamey feel" mentioned above sums it up nicely. The perceived move towards combat-orientated games (not sure if its accurate, D&D was always pretty light on rp rules but spellcasters have certainly lost a lot of non-combat spells).

The move from NARRATIVE to... what?!
You think 3.5 was a NARRATIVE game?
I'm gonna stand back and just... let that little jewel sit there.

(Hey, everybody, this guy thinks 3.5 was a narrative game! You can point and laugh at him now, then pelt him with rotten fruit.)

The battlemap was almost essential in 3E as well. You want to try telling me what I hit with a 45' cone fired diagonally down at a 30' angle from 30 feet in the air without a battlemap (or, uh, at all)? If you can adjudicate fireballs and glitterdusts in 3E without a mat, you can do the same for 4E powers. If you can adjudicate attacks of opportunity for 3E without a mat, you can do the same for 4E abilities that put you next to, a shift away from, a move away from, or 2+ moves away from the people you're attacking.

D&D feels just as gamey as it did. Or have you forgotten the days of "hey guys check out/help me with my build" threads?

There is no perceived move towards combat-oriented games, there's the realization that spotlight balance is a pretty crappy way of handling things in D&D, because if the bard is sitting out , the fighter is sitting out everything but combat (having, you know, no non-combat abilities).
4E has MORE support for noncombat stuff in the rules. What it has less of is spells that do absolutely everything... because some of us enjoy playing fighter types and watching the spellcasters not just dominate in-combat (less of an issue with ToB and not-really-optimized casters) but do pretty much everything out of it (an issue all the time) kind of blows. A lot.

In 3E, if you had a problem, you cast a spell. In 4E, if you have a problem, you go into a skill challenge in which you describe what your character does and narrate the results. "I cast Rope Trick and we hide from the guards/I turn us all invisible and we hide from the guards/I cast Fly and fly away from the guards" is BETTER for roleplaying than the DM narrating a street chase, the fighter overturning carts in front of the guards, the rogue scrambling up a building and shouting directions to the party from his vantage point, the wizard leaving clouds of force-knives in the party's wake that the guards aren't going to rush through, etc? You're a funny man, ain'tcha.


- Roles are defined in World of Warcraft pretty much exactly like 4e
What? No they're not. You've got shadow priests doing DPS and stuff like that.
Furthermore, MMOs got their roles FROM TABLETOP GAMES, so saying that having roles makes 4E like a morepig is like saying that having fireballs makes it like anime (because, you know, Slayers has fireballs...)


- Minor stuff like say... Breaking magic items to get magical components (a direct, err... 'homage' to WoW);
Hurr durr that sure isn't something Artificers could do in 3E, no-sirree-bob-jim. (Actually, it was in a Dragon article long before it showed up in WoW.)


the Armour Proficiencies, which sound like WoW's categories (and are diferent from previous editions), etc.
Oh, no! They called "just clothing" cloth armor instead of.. um... very lightly padded armor? "Clothing", which doesn't convey the same thing? This is like the whole "Slayers has fireballs so 4E is an anime" thing.


- Lack of any real non-combat information on monsters.
Yeah, not being told that, say, "Fang dragons are greedy, rapacious, and cunning creatures" or "golems are tenacious in combat and prodigiously strong as well" really makes this game like an MMO. Wait, what's that? It has nothing to do with MMOs? Oops.


- Design shift towards a world that only exists as a backdrop for the PCs actions (see monsters, above), rather than a 'realistic' (internally consistent)world. D&D didn't exactly have glowing credentials in this area previously, however...
How many people do you know that used the fluff in the core books?

(Advanced player tip: designing the world is something the DM does, just like it's always been something the DM does. Alternatively, you can use an existing campaign setting.)


- Emphasis on online play and the "virtual gaming table" (whenever it arrives). The monthly subscription fee that will allow this is also (openly admitted by WotC) a business strategy taken direct from MMOs.
Oh, I get it! It's a subsc


- THe perception that all of the above is designed to target the MMO audience over existing D&D fans.
This perception only exists because "existing D&D fans" are nerds and therefore love to rage at the people who make the things they love. It's exactly like when teenage girls who write bad fanfiction rant about how J.K. Rowling has RUINED THE CHARACTERS and only they REALLY understand Harry.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 03:29 PM
I can't speak to 1/2e, but 3.5e had much more mechanical support for non-combat activities than 4e, by every credible account I've heard. Whether this is a flaw or a virtue may be a matter of opinion.
No, 3.5e had much more mechanical support for non-combat spellcasters. The Fighter was limited to using his scant points in Animal Handling (better hope there isn't a ranger or druid in the party), or maybe jumping occasionally (but not very well).

3.5 had spells for absolutely everything. Spellcasters could solve all your problems. Need to sneak past some guards? You can put them to sleep with a sleep spell, or distract them with an illusion, or charm them magically, or turn invisible, or... oh, what's that, you're not a spellcaster?
Make a skill check.

That's the extend of 3.5's "support for non-combat activities". Make a skill check... and enough spells to do it five different ways. Have you ever looked at just HOW MUCH of the PHB is taken up by spells? How is it fair for a few of the classes to get that much attention?



Also, skill challenges were appallingly broken prior to some errata, according to The Alexandrian (http://www.thealexandrian.net/archive/archive2008-07c.html#20080722) (who doesn't seem to like much of 4e, but this is more than a flavor complaint).

"Appallingly" is over-the-top, but the math didn't work the way it was supposed to. Now it does.
Also, listening to what that guy has to say is pretty ridiculous. He seems hidebound to intentionally interpret it in the worst possible manner without a thought for how it plays. Narration? The rules don't MAKE you narrate, so it doesn't happen!

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 03:31 PM
So, what edition does this performance take place in?

World of Warcraft, OBVIOUSLY, you filthy morepig player.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-23, 03:40 PM
No, 3.5e had much more mechanical support for non-combat spellcasters. The Fighter was limited to using his scant points in Animal Handling (better hope there isn't a ranger or druid in the party), or maybe jumping occasionally (but not very well).

3.5 had spells for absolutely everything. Spellcasters could solve all your problems. Need to sneak past some guards? You can put them to sleep with a sleep spell, or distract them with an illusion, or charm them magically, or turn invisible, or... oh, what's that, you're not a spellcaster?
Make a skill check.
As opposed to now, when you have vastly many non-combat techniques other than 'use a spell' via rituals, or make a skill check? What are they? I was not talking about spells...

Hell, in plenty of RPGs, and good ones at that, most situations of any kind come down to 'make a skill check'.

That's the extend of 3.5's "support for non-combat activities". Make a skill check... and enough spells to do it five different ways. Have you ever looked at just HOW MUCH of the PHB is taken up by spells? How is it fair for a few of the classes to get that much attention?
Again, it's not about spells. It's about trying to provide a more complete and in depth skill system. Yes, the fighter got abused in every possible regard (though I do think hardly anyone understands how to use those skill points to best effect). That doesn't invalidate the advantages of actually having skill point allocation and a larger and more complete skill set in providing comprehensive non-combat mechanics.

"Appallingly" is over-the-top, but the math didn't work the way it was supposed to. Now it does.
Also, listening to what that guy has to say is pretty ridiculous. He seems hidebound to intentionally interpret it in the worst possible manner without a thought for how it plays. Narration? The rules don't MAKE you narrate, so it doesn't happen!
That is appalling, for the largest commercial RPG product on the world, allegedly playtested and maybe looked at by someone who can do math.

I am not going to make any effort to look at the rules myself (at least, without a free SRD), so I can't engage in a deep argument about the validity of criticisms.

tyfon
2008-07-23, 03:44 PM
Yes, it borrowed a lot:

- class balancing
- roles
- power system (on every level, list for every class, 95% combat-oriented, power per encounter - here I almost can see "cooldown time")
- breaking magic items for 'residuum' (matter of individual taste - for me like midichlorians in StarWars I :smallmad: )
- armor versions (chainmail, megachainmail and then uberchainmail)
- m. items usable starting from given level
- tactical encounters, and squares&minatures - they were going for it before, but now it's just part of core system
- minions & boss fights
- versatility cut, because of possibility of abuse (this power works this way and no other is possible). If there was possibility to create illusion of celestial wolves or tigers to confude enemy, now you summon illusion of two wolves (and wolves only!), hit Int vs. Will, hit effect: d10+int psychic damage and dazed until end of your next turn...


Now something that may be easily argued: mood and theme. This game is IMO less role-playing than it used to be. Books are more combat oriented, and game is about "where is the dungeon?" info and then series of tactical encounters. This have to be proven by adventures published by Wizards, but udging from titles (Shadowfell, Labirynth of someting, something pyramid and so on) it'll be crawl after crawl. With rise of eberron I belived that WotC is reinventing role playing (as playing some role) again - now I'm not so sure.

Time will tell

Jade_Tarem
2008-07-23, 03:55 PM
Of course, if we count FF: The Spirits Within...

The following exchange took place in that movie:

"Are you alright?"
"Yes, I think so, what do we do now?"

But the movie could have redeemed itself if it had gone like this:

"Are you alright?"
"My home city just got taken over by soul-devouring ghosts, I'm a wanted criminal due to circumstances I can't control, we've just fallen thousands of feet into a crater populated by those same soul-eating spirits, while a crazy general fires his doomsday laser at us. Oh yes, and I'm terminally ill, like I have been for months. NO, I am not 'alright!'"

Sorry for the off topic post, but I thought it needed to be said.

Swordguy
2008-07-23, 04:00 PM
World of Warcraft, OBVIOUSLY, you filthy morepig player.

Dude, while I more or less agree with your sentiments, you may wanna tone down (or clearly label) the sarcasm. I'd like your particular writing style to be around these boards for a while.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-23, 04:17 PM
- class balancing
- roles
- tactical encounters, and squares&minatures - they were going for it before, but now it's just part of core system
- minions & boss fights
All of those existed very firmly in 3.5...at least in the designer's minds (I imagine we're all aware that the first 2 were weakly implemented). Minions didn't have specific mechanics incorporated, but mixed encounters were certainly supported.

- power system (on every level, list for every class, 95% combat-oriented, power per encounter - here I almost can see "cooldown time")
I don't play any 'normal' MMOs either, but I had the impression that most powers are expected to be usable more than once in a single battle. Cooldown time would indicate powers between 'at will' and 'encounter'. (A few of which did exist in 3.5, though not many.)

- armor versions (chainmail, megachainmail and then uberchainmail)
- m. items usable starting from given level
- versatility cut, because of possibility of abuse (this power works this way and no other is possible). If there was possibility to create illusion of celestial wolves or tigers to confude enemy, now you summon illusion of two wolves (and wolves only!), hit Int vs. Will, hit effect: d10+int psychic damage and dazed until end of your next turn...
All of these, assuming basic factual accuracy, are very much MMORPG, or at least CRPG, derivatives.


Now something that may be easily argued: mood and theme. This game is IMO less role-playing than it used to be. Books are more combat oriented, and game is about "where is the dungeon?" info and then series of tactical encounters. This have to be proven by adventures published by Wizards, but udging from titles (Shadowfell, Labirynth of someting, something pyramid and so on) it'll be crawl after crawl. With rise of eberron I belived that WotC is reinventing role playing (as playing some role) again - now I'm not so sure.

Time will tell
This. Somewhere along the line, D&D players got the idea that the game was, like other RPGs, intended to support semi-general fantasy roleplaying and not just (or in many cases not at all) dungeon crawling. 4e seems to be WotC's declaration that they aren't interested in that anymore.

And you know what defines MMO/CRPGs more than anything else? Stomping savagely on the idea of roleplaying, and claiming credit for flexibility in situations that PnP players would find railroading.

EDIT: Not that 4e can stomp on the idea of role-playing, but it can (and I'd say appears to) refuse to offer any support for it.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 04:21 PM
As opposed to now, when you have vastly many non-combat techniques other than 'use a spell' via rituals, or make a skill check? What are they? I was not talking about spells...
Now, you have to get creative. And the game rules support this, with skill challenges and the DMG p.42. Skill challenges incorporate multiple skill checks that drive the narrative, affect each other (in some situations, trying to use a certain skill can make other skills easier or harder--try and Intimidate the guy and he might close up, for example), aren't resolved by a single roll so they're less wildly random ("Oops, a 1. I guess I can't convince him."), and are generally better, and the DMG helps you adjudicate anything players try (as opposed to "pick a skill and make up a DC").


Again, it's not about spells. It's about trying to provide a more complete and in depth skill system. Yes, the fighter got abused in every possible regard (though I do think hardly anyone understands how to use those skill points to best effect). That doesn't invalidate the advantages of actually having skill point allocation and a larger and more complete skill set in providing comprehensive non-combat mechanics.
"Skill point allocation" did a few things:
-It let you dump a few points into worthless skills like Profession for flavor. This did nobody any good, especially since mechanically Profession only made a little money and nothing else. Now you can just say that your character was a farmer or a blacksmith or etc. My rogue was raised by a scholar, so I gave him Skill Training: History. He worked as a scribe for a while, but that's just part of my story. If a situation where it's relevant comes up, as it already has, he'll get +2 on relevant check like the DMG suggests, or he might simply know things others don't.
-It made learning new skills almost impossible. If you have 13 ranks in Hide and Move Silently and you want to pick up Spot, you have to not raise anything other than Spot for a few levels. Assuming Spot is even a class skill. Speaking of which, you were well-nigh guaranteed to suck at any non-class skill.
-It made non-maxed skills either cap at a certain level for effectiveness (tumble, all you need is +14) or worthless. Your cross-classed hide won't let you hide from anything that has Spot. Your cross-classed Spot won't spot CR-appropriate monsters. Your cross-classed Jump won't take you very far.

The 3E system is a huge improvement over what AD&D had (nothing or Non-Weapon Proficiencies), but it's not exactly great. The 4E system is another improvement, but it's still not perfect. I think it suffices for D&D.

4E makes each skill broader and more versatile, and makes acquiring new skills easier. Building a Fighter who's an aristocrat skills-wise is pretty much impossible in 3E and easy in 4E. Feats are plentiful and it just takes one to become trained in a skill. On top of that, every character gets at least a few useful skills (a human Fighter can start with Athletics, Heal, Intimidate, and Streetwise, and then pick up Nature with a feat, say). In 3E, a fighter has to take Jump and Climb separately; if he's a 10 INT non-human fighter, that's ALL he can do. If he's a human, maybe he can swim, too.


That is appalling, for the largest commercial RPG product on the world, allegedly playtested and maybe looked at by someone who can do math.

I am not going to make any effort to look at the rules myself (at least, without a free SRD), so I can't engage in a deep argument about the validity of criticisms.
Every remotely major RPG ever has needed errata. I'd rather this wasn't true, but it *is* true. WotC seems to be giving us theirs promptly this time around, which puts them far ahead of everyone else.
You can go on about how "appalling" it is, or you can enjoy the fixed rules. (Or ignore them, in your case.)



Dude, while I more or less agree with your sentiments, you may wanna tone down (or clearly label) the sarcasm. I'd like your particular writing style to be around these boards for a while.
If it's not clear to somebody that I was being sarcastic there, then they are beyond my help. Indeed, they may be beyond any help, mortal or divine; an angel would simply shed a tear and turn aside. We can only hope to ease the pain of their passing.



Yes, it borrowed a lot:

- class balancing
- roles
How are these exclusive to MMOs? Class balancing existed long before them, and MMOs took roles FROM tabletop RPGs.


- power system (on every level, list for every class, 95% combat-oriented, power per encounter - here I almost can see "cooldown time")
I guess Exalted's charm trees make it an MMO?
The powers are just class features that give you a choice. Of course ATTACK powers are combat-oriented; you get utility powers, which have a lot of out-of-combat functionality for classes like Wizard and Rogue. Less so for, say, the Paladin, but still better than before (ooh, Remove Disease. That's useful... not).

"Per encounter" and "cooldown time" are completely separate things. Why are you conflating them?
...are you sure you understand what cooldown time means? Things like the 3.5 Binder's "once per five rounds" are "cooldown time".


- breaking magic items for 'residuum' (matter of individual taste - for me like midichlorians in StarWars I :smallmad: )
Artificers. Was in Dragon Magazine first.

- armor versions (chainmail, megachainmail and then uberchainmail)
This... has absolutely no connection to MMOs.

- m. items usable starting from given level
You imagined that. Magic items have a level. That doesn't mean you can't use it until that level. If you make stuff up, of course it's going to be like an MMO.
If you mean the ring thing, that's not in the PHB.


- tactical encounters, and squares&minatures - they were going for it before, but now it's just part of core system
It was already part of the core system (hello, Spiked Chain, Combat Reflexes, and Enlarge Person). Tactical encounters make it LESS like an MMO, even, since MMO tactics tend to consist of hitting some keys and letting your abilities cycle (while we're at it, World of Warcraft doesn't have squares, either.)

This is the problem with the MMO argument. People seem to think ANYTHING is "like an MMO". The tactical encounters make it "like a wargame" (it is like a wargame, just like 3.5 was and AD&D was), not "like a morepig".


- minions & boss fights
Are you kidding me? PLEASE tell me you're kidding me. I guess pulp fantasy novels are MMOs now?!


- versatility cut, because of possibility of abuse (this power works this way and no other is possible). If there was possibility to create illusion of celestial wolves or tigers to confude enemy, now you summon illusion of two wolves (and wolves only!), hit Int vs. Will, hit effect: d10+int psychic damage and dazed until end of your next turn...
Versatility cut for spellcasters. Other classes are more versatile.

Illusionary wolves would be more likely to grant combat advantage (for distracting the enmy).
"Psychic damage" from illusions dates back to AD&D. They think the wolf bit them, so they feel hurt.

As for "wolves only", why do you insist on making things up? The book EXPLICITLY ENCOURAGES people to make up their own power descriptions. What you describe (in 3E, it was called "Phantasmal Assailants") you could describe as wolves or tigers or Dreaded Smoggoth Beasts from Beyond the World's End, each with two bodies connected by a mass of writhing tentacles.



Now something that may be easily argued: mood and theme. This game is IMO less role-playing than it used to be. Books are more combat oriented, and game is about "where is the dungeon?" info and then series of tactical encounters. This have to be proven by adventures published by Wizards, but udging from titles (Shadowfell, Labirynth of someting, something pyramid and so on) it'll be crawl after crawl. With rise of eberron I belived that WotC is reinventing role playing (as playing some role) again - now I'm not so sure.

Have you ever looked at AD&D modules? White Plume Mountain or something? Guess what they consist of.
Have you ever looked at 3.5 modules? Red Hand of Doom is basically some player-driven roleplaying between fight after fight, despite being a good module. And then we have things like the World's Largest Dungeon.

The game has MORE support for non-combat stuff, in that it actually has mechanics beyond "roll a skill check once" now. You're basically saying "it's less about roleplaying, because I think their modules WILL BE about hack and slash". You haven't even seen them.

You realize Eberron is going to be published for 4E, right? And old greats like Dark Sun and Planescape, eventually, from what they've said?




This. Somewhere along the line, D&D players got the idea that the game was, like other RPGs, intended to support semi-general fantasy roleplaying and not just (or in many cases not at all) dungeon crawling. 4e seems to be WotC's declaration that they aren't interested in that anymore.
Yeah, I know. That's why they're *adding* a mechanic for non-combat stuff! Oh, wait.

You know, my 4E game has been chugging merrily along with fewer combats per session (since 4E doesn't rely on the stupid "four-encounter day" like 3E does) than our 3E games and nary a dungeon in sight.

D&D has never been particularly good at combat-less games. You can tell by the way 90% of the rules are about combat.


And you know what defines MMO/CRPGs more than anything else? Stomping savagely on the idea of roleplaying, and claiming credit for flexibility in situations that PnP players would find railroading.
Frankly, Planescape: Torment allowed for better and more interesting roleplaying than many D&D tables.


EDIT: Not that 4e can stomp on the idea of role-playing, but it can (and I'd say appears to) refuse to offer any support for it.
Do you think "Profession skill you can put points into" equals "roleplaying"? 4E supports roleplaying just as much as D&D ever has. It's better for adjudicating noncombat situations. It's worse for spellcasters doing everything, but that's never appealed to me--and if it did I'd play Mage.

Starbuck_II
2008-07-23, 04:57 PM
"Skill point allocation" did a few things:
-It let you dump a few points into worthless skills like Profession for flavor. This did nobody any good, especially since mechanically Profession only made a little money and nothing else. Now you can just say that your character was a farmer or a blacksmith or etc. My rogue was raised by a scholar, so I gave him Skill Training: History. He worked as a scribe for a while, but that's just part of my story. If a situation where it's relevant comes up, as it already has, he'll get +2 on relevant check like the DMG suggests, or he might simply know things others don't.

That isn't true.
At low levels (since you were poorish): Profession was a feasable way to make extra money.
Remember, trained in a skill make X gp/week.




Every remotely major RPG ever has needed errata. I'd rather this wasn't true, but it *is* true. WotC seems to be giving us theirs promptly this time around, which puts them far ahead of everyone else.
You can go on about how "appalling" it is, or you can enjoy the fixed rules. (Or ignore them, in your case.)

True, I'm clearly amazed. I mean, 3.5 errata took much much longer.



"Per encounter" and "cooldown time" are completely separate things. Why are you conflating them?
...are you sure you understand what cooldown time means? Things like the 3.5 Binder's "once per five rounds" are "cooldown time".

Well, depends on how on defines cooldown I suppose.
3.5: Dragon shaman had every 1d4 rounds (like all dragons in 3.5)
and
4th edition's encounter powers are per 5 minutes of rest (effectively till next battle)

Maybe he groups both of those together.


You imagined that. Magic items have a level. That doesn't mean you can't use it until that level. If you make stuff up, of course it's going to be like an MMO.
If you mean the ring thing, that's not in the PHB.

He probably only listened to the initial designer information.
Remember, a lot of months back when WotC put out tibbits of information.
Originally, they said alot, but they also said things might change.

Guess, he didn't get the memo.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 05:01 PM
That isn't true.
At low levels (since you were poorish): Profession was a feasable way to make extra money.
Remember, trained in a skill make X gp/week.
Now I want to convince everybody to make a party of Elans, and then spend about a thousand years making Profession checks, then buying some gear before adventuring.

But, no, Profession really wasn't a feasible way to make money. You'd be better off doing some adventuring. Besides, do you really need a skill to tell you "you make a few GP per week begging on the street. Meanwhile, Joe there makes the same few GP per week practicing law"?


Maybe he groups both of those together.
In that case, vancian casting is "cooldown" because it refreshes over eight hours of rest.

Starbuck_II
2008-07-23, 05:09 PM
Now I want to convince everybody to make a party of Elans, and then spend about a thousand years making Profession checks, then buying some gear before adventuring.

But, no, Profession really wasn't a feasible way to make money. You'd be better off doing some adventuring. Besides, do you really need a skill to tell you "you make a few GP per week begging on the street. Meanwhile, Joe there makes the same few GP per week practicing law"?


I meant during downtime. But I like the way you put it.
Wait, wouldn't that be strange that the beggar makes the same gold on average (assuming same skill mod) that the Lawyer makes...

tyfon
2008-07-23, 05:10 PM
I'll reply, not quote, If U allow..

Ulzgoroth->

I'm not aware what was in designer's mind, I read the book. And there is more emphasis on :

- class balancing
- roles
- tactical encounters, and squares&minatures

Power system is very MMOand I'm pretty sure that the only reason for not introducing cooldown was trouble in tracking it. Anyway - effect is that you cannot use power time after time - that is also reason behind cooldown system

I also think that there is less space for narration now, but again, really waiting for new Eberron...


Covered In Bees->

Class balancing existed long before them, and MMOs took roles FROM tabletop RPGs, thats true, but there was never so big emphasis on it, I think. Let say - Vampire:tm rev ed. - in storyteller handbook designer says that one clan is in terms of power inferior to another. What hapens? Nothing. I've never seen roles as :striker, buffer and so on in any PnP RPG before 4 ed.

Yes - exalted trees are very MMO for me, and, You will maybe laugh, first time I got Exalted in my hands I said "Wow, it's cRPG on paper". While reading 4ed I had strong feeling that I saw this before... in Exalted.

Talking about power and their application - I'd like to know how to make love potion or get better harvest for village. Pretty trivial, I know, but It seens that burning down village is now much easier option (it always was, but now you have little means to do otherwise)

I'd not tell that there is a lot of useful options for non combat situations, this is true especially for spelcasters. I understand reasons (cutting down spellcasters), but I simply do not like it, and for me it goes against what I belive to be fantasy setting. I started my big fantasy adventure with books like Lord Of the Rings and Earthsea - wizards were wise guys able to do many things, moving around the world and learning arcane mysteries. Now they seem to be mobile firepower. I don't say its "BAD" - it's just something I do not like adn I consider it anti-climatic. Same to new Warhammer, by the way.

I don't care where "breaking magic artifact for very-magical-easy-in-transport-pieces" appeared first. It's anti-climatic for me, and I've never seen it in D&D 3x - maybe because I'm not paying enough attention to the news. But It wasn't part of core system - now it is. If somebody will say it was in 1ed D&D it changes nothing - I do not like it.

Armor versioning has no connection to mmo ? Not big expert here. To cRPG ? - yes, Morrowind for example, steel katana, adamantine katana, something katana and so on...

With levels and items - I was not expressing myself clear enough - they have limmited usage basing on character level. And, please, I understand You really want to defend 4ed against something you consider (don't know why) insult, but don't suggest I'm making this up.

Wow and other MMORPG don't have squares for simple reason they are not usable in real time computer game. Making ability combos is really encouraged in new edition and I do not know how you don't see simmilarity here - you battle and try to combo your moves with moves in next rounds or/and actions taken by rest of party to maximize effect - to the extent that was not common in 3e.

I do not see how squares make it less MMO, sorry...

One thing: now, when You really really should have squares - there is little emphasis on description and narrative. I move 3 squares and use power of killing fury. Roll a die.

Minions and bosses have separate system now. Do they have separate system in, for example, Cyberpunk ?

"Versatility cut for spellcasters. Other classes are more versatile. "

You are mistaking versatility "I can use knife to cut bread and to kill somebody" with 4e versatility "I can hit him harder, or not so hard and move 3 squares"

As with wolves we are again not talking about the same. Illusion from 3e could be used for many things - distraction, blocking line of sight, misleading enemy, trap, ambush, play, making money, gambling.... lots of things, maybe not damege dealing but it's better. Now this power (let say 'distracting illusion') allows you to distract enemy in fight. End of story. You would like to create illusion of bridge across chasm so enemies will run there and fall ? Sorry, man, it's not here...

Again - I understand that with creative player it may cause power abuse. But I've heard that now game is about creativity ...

Bottom line is - effects of spells are now VERY VERY narrow. Too narrow for my taste.

have You seen Eyes of the Lich Queen ? If You tell me that it's dungeon crawl then this discussion is pointless. Thats why I was mentioning Eberron.

C'mon - I always laugh when somebody says "It's more role playing because You can roll when you talk to somebody". Rolling dice is roleplaying? It's narrative ?

No - it's not.

Yes- I have not seen modules. We will be back here in four months - I assure You that it will be more combat and less role-play oriented than 3ed modules.

Yes, I am aware - thats why I mentioned Eberron before. I wonder how adventures in new Eberron will look like, because for my taste Eberron was much more narrative than, let say, FR.




EDIT :

One statement.

I'm not enemy of 4ed. Actually, I've just started playing my first 4e campaign, and I'd not do it if it was so bad & ugly. I just feel big influence of MMO/cRPG in the game, and I think it is becoming more combat-oriented, with more narrow choices (spells, multiclassing). By the way - tiers are so like Lineage II ...

Anyway - Warhammer 40k is only combat-oriented and I like it very much. I just not pretend that it is not taking direction of faster battles and simplified rules.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-23, 05:22 PM
Now, you have to get creative. And the game rules support this, with skill challenges and the DMG p.42. Skill challenges incorporate multiple skill checks that drive the narrative, affect each other (in some situations, trying to use a certain skill can make other skills easier or harder--try and Intimidate the guy and he might close up, for example), aren't resolved by a single roll so they're less wildly random ("Oops, a 1. I guess I can't convince him."), and are generally better, and the DMG helps you adjudicate anything players try (as opposed to "pick a skill and make up a DC").
Claims of generally better, of interaction of different steps, and of favoring creativity are not something I can evaluate without the book, but are definitely disputed. Along with the fundamental functionality. Things like making every check be level-appropriate rather than what you're doing-appropriate is an offense to some people...

Your description sounds exactly like, say, the way any such scenario would be correctly handled in any task-resolution based game, only codified.

3.5, of course, had many guidelines for making up those DCs in a range of situations.

"Skill point allocation" did a few things:
-It let you dump a few points into worthless skills like Profession for flavor. This did nobody any good, especially since mechanically Profession only made a little money and nothing else. Now you can just say that your character was a farmer or a blacksmith or etc. My rogue was raised by a scholar, so I gave him Skill Training: History. He worked as a scribe for a while, but that's just part of my story. If a situation where it's relevant comes up, as it already has, he'll get +2 on relevant check like the DMG suggests, or he might simply know things others don't.
-It made learning new skills almost impossible. If you have 13 ranks in Hide and Move Silently and you want to pick up Spot, you have to not raise anything other than Spot for a few levels. Assuming Spot is even a class skill. Speaking of which, you were well-nigh guaranteed to suck at any non-class skill.
-It made non-maxed skills either cap at a certain level for effectiveness (tumble, all you need is +14) or worthless. Your cross-classed hide won't let you hide from anything that has Spot. Your cross-classed Spot won't spot CR-appropriate monsters. Your cross-classed Jump won't take you very far.
No, no, no.
Profession was bad, but not for the fault you lay on it. It definitely specified what it covered (it just brutally murdered the economic underpinnings of the game world if used as suggested:smallfurious:). And if the DMG advises freebie mechanical bonuses for backstory, that's one more fault in my book...

You suck in cross-class skills compared to people who have them as class skills and made an equal investment of skill points. You don't instantly go from no skill to maximal skill at anything. Both of these sound like features rather than bugs to me.

There is absolutely no reason for every skill check to be against a DC of 12+level or greater, or every NPC/monster to have around CR+3 modifiers in every opposed skill. Every point of spot helps you unless your opponent is able to hide from you while moving at point blank range. Every point of hide skill helps you, period, if you ever use it.

The hard caps on useful modifier for some skills is definitely a flaw in the design of those skills.


4E makes each skill broader and more versatile, and makes acquiring new skills easier. Building a Fighter who's an aristocrat skills-wise is pretty much impossible in 3E and easy in 4E. Feats are plentiful and it just takes one to become trained in a skill. On top of that, every character gets at least a few useful skills (a human Fighter can start with Athletics, Heal, Intimidate, and Streetwise, and then pick up Nature with a feat, say). In 3E, a fighter has to take Jump and Climb separately; if he's a 10 INT non-human fighter, that's ALL he can do. If he's a human, maybe he can swim, too.
Saying the same thing a different way, and in a different light, skills are cheapened and stripped of complexities.

Also, stop trying to make me own the fighter. I think I understand why it has so few skill points, but I agree it probably ought to have a couple more. 3.5 definitely made mistakes.

You realize Eberron is going to be published for 4E, right? And old greats like Dark Sun and Planescape, eventually, from what they've said?
I'm pretty sure a number of people are awaiting details on that with utter horror.

You know, my 4E game has been chugging merrily along with fewer combats per session (since 4E doesn't rely on the stupid "four-encounter day" like 3E does) than our 3E games and nary a dungeon in sight.
Does it really not? From what I hear it has a ton of daily features of considerable importance. Really just like the top level spells, except spread across all party members and less frequently broken.

D&D has never been particularly good at combat-less games. You can tell by the way 90% of the rules are about combat.
Er, I don't think your page count is right. The combat chapter of the PHB is under 30 pages, a great portion of the spell list is non-combat or multi-role, non-combat equipment has to be at least a third of the equipment chapter, etc.

If you said 50%, I'd believe it.

Frankly, Planescape: Torment allowed for better and more interesting roleplaying than many D&D tables.
I've been wanting to find that game...

Do you think "Profession skill you can put points into" equals "roleplaying"? 4E supports roleplaying just as much as D&D ever has. It's better for adjudicating noncombat situations. It's worse for spellcasters doing everything, but that's never appealed to me--and if it did I'd play Mage.
Rules that aren't, to borrow a word, dissociated (http://www.thealexandrian.net/archive/archive2008-05b.html#20080514b) are more conducive to roleplaying. Is this a contentious claim?

tyfon> It's pretty well documented that 3.5e was supposed to have class balance and believed to have roles. Both got torn apart by players, given time...

Capfalcon
2008-07-23, 05:34 PM
World of Warcraft, OBVIOUSLY, you filthy morepig player.

Oh noes! I have been found out! Flee, Comrades, Flee! Our Cold and Frozen masters will not be pleased...

Jayabalard
2008-07-23, 05:44 PM
Holy walls of text batman...


What? No they're not. You've got shadow priests doing DPS and stuff like that.
Furthermore, MMOs got their roles FROM TABLETOP GAMES, so saying that having roles makes 4E like a morepig is like saying that having fireballs makes it like anime (because, you know, Slayers has fireballs...)
He said roles, not classes. Shadow priests doing DPS fall into the DPS (striker) role, regardless of what their class is.

The classic D&D roles are meatshield/healer/skillmonkey/magic user. (fighter, cleric, thief, magic user). 4e roles loook more like classic MMO roles: tank/healer/Buffer/Crowd control/DPS

The New Bruceski
2008-07-23, 05:49 PM
Things like making every check be level-appropriate rather than what you're doing-appropriate is an offense to some people...


And that's an issue in misinterpretation (or maybe I'm the one misinterpreting it). The table on page 42 doesn't say "If your characters are X level, here's the DC of any skill check." It says "If this skill check would be hard/reasonable/easy for level X characters, here's a DC to use." The rope doesn't get harder to climb in 5 levels, or if it does that's the choice of the DM, not the mandate of the game.

Prophaniti
2008-07-23, 05:53 PM
When I think 'MMO' I think of grind quests, pvp, NPCs that stay in the same place waiting for someone else to avenge their family even though hundreds already have, respawning monsters, and in the better ones, attempts at free-form exploration that range from laughable to decent...

None of these things have anything to do with the actual rules of the game, they have to do with how you play the game. You certainly could play 4e as an MMO, if everyone involved decided to follow those restrictions. You could do that with any system.

4e is not like an MMO, because MMO's are popularly defined by a structure and system only present because of limits in technology and development time (things like stationary NPCs waiting for the 999th person to show up with ten gargoyle skulls). 4e, and any game system, only has these structures or systems if the group playing it wants it to.

I should point out here that I dislike 4e very much, I feel they sacrificed too much on the altar of combat balance, making the game feel bland, choices feel limiting and meaningless, and overall damaging my immersion too much in too many instances for me to enjoy it as fully as I do other systems. I come from the far end of the 'simulationist' camp, and 4e just does not do what I'm looking for in a system (yes, I've actually played it). That doesn't make it like an MMO.

Side note, directed at CIB (Covered In Bees): You seem very vehement about this, and I would echo Sword-guy in suggesting you take a step back, especially with regard to name-calling. Though I myself am a dedicated follower of Sarcasm, it is not listed as an exception to the board rules. Also, watch the double- and triple-posting. Personally, I find it very annoying, and become disinclined to allow even a modicum of attention to your arguments. And yes, I did swallow a dictionary. Most unpleasant experience, can't say I recommend it.

Blackdrop
2008-07-23, 05:58 PM
How is being a tank, not being the meatshield? Seriously.

I find it interesting (not necessarily in this topic) that people rave about 4e lowering the roleplaying bar, yet it actually suggests what your role in the group should be.

Anyhoo, on the surface, yes, it does look a lot like an MMORPG. It has clearcut roles for each party member (Striker/DPS, Defender/Tank, Controller/Nuker), yet if you look closer at it you see that there are things you'd never expect to see on an MMO.

tyfon
2008-07-23, 06:04 PM
When I think 'MMO' I think of grind quests, pvp, NPCs that stay in the same place waiting for someone else to avenge their family even though hundreds already have, respawning monsters, and in the better ones, attempts at free-form exploration that range from laughable to decent...

None of these things have anything to do with the actual rules of the game, they have to do with how you play the game. You certainly could play 4e as an MMO, if everyone involved decided to follow those restrictions. You could do that with any system.


That's exactly why I am waiting for new 4ed adventures, because they will in some way say what is this game going to be. I'm full aware that every DM runs different game with different style, and it is entirely possible to run adventure with just one fight in 4 ed, but adventure modules will tell me about what game creators are thinking about. And I think it's more tactical game with less talking/more encounters game.



How is being a tank, not being the meatshield? Seriously.

Aggro


I find it interesting (not necessarily in this topic) that people rave about 4e lowering the roleplaying bar, yet it actually suggests what your role in the group should be.

Role playing is something different than being 'controller'.


Anyhoo, on the surface, yes, it does look a lot like an MMORPG. It has clearcut roles for each party member (Striker/DPS, Defender/Tank, Controller/Nuker), yet if you look closer at it you see that there are things you'd never expect to see on an MMO.

Sure, nobody says "it's mmo'. It incorporates elements.

Prophaniti
2008-07-23, 06:07 PM
I find it interesting (not necessarily in this topic) that people rave about 4e lowering the roleplaying bar, yet it actually suggests what your role in the group should be.

The roles suggested by the 4e books have nothing to do with roleplaying. It is suggesting combat roles, for ease of tactical theory and application. Such roles can only be incidentely linked with the role of your character. You are not a 'tank', you are Doug Danger (a pseudonym, you keep your birth name a close secret), blade for hire, former member of the Grand Guard at the Castle Tor. You hate cats, sushi and getting wet, you love fighting, sleeping in and creeping people out by sharpening your weapons all the time. That is your role in an RPG. The fact that you express this role by playing a class that is good at 'tanking' is ancillary at best.

That's why people rave about it, because these Combat Roles are strongly emphasised, too strongly for some.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 06:29 PM
I meant during downtime. But I like the way you put it.
Wait, wouldn't that be strange that the beggar makes the same gold on average (assuming same skill mod) that the Lawyer makes...
Yes, it would be strange. Very strange. Put that in your "3.5 had simulationist elements like Profession. Derp!" pipe and smoke it, people.


Power system is very MMOand I'm pretty sure that the only reason for not introducing cooldown was trouble in tracking it. Anyway - effect is that you cannot use power time after time - that is also reason behind cooldown system

I also think that there is less space for narration now, but again, really waiting for new Eberron...
How is it "very MMO?" This is like when people called 3E "like Diablo". It works differently from any MMO I know. You have a set of different powers? So do characters in a ton of games. Hell, in oWoD vampires use several different disciplines and spend blood points. Vampire the Masquerade is an MMO! Werewolves have rage (points) that they spend for extra actions, and specific spells they spend gnosis for. OMG WEREWOLF IS ABOUT WoW FIGHTERS.

As or "less space for narration", there's as much narration in the game as you put in. You can run a flavorless dungeon crawl in any edition of D&D.



Class balancing existed long before them, and MMOs took roles FROM tabletop RPGs, thats true, but there was never so big emphasis on it, I think. Let say - Vampire:tm rev ed. - in storyteller handbook designer says that one clan is in terms of power inferior to another. What hapens? Nothing. I've never seen roles as :striker, buffer and so on in any PnP RPG before 4 ed.
I've seen people go "okay, we need a tank/healer/etc" in 3E games, both online and at the table. The Rogue was a "striker" in 3E--what else do you call being fragile but going in for massive d6es of sneak attack?


Yes - exalted trees are very MMO for me, and, You will maybe laugh, first time I got Exalted in my hands I said "Wow, it's cRPG on paper". While reading 4ed I had strong feeling that I saw this before... in Exalted.
Yeah, I will laugh, because Exalted is nothing like an MMO. It looks like for you, anything where you pick things from a list is "just like an MMO", which makes even saying it is pointless.


Talking about power and their application - I'd like to know how to make love potion or get better harvest for village. Pretty trivial, I know, but It seens that burning down village is now much easier option (it always was, but now you have little means to do otherwise)
Little quirks like Grow Plants (almost exclusively used in combat) and the Elixir of Love (it's just Charm Person for 1d3 hours, and I've never seen anyone use it) make a game for you? And yet, I'll wager it doesn't come up in any or most of your games.
It's easy to make a Grow Plants ritual--it's just not something they felt the need to toss in the core book. Instead, the things they put in the book will be the things that people can use in 90% of their games. It's pretty obvious that the rituals in the book aren't the only ones that exist--they're just the ones useful to adventurers. The spellcasters of farm towns no doubt have a Grow Plants ritual, and because making them is so easy, I could do it in five minutes if a player ever expressed interest... but they don't, because it's D&D, not Farmers & Foragers.


I'd not tell that there is a lot of useful options for non combat situations, this is true especially for spelcasters. I understand reasons (cutting down spellcasters), but I simply do not like it, and for me it goes against what I belive to be fantasy setting. I started my big fantasy adventure with books like Lord Of the Rings and Earthsea - wizards were wise guys able to do many things, moving around the world and learning arcane mysteries. Now they seem to be mobile firepower. I don't say its "BAD" - it's just something I do not like adn I consider it anti-climatic. Same to new Warhammer, by the way.
Spellcasters have invisibility, disguise self,

I haven't read Earthsea, but Lord of the Rings wizards are nothing like D&D wizards have *ever* been. They were demigods in mortal form, they used their power only rarely (all Gandalf does from the Hobbit until he fights the Balrog--with his sword, not by hurling spells--is light a few pinecones on fire and throw them at wolves). D&D just plain doesn't support "the wise guy who almost never does anything", as well it shouldn't.


I don't care where "breaking magic artifact for very-magical-easy-in-transport-pieces" appeared first. It's anti-climatic for me, and I've never seen it in D&D 3x - maybe because I'm not paying enough attention to the news. But It wasn't part of core system - now it is. If somebody will say it was in 1ed D&D it changes nothing - I do not like it.
Artificers basically do just that in Eberron (which you like so much). If you don't like it, great, but say "I don't like it", not "IT'S A MOREPIG!!111".


Armor versioning has no connection to mmo ? Not big expert here. To cRPG ? - yes, Morrowind for example, steel katana, adamantine katana, something katana and so on...
Weapons made out of different materials? Le gasp! (Hey, look, 3.5 had steel katanas, adamantine katanas, cold iron katanas, Aurorum katanas, etc.) Suggesting that things made out of different materials is connected to an MMO is absolutely ridiculous. It is exactly the same as saying "the SCA has swords and World of Warcraft has swords, so the SCA is like WoW".
What 4E does is link the special materials and enchantments. This isn't something I've seen in any MMO and it isn't something. It most closely resembles the magical materials in Exalted (which takes the concept and runs with it).


With levels and items - I was not expressing myself clear enough - they have limmited usage basing on character level. And, please, I understand You really want to defend 4ed against something you consider (don't know why) insult, but don't suggest I'm making this up.
You mean the fact that epic characters can invoke the powers of magic items more often than ones who are new to the whole hero thing? That doesn't sound like anything in any MMO or CRPG I know of.


Wow and other MMORPG don't have squares for simple reason they are not usable in real time computer game. Making ability combos is really encouraged in new edition and I do not know how you don't see simmilarity here - you battle and try to combo your moves with moves in next rounds or/and actions taken by rest of party to maximize effect - to the extent that was not common in 3e.
So... to you, "more tactical" always equals "like an MMO"? I don't think I have much to say to you if you're that eager to declare things Like An MMO. It's become meaningless. No, 4E tactics are nothing like MMO tactics. In an MMO you generally regulate your damage output and what you do to direct aggro in the right places. There's teamwork involved, but it's a very different kind than the round-to-round tactics.


I do not see how squares make it less MMO, sorry...
Well, MMOs don't have squares. If having something an MMO has makes it an MMO, clearly having something an MMO doesn't have makes it not like an MMO. If being tactical makes it like an MMO, how does having squares not make it *less* like an MMO?


One thing: now, when You really really should have squares - there is little emphasis on description and narrative. I move 3 squares and use power of killing fury. Roll a die.
As opposed to "I move over to him... five, ten, fifteen, there... and attack. 21. Did that hit? 15 damage."


Minions and bosses have separate system now. Do they have separate system in, for example, Cyberpunk ?
No, because that doesn't fit the cyberpunk genre.


"Versatility cut for spellcasters. Other classes are more versatile. "

You are mistaking versatility "I can use knife to cut bread and to kill somebody" with 4e versatility "I can hit him harder, or not so hard and move 3 squares"
And you're mistaking the attack powers--which are the combat class features--with actually being able to contribute outside of combat rather than sitting there.


As with wolves we are again not talking about the same. Illusion from 3e could be used for many things - distraction, blocking line of sight, misleading enemy, trap, ambush, play, making money, gambling.... lots of things, maybe not damege dealing but it's better. Now this power (let say 'distracting illusion') allows you to distract enemy in fight. End of story. You would like to create illusion of bridge across chasm so enemies will run there and fall ? Sorry, man, it's not here...
You're right, there isn't a level 1 spell that allows you to do basically anything you want. Silent Image could blanket an area in illusionary fog that your party could see through. It could do freakin' anything. Not exactly right for a first-level spell, huh?
No, it's not here. You miss it; I don't. Don't pretend that "I don't like this" and "durr, MMO!" are the same thing.


Again - I understand that with creative player it may cause power abuse. But I've heard that now game is about creativity ...
There is basically no way to assess its power level. The 3.5 rules don't help with this, they just make it more abuseable.


Bottom line is - effects of spells are now VERY VERY narrow. Too narrow for my taste.
That's nice. I'm okay with spellcasters not being able to do everything, and having spells that are basically unlimited in their effects.


have You seen Eyes of the Lich Queen ? If You tell me that it's dungeon crawl then this discussion is pointless. Thats why I was mentioning Eberron.
No, I haven't. I'm guessing there's combat at regular intervals, though, and I'm guessing you could adapt the adventure to 4E easily.


C'mon - I always laugh when somebody says "It's more role playing because You can roll when you talk to somebody". Rolling dice is roleplaying? It's narrative ?

No - it's not.
So what do you want, a complete lack of rules for noncombat stuff? gb 2 AD&D, lol.

No, rolling dice isn't roleplaying--but the structure of skill challenges enables roleplaying as a group and a player-driven narrative more than just rolling a skill check does.


Yes- I have not seen modules. We will be back here in four months - I assure You that it will be more combat and less role-play oriented than 3ed modules.

Yes, I am aware - thats why I mentioned Eberron before. I wonder how adventures in new Eberron will look like, because for my taste Eberron was much more narrative than, let say, FR.
You seem to have a problem associating something you saw somewhere with that thing. An MMO has skill trees? I guess anything with any kind of tree-like ability structure is just like an MMO. Eberron had a couple of good modules? Clearly this is because Eberron itself is inherently better for roleplaying, rather than because someone happened to write some good modules for it.

Eberron is no more narrative than Forgotten Realms. It's more low- (but wide-) magic, it's more pulp, it's many things, but it was not inherently "more narrative". There are good and bad modules for 3E. There will be good and bad modules for 4E. You can bet that any module WotC publishes will involve combat on a regular basis, because combat is a big part of D&D--that's why it takes up so much of the book, in every edition. From what I know, the PCs in EotLQ get jumped on a regular basis by agents of Vol.




Claims of generally better, of interaction of different steps, and of favoring creativity are not something I can evaluate without the book, but are definitely disputed. Along with the fundamental functionality. Things like making every check be level-appropriate rather than what you're doing-appropriate is an offense to some people...
There's room to do it either way. Fundamentally, if something isn't a challenge anymore, you don't need to roll. If something. The Skills section has fixed DCs for things like climbing.

[quite]Your description sounds exactly like, say, the way any such scenario would be correctly handled in any task-resolution based game, only codified.[/quote]
You say that, and yet 3E does nothing to help this.


3.5, of course, had many guidelines for making up those DCs in a range of situations.
They weren't very good. They certainly didn't help the flow of the game. Who takes the Use Rope skill? And yet, if I want to swing in on a rope, odds are I'm going to have to roll a Use Rope check (and possibly fail). The rules discouraged that sort of thing.


No, no, no.
Profession was bad, but not for the fault you lay on it. It definitely specified what it covered (it just brutally murdered the economic underpinnings of the game world if used as suggested:smallfurious:). And if the DMG advises freebie mechanical bonuses for backstory, that's one more fault in my book...
Profession did not specify what it covered more than very broadly. And it only actual USE it had, the only thing you rolled it for, was making money.


You suck in cross-class skills compared to people who have them as class skills and made an equal investment of skill points. You don't instantly go from no skill to maximal skill at anything. Both of these sound like features rather than bugs to me.
You suck in cross-class skills compared to the DCs of just about anything you face, which are designed for people with the skill maxed. And even if there's something you can do, your best bet is to let the guy who does have it maxed do it, since he'll succeed even on a 1.


There is absolutely no reason for every skill check to be against a DC of 12+level or greater, or every NPC/monster to have around CR+3 modifiers in every opposed skill. Every point of spot helps you unless your opponent is able to hide from you while moving at point blank range. Every point of hide skill helps you, period, if you ever use it.
Look at the MM. Monsters by and large either don't have a skill (except for natural stat modifiers) or have it maxed out. An NPC with spot is probably going to have full ranks--it's his job. Your few points of hide won't help.
The only times I have ever seen cross-class skills be worthwhile are when coupled with a ridiculously high stat mod, e.g. a sorcerer with a racial CHA bonus cross-classing Use Magic Device or Diplomacy, and when they have fixed DCs (like Diplomacy's DC 15, 20, etc, or Tumble). Will having a spot of +6 at level 13 help you? On rare occasions, sure, Spot tends to get rolled a lot to check "did you see...?" But cross-classing Search won't let you find any traps that are an actual threat, etc. Cross-classing skills is useless most of the time.


Saying the same thing a different way, and in a different light, skills are cheapened and stripped of complexities.
Cheapened? I... what? Do you somehow think that a Rogue getting 8+INT skills, but having to spend 3 to Open Lock, Disable Device, and Sleight of Hand, 2 on Hide and Move Silently, 2 on Spot and Listen, etc, somehow makes skills *more*? All it does is make it harder to make characters who are good at something. It's a way to soak up skill points, basically. Meanwhile, while something like "noticing things" takes 2 of your skill points, UMD takes 1/level. It's harder for a rogue to learn to be watchful than to fool magic items into working.


Does it really not? From what I hear it has a ton of daily features of considerable importance. Really just like the top level spells, except spread across all party members and less frequently broken.

If you have one-encounter days in 4E on a regular basis, people will tend to use their dailies more often. Make that one encounter a little harder to compensate and you're set. In 3E, if you have one encounter a day, the fighter and rogue are still doing their usual thing, but the spellcasters are blowing through devastating high-level spells. There's a reason 3E relies on four encounters a day--it's because that way, casters have to conserve spells. It's an attempt at balance. In 3E, a day with 8 encounters will be tougher for everyone, and a day with 1 encounter won't be "stand back and let Jim Darkmagic let'er rip".


Er, I don't think your page count is right. The combat chapter of the PHB is under 30 pages, a great portion of the spell list is non-combat or multi-role, non-combat equipment has to be at least a third of the equipment chapter, etc.

If you said 50%, I'd believe it.
When I said "rules" I didn't mean spell lists, etc. I meant the system, not all the stuff in the book. The system is concerned primarily and heavily with combat.


I've been wanting to find that game...
It's really good. Worth numerous playthroughs. You can get through the game with only a handful of fights, if you're insightful and charismatic. You get little details like if you tell a lie often enough, it'll wind up coming true.


Rules that aren't, to borrow a word, dissociated (http://www.thealexandrian.net/archive/archive2008-05b.html#20080514b) are more conducive to roleplaying. Is this a contentious claim?
Yes. Do abstract rules like daily powers and action points really make roleplaying harder for you? How do you handle HP?


tyfon> It's pretty well documented that 3.5e was supposed to have class balance and believed to have roles. Both got torn apart by players, given time...
That's because the intentions and the mechanics didn't match up. Now they do. Classes get abilities that help them fill their role.


Holy walls of text batman...

He said roles, not classes. Shadow priests doing DPS fall into the DPS (striker) role, regardless of what their class is.

The classic D&D roles are meatshield/healer/skillmonkey/magic user. (fighter, cleric, thief, magic user). 4e roles loook more like classic MMO roles: tank/healer/Buffer/Crowd control/DPS
4E has combat roles rather than general roles (the combat role of the thief/rogue was effectively "Striker", thanks to backstab and then sneak attack; the combat role of the wizard was always artillery/crowd control). This is because too much spotlight balance gets awkward. Does the Fighter have fun when the Rogue handles all the skill stuff? It's like Shadowrun and deckers--you go get pizza and wait for him to do his separate thing.



That's exactly why I am waiting for new 4ed adventures, because they will in some way say what is this game going to be. I'm full aware that every DM runs different game with different style, and it is entirely possible to run adventure with just one fight in 4 ed, but adventure modules will tell me about what game creators are thinking about. And I think it's more tactical game with less talking/more encounters game.
Adventure modules have always, always, been combat-heavy. Most people I know don't use modules anyway; they're almost guaranteed to be less fun than a good DM running things, and I've got a good DM.

tyfon
2008-07-23, 06:46 PM
Adventure modules have always, always, been combat-heavy. Most people I know don't use modules anyway; they're almost guaranteed to be less fun than a good DM running things, and I've got a good DM.

I have little time to answer now (and I see lots of things I should answer), so I'll now only ask about this:

Take Keep on Shadowfell adventure module, then take "Wormwood" scenario from V:tM 'Gehenna' book.

Now compare, and tell me haw did You end with saying "Adventure modules have always, always, been combat-heavy."

It was different game, all right.

Take "Heart of the Nightfang Spire" and compare it to "Eyes of the Lich Queen". Tell me which scenario gives in your opinion more narrative role-playing possibility.

Ok.

Now tell me one thing - personally: why sugesstion that something in D&D 4ed is imported from MMORPG makes You so mad? It is nothing wrong, whole concept of RPG evolved from strategic games and nobody has any problem with that.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 06:56 PM
I have little time to answer now (and I see lots of things I should answer), so I'll now only ask about this:

Take Keep on Shadowfell adventure module, then take "Wormwood" scenario from V:tM 'Gehenna' book.
Eww, WoD apocalypse stuff.


Now compare, and tell me haw did You end with saying "Adventure modules have always, always, been combat-heavy."
I was talking about D&D. Vampire (when run "right") plays very differently from D&D. Violence means you're in trouble. I expect different things from Dogs in the Vineyard than from either of those, too.


Take "Heart of the Nightfang Spire" and compare it to "Eyes of the Lich Queen". Tell me which scenario gives in your opinion more narrative role-playing possibility.
I'm not saying all modules are identical. I am saying published D&D modules will have combat. On a regular basis. Because combat is a big part of what D&D is about--that's why you've got so many rules for it.


Now tell me one thing - personally: why sugesstion that something in D&D 4ed is imported from MMORPG makes You so mad?
It doesn't. People saying ridiculously incorrect things makes me irritated. There are plenty of good reasons not to like 4E. I certainly wouldn't to play nothing but 4E, any more than I'd want to play nothing but 3E. I don't expect 4E to fit everyone's playing style. Go ahead, hate the game, I don't care.

But I actively dislike games like Paranoia and Call of Cthulhu--but you don't see me making up ridiculous statements about them. I'm content to not like or play them.


It is nothing wrong, whole concept of RPG evolved from strategic games and nobody has any problem with that.
Yes, they do. "It's a morepig!" is usually said with a sneer, by people who believe that their game of choice is somehow inherently better and better for roleplaying (as opposed to those munchkin hack-and-slashers who like any other edition).


Look, D&D is about how you play it. If you have a roleplay-happy group and a good DM, you can even turn the dreck that is AD&D into a good time, much less better mechanics.

But until I have to kill Irontooth six times to have him drop the item I want, and grind through Keep of the Shadowfell with my group every weekend for two months or something, don't tell me "derp, it's an MMO".

I mean, for you, "it's like an MMO" seems to mean "it has something that's kind of like something I saw in one MMO once". If that's what "like" means for you, avoid the word.

tyfon
2008-07-23, 07:01 PM
Look, D&D is about how you play it. If you have a roleplay-happy group and a good DM, you can even turn the dreck that is AD&D into a good time, much less better mechanics.


Ok, You are right. If so, then I do not really see anything bad about 3ed wizards - anyway - it's about You, Your group, Your DM and how You play Your game.

Right ?

So why You don't like CoC ?

It's problem with You, DM, or group?

Or maybe system encourages something that You do not like ?




I'd really like to comment rest of Your post, but discussion is reaching low level, so no reson for that :/

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 07:06 PM
Ok, You are right. If so, then I do not really see anything bad about 3ed wizards - anyway - it's about You, Your group, Your DM and how You play Your game.
Mechanics influence but are separate from playstyle.


So why You don't like CoC ?

It's problem with You, DM, or group?

Or maybe system encourages something that You do not like ?
I don't like CoC because I don't like that genre as a whole. I'm not into it. But I don't feel the need to call it "like a B movie" or anything else of the sort.

Sorry, but if you're focusing on superficial things like "well World of Warcraft has characters with abilities, and so does 4E" rather than gameplay, your analysis isn't going to be accurate. I mean, c'mon, you called Exalted like an MMO, too, even though Exalted and D&D are opposites in most ways.

If you were talking about problems with the mechanics and things they encourage, that'd be one thing, but it's not. You're drawing superficial--and incorrect--comparisons that only exist because you decided to invent them. For chrissakes, you said being more tactical makes it like an MMO (which MMO? Aren't some MMOs more tactical while others are not at all?). By this reasoning, Warhammer 40k--the minis combat game--is Like An MMO.

I could say "in 3E characters are very heavily dependent on their level-appropriate magical equipment, which they kill monsters to get. Same with WoW. In 3E you have groups of people working together to fight a monster or monsters. Same with WoW. In 3E how effective your character is depends on having the proper "build", which you design from first level. Same with WoW.
Therefore, 3E is like an MMO."
But I don't make posts like that seriously, because the differences are obviously superficialities that I'm *trying* to make similar. 3E and 4E both are nothing like an MMO, because fundamentally, MMOs are defined by gameplay qualities that don't resemble tabletop gaming. The World of Warcraft d20 stuff doesn't play like WoW does, either, it just uses the fluff.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-23, 07:26 PM
You say that, and yet 3E does nothing to help this.
Well, not beyond very general guidance to the DM. I am hesitant to believe that 4e does better, especially given the Alexandrian's statement of features completely contradictory to your presentation. But if you're right, the 4e DMG (or at least a couple pages of it) might be a great resource for DMs everywhere, including those playing other games.

They weren't very good. They certainly didn't help the flow of the game. Who takes the Use Rope skill? And yet, if I want to swing in on a rope, odds are I'm going to have to roll a Use Rope check (and possibly fail). The rules discouraged that sort of thing.
That is so very much not a use rope check. Climb is better...and there being no clear 'swing on rope' relevant skill is annoying. As for who takes it...probably a rogue or ranger, it isn't likely to be worth cross-classing since it has a large built-in bonus and untrained use, but there are some low-hanging fixed DCs you could go after.

You suck in cross-class skills compared to the DCs of just about anything you face, which are designed for people with the skill maxed. And even if there's something you can do, your best bet is to let the guy who does have it maxed do it, since he'll succeed even on a 1.
Only if there's never something the entire party needs to do, or you specifically need or want to do. There's likely someone in the party who blows you away at that skill (unless you took something esoteric), and so can breeze through any challenge you can handle, but that doesn't mean that you being able to handle it is useless. Swim, bluff, balance, and sense motive are not really niches.

But yeah, don't buy open lock on a fighter unless there's no rogue. Probably.

Look at the MM. Monsters by and large either don't have a skill (except for natural stat modifiers) or have it maxed out. An NPC with spot is probably going to have full ranks--it's his job. Your few points of hide won't help.
<snip>
Every creature that isn't blind has spot, whether or not it has skill ranks. Due to the distance-based modification of detection checks, 1 point better stealth skills almost always actually means something unless you neglect to use them, and 1 point better detection skills usually do too.

I also don't think much of the MM-fillers' ideas of what to put in there, in a lot of cases, I will admit.

Cheapened? I... what? <snip>
Cheapened, because apparently anyone can get bunches of them for a nominal price. That falls within the scope of the word, I think.

If you have one-encounter days in 4E on a regular basis, people will tend to use their dailies more often. Make that one encounter a little harder to compensate and you're set. In 3E, if you have one encounter a day, the fighter and rogue are still doing their usual thing, but the spellcasters are blowing through devastating high-level spells. There's a reason 3E relies on four encounters a day--it's because that way, casters have to conserve spells. It's an attempt at balance. In 3E, a day with 8 encounters will be tougher for everyone, and a day with 1 encounter won't be "stand back and let Jim Darkmagic let'er rip".
Based on other threads here, the 8-encounter day is fatal unless the encounters are very easy. And, if you aren't force-feeding encounters, the ability to force a 1-encounter day supports whole-party 'caster narcolepsy'.

When I said "rules" I didn't mean spell lists, etc. I meant the system, not all the stuff in the book. The system is concerned primarily and heavily with combat.
Give me a clear definition of rules, and I'll see if I think you're right. I believe enough of the skill system is non-combat to break your 90% claim without the spells. And the adventuring rules.

Yes. Do abstract rules like daily powers and action points really make roleplaying harder for you? How do you handle HP?
Yes. I definitely cannot deal with abstraction when I have no idea what is behind it, and 'metagame concerns' is rarely an adequate answer to that. If it does something in the rules, it has to do something in the world that explains the effect, or goodby suspension of disbelief/immersion/what have you. For me, anyway.

HP can be dealt with (not without difficulty, I prefer non-scaling life-point systems, now that I've met a few) by saying that not all 1 hitpoint wounds are equal. A level 20 character isn't that much more physically resilient than a level 1 character, but a 20HP wound on them is something fairly minor, as opposed to something that hacks them in half. This works reasonably well, if you can tolerate 'very successfully minimizes injury' as an implicit power of high HP characters.

tyfon
2008-07-23, 07:27 PM
Mechanics influence but are separate from playstyle.

Yessssss. That what I'm trying to prove. 4ed basic books and mechanics influence gameplay, and more impact goes to combat.

It's subtle. You know what gave me impression that Exalted is CRPG (because my first most simmilar thing was Diablo?). Not trees - they were in GURPS Magic - little disclaimer that it's combat game so better get combat skills, even if You are planning to play scholar. Not just mechanics. Rather atmosphere. Squares instead of ft's, "non-combat encounter" (damn, I've been playing RPG for 14 years and it was always just talking to NPCs), per encounter powers (I still do not understand why you can use 3 Penc powers but not one three times - real reason is purely mechanical), big cut in spell versatility, increasing emphasis on using combat grid (compare first modules for 3e, then modules for late 3.5e, hen 4e PHB).



I don't like CoC because I don't like that genre as a whole. I'm not into it. But I don't feel the need to call it "like a B movie" or anything else of the sort.

Am I calling DD4E "B" ?


Sorry, but if you're focusing on superficial things like "well World of Warcraft has characters with abilities, and so does 4E" rather than gameplay, your analysis isn't going to be accurate.

Yes, MMORPG is played on comuter so gameplay is totally different. But this does not mean that ideas from MMORPG leaked to D&D4E. Agro for defenders is so explicit that I have no idea where could they get it if not from MMO.


I mean, c'mon, you called Exalted like an MMO, too, even though Exalted and D&D are opposites in most ways.

Ok, you are right. It was more like cRPG impression back then. Mostly because of combat emphasis and access for magic powers grouped in trees for everyone (Diablo2)


If you were talking about problems with the mechanics and things they encourage, that'd be one thing, but it's not. You're drawing superficial--and incorrect--comparisons that only exist because you decided to invent them.

Let me decide what I think is correct or incorrect.


For chrissakes, you said being more tactical makes it like an MMO

"More like" would be more accurate.


(which MMO? Aren't some MMOs more tactical while others are not at all?). By this reasoning, Warhammer 40k--the minis combat game--is Like An MMO.
No, because in WH40K you do not control one character.

Tsadrin
2008-07-23, 07:33 PM
2) 4e is more "gamey" or "gamist" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamist) than previous editions, especially 3.5e.

I don't have a lot to add to this conversation but I must comment on this bit of the original post. The fact that D&D 4th is more gamist in style than 3.x is to me, and in my opinion, the primary reason I believe the current edition is closer to what D&D had been in the beginning than it has been in over 20 years.

Page 9 AD&D DMG Gygax wrote:


Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the authorís opinion an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek to use imagination and creativity. This is not to say that where it does not interfere with the flow of the game that the highest degree of realism hasnĎt been attempted, but neither is a serious approach to play discouraged. In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which can fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be token too seriously. For fun, excitement, and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed. As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe, or even as a reflection of medieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the latter must search elsewhere. Those who desire to create and populate imaginary worlds with larger-thon-life heroes and villains, who seek relaxation with a fascinating game, and who generally believe games should be fun, not work, will hopefully find this system to their taste.

As MMORPGs trace their origins to early multiplayer text games that attempted to simulate early versions of the more gamist D&D and AD&D I believe the association of D&D 4th to MMORPGs is a good thing.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 07:50 PM
Yessssss. That what I'm trying to prove. 4ed basic books and mechanics influence gameplay, and more impact goes to combat.
That's because it's D&D. The D&D books have always emphasized combat over roleplaying. 4E doesn't do this any more, and the fact that 3E had some classes that were worse in combat doesn't make it do so any les.


It's subtle. You know what gave me impression that Exalted is CRPG (because my first most simmilar thing was Diablo?). Not trees - they were in GURPS Magic - little disclaimer that it's combat game so better get combat skills, even if You are planning to play scholar. Not just mechanics. Rather atmosphere.
It recommends that your character should be able to defend himself, because part of the premise is that people are trying to kill you. Your scholar should probably have Seven-Shadow Evasion or Heavenly Guardian Defense for when people with big swords come after them. This is what I'm talking about--the fact that to you, this makes it "like a CRPG", even though they're nothing alike. It's like you take a minor detail, do your best to compare it to something, and then permanently associate those two things.

If you've ever played a decent game of Exalted, it doesn't play anything like a CRPG. Associating it with Diablo or something because it has charm trees, or because characters should be able to defend themselves (the premise is that Solars are hunted abominations), is puerile, based on a superficial similarity (you could just as easily say it's like any number of other things), and pointless, because it tells you nothing accurate about the nature of the game.


Squares instead of ft's, "non-combat encounter" (damn, I've been playing RPG for 14 years and it was always just talking to NPCs), per encounter powers (I still do not understand why you can use 3 Penc powers but not one three times - real reason is purely mechanical), big cut in spell versatility, increasing emphasis on using combat grid (compare first modules for 3e, then modules for late 3.5e, hen 4e PHB).
And yet, somehow using a battle grid makes it more like an MMO, even though MMOs don't do this? It's like you're groping for random things to associate with an MMO. Like you looked at it and went "feels like an MMO", and are now trying to support an opinion that's really an unjustified feeling based on things you dislike.

You can't use the same encounter power more than once for mechanical reasons. Encounter powers are not special moves you do the same way every time, for martial characters. For wizards they can be specific spells, but for fighters, your character lands a particularily heavy hit (for example ) when you spend an encounter power.
Think of them like spending action points--you know, the things from Eberron (which refresh on level-up, purely mechanically).



Am I calling DD4E "B" ?
Plenty of people enjoy B Movies, just like plenty of people enjoy morepigs.


Yes, MMORPG is played on comuter so gameplay is totally different. But this does not mean that ideas from MMORPG leaked to D&D4E. Agro for defenders is so explicit that I have no idea where could they get it if not from MMO.
This is, again, a case of you taking vaguely similar things and insisting that that's how they must be.

4E defenders don't "pull aggro". They have special abilities that let them defend their allies in various ways. They don't make the enemy attack them.

"Aggro" refers to the programming of MMO monsters to attack whoever's got the biggest value on the aggro meter. 3E defenders don't work that way. A Fighter can try and stop an adjacent enemy from moving. A paladin can do damage to them for attacking someone else. The monsters can do this anyway--it's no different from giving the monster a -4 penalty to melee attacks with a spell, say.

Aggro is automatic. 4E defenders just have abilities that make them good at punishing some enemies for attacking their allies. If you take your eyes off the fighter, he nails you. Or do you think that any amount of effectiveness in influencing who the enemies attack is the same thing as "aggro"? A Fighter must be completely unable to do anything to keep people from walking past him and punching the wizard, or he's "pulling aggro"? It's this kind of unfounded comparison that makes me think you're just looking for anything that you can invent into something remotely similar to (an MMO/a CRPG/whatever--you seem to be switching back and forth).

Meanwhile, 3E had things like the Goad feat and the Knight class.


Ok, you are right. It was more like cRPG impression back then. Mostly because of combat emphasis and access for magic powers grouped in trees for everyone (Diablo2)
I like how your quick impression of how something is similar to something in some computer game is obviously an accurate representation of the whole system.


Let me decide what I think is correct or incorrect.
No, I can decide whether you're correct or not on my own just fine. You don't seem to be doing a great job of it, to me.


"More like" would be more accurate.
No. Not in any significant fashion. You're putting World of Worcraft, MMOs, and CPRGs (WoW doesn't play just like every other MMO; MMOs and CRPGs don't play the same, and different CRPGs play very differently) into one big group and saying "that vague and ill-defined thing over there, 4E is totally JUST LIKE that. Except where it's not, but the parts that aren't don't matter."


No, because in WH40K you do not control one character.
And in D&D you don't play in real time. Thrrefore 4E isn't like an MMO, either.

Look, YOU SAID tactical combat makes something more like an MMO. Either abandon that or stick with it.

Starbuck_II
2008-07-23, 08:01 PM
Yes, MMORPG is played on comuter so gameplay is totally different. But this does not mean that ideas from MMORPG leaked to D&D4E. Agro for defenders is so explicit that I have no idea where could they get it if not from MMO.


What? Marking isn't Aggro.
Aggro is damage notice. He must attack those who give most aggro.

Marking isn't forcing them: it is nudging them.

sleepy
2008-07-23, 09:06 PM
I'm not sure how many other forumgoers here can claim this, quite possibly several, but I was in a very well-known early-iteration WoW guild that made quite a few top-four gamewide boss takedown (and created cross-server infamy for "unintended applications" of many things). If you were into WoW in the pvp-beta to early release days, I was a main priest in Discordia.

4e feels a lot more computer-based than 3.5e to me for reasons that mostly come down to numbers. What a PC can do is very explicitely defined, very explicitely matched against a table of max-ability-at-level, and errs on the side of safe to the point of restricting player freedom. It reminds me of systems in which there is no "permission factor" and the RAW *must* hold up to the letter or suffer constant, flagrant abuse. Anyone else taken Kazzak to Stormwind second week of his existence? Anyone else discovered how to use Levetate to pull the final boss in BRS to the egg room and key an onyxia raid in 2 days back when it was intended to take 3 weeks? Yeah, that was us, and the "rules" (read: code) couldn't have loopholes or we'd just use them.

In one sense I like this because I'm really attracted to the idea of DMing a game but don't feel I have anywhere near the experience to make a 3e game work... encounters would be of inappropriate challange level, treasure over the coarse of a level wouldn't add up, major NPCs would either TPK or fold like a pack of cards... I just have no idea what works and what doesn't when it comes down to stats. 4e ensures I can come up with a great setting and story without the bottom falling out of my system and ruining my game.

On the other hand, 4e, like computer games, neccecarily sets the max power level at the expected power level, forcing PCs to choose between cookie-cutter and functional, or inefficient and flavorful, at every turn. My priest in WoW respecced only after hours of math and conversation with other top players suggested a tangible performance increase that would help us beat other teams to accomplishments. When I build characters in DnD, the "what would my concept suggest" factor almost always outweighs the "what works better in dice terms" factor and I know for a fact 4e punishes me for this.

I think a choice between both based on both the PC's insistence on min/maxing and the DM's experience managing the system's crunch is great. But I'm pretty sure if I had the time to burn out on a system, I could do it on 4e quicker.


short version: where 3e provides more freedom, it demands a more experienced DM and a more mature playstyle to artificially maintain. Conversely, where 4e is numerically fair and easier to get off the ground, it is more difficult to represent unique concepts fully (especially without becoming ineffective) or open up options.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 09:10 PM
When I build characters in DnD, the "what would my concept suggest" factor almost always outweighs the "what works better in dice terms" factor and I know for a fact 4e punishes me for this.

What? How? 4E requires much less optimization for functionality than 3E. You can still build more powerful, optimized characters, but a character who isn't optimized to the hilt or uses a concept that isn't optimal isn't going to suffer like he would in 3E. So you've basically got it backwards. As long as you're not doing something intentionally poor like making a Fighter with low Strength or a stupid Wizard, you're fine.

sleepy
2008-07-23, 09:18 PM
I feel like 3e required less optimization, especially of splat/prestige class characters, because it was possible to go so far over the power curve you didn't need to squeeze probability to make a splash. For example you could definitely play a favored soul with a flavoured spell list and feel important during combat, despite the fact the cleric is strictly superior and that a more results-minded spell selection would be more effective. While 4e doesn't really allow you to make an absolute gimp the way 3e does, the temptation to go MAD or not prethink your party role (especially considering the enchanced emphasis on party dynamics) could easily leave you an inefficient damage source with no real tactical options while everyone else works together in ways that make sense.

Helgraf
2008-07-23, 09:20 PM
- m. items usable starting from given level


Wrong answer sir. Magic items have levels so the DM has a much more reasonable idea when they should be introduced. In fact, as part of the treasure distribution guidelines, you will be giving out magic items higher level than the PCs semi-regularly, and they can use those items just fine, thank you very much.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 09:21 PM
While 4e doesn't really allow you to make an absolute gimp the way 3e does, the temptation to go MAD or not prethink your party role (especially considering the enchanced emphasis on party dynamics) could easily leave you an inefficient damage source with no real tactical options while everyone else works together in ways that make sense.

I don't think that's the case. Whatever powers you pick, they'll all be somewhat useful, and each class has class abilities and powers that help it with its role. The Cleric in my group went for flavor over optimization and he's been doing fine.

On top of optimization being less important, the way you play can redeem an otherwise subpar character, too.

And even if your Fighter isn't a master swordsman or your Rogue isn't as good at getting his sneak attack in as he could be, you don't really have classes that step over the lines of their roles. Your subpar Fighter won't be as good as my spear-and-shield elf with Shield Push, Spear Push, Tide of Iron, Armor-Piercing Thrust, Silverstep, &etc, but he won't be playing second fiddle to the cleric or some summoned monsters, either.

Helgraf
2008-07-23, 09:28 PM
Well, depends on how on defines cooldown I suppose.
3.5: Dragon shaman had every 1d4 rounds (like all dragons in 3.5)
and
4th edition's encounter powers are per 5 minutes of rest (effectively till next battle)


Tangent:
Excepting you have to take that 5 minute rest, and you don't always have the luxury.

By example I played in a 4th ed (8th level characters) event at Dexcon 11, and part of the premise of our mission was that we didn't have the time to rest between encounters. When we burned those encounters, we weren't getting them back. Yeah, sure, the 2 extra action points and item dailys we got for surviving that many consecutive fights helped as we went into the endgame of the scenario, but there was very definitely issues involving resource allotment (e.g. strategy in choosing when to use those encounters & dailies). And this was with 8 players in the group!

It is not difficult to design scenarios where you simply don't have the time to take those 5 minute breaks. Should you do it all the time? No. But sometimes it's completely appropriate.

FoE
2008-07-23, 09:56 PM
I haven't read Earthsea, but Lord of the Rings wizards are nothing like D&D wizards have *ever* been. They were demigods in mortal form, they used their power only rarely (all Gandalf does from the Hobbit until he fights the Balrog--with his sword, not by hurling spells--is light a few pinecones on fire and throw them at wolves). D&D just plain doesn't support "the wise guy who almost never does anything", as well it shouldn't.

You know, you're right: Gandalf was pretty useless. D&D wizards have pretty well owned Gandalf since First Edition.

Capfalcon
2008-07-23, 11:03 PM
I feel like 3e required less optimization, especially of splat/prestige class characters, because it was possible to go so far over the power curve you didn't need to squeeze probability to make a splash. For example you could definitely play a favored soul with a flavoured spell list and feel important during combat, despite the fact the cleric is strictly superior and that a more results-minded spell selection would be more effective. While 4e doesn't really allow you to make an absolute gimp the way 3e does, the temptation to go MAD or not prethink your party role (especially considering the enchanced emphasis on party dynamics) could easily leave you an inefficient damage source with no real tactical options while everyone else works together in ways that make sense.

RE: Favored Soul.

Yeah. The thing was, you really didn't have to optimize casters to make them useful. Spells > Melee from level 1 arguably, but level 5 without question.

But Fighters... took some effort to remain useful. Even then, you could only have an excuse for having them around up to level 12 or so.

I just find the argument, "Since you can easily overshoot what the game expects your power level to be, you don't need to worry about optomization much" to be odd...

For example, what about someone who wanted to play a smart, "I got an MBA" fighter? You can screw yourself over even easier in 3.5, since not only can you decide to get a high int (Which gives you a few skill points), you can fall for traps such as Great Cleave, Whirlwind attack, and the ever dreaded Fighter 20.

I mean, when you read it, Whirlwind attack sounds kinda cool. "I'm so awesome I can hit everyone around me at once? Sweet!"

At least the 4E Fighter doesn't have abilities that look like they might be nice, but are near useless in play...

Bago!!!
2008-07-23, 11:32 PM
This has intrigued me.

I myself am a WoW player and I am in my second session of 4ed D&D.

And I must say, I've been using the term tank/meatshield/buffer/support/striker/DD(Damage Dealer)/MDD(Massive Damage Dealer) and all that stuff before I started WoW, and I only started D&D 3.5 when it basically first came out, with NO experiance. Stumbled alot (Made a range rogue build and decided to go melee because I thought it would be more fun :smallredface:) but I got the gist of it.

Then I played 4th ed, and there was a significant change. Alot more simpler, more versatile, and I could choose whatever I thought fitted my character the best without too much of a penalty. Heck, some of the feats were far more useful. It even came with restrictions I totally liked, such as being unable to have EVERY SINGLE LANGUAGE IN THE GAME at the first level. I really hated that.


Anyway, the only feel I got from it that even remotely made it similiar to WoW or any other MMO (I did some trials before...) was Elite monsters. Its not like an MMO that much, doesn't feel like it and doesn't behave like it. And most of the rules make more sense than anything else. And the whole healing in combat thing is immensly restrictive. I mean, I could only heal once per encounter as my dwarf fighter with his second wind.

I also agree with Covered with Bees on many points, like spellcasters putting rogues to shame. You couldn't name a skill that a wizard or cleric couldn't do better with a spell at hand. Heal? Cure light wounds. Hide? Invisibilty. Move Silently? Silence. Track? Divination.

Some of the spells even extended to doing what the barbarian or the fighter were good at, such as bull rush and grappling. Evard's Black Tentacles for the Win with Bigby's pushing hand to push the guy into the wall?


From my personal experiance 4th Edition is really great, not too much like a video game (though it could be made into one) thats simpler than 3.5 with a more emphasis on Adventuring and the adventurers being special and pulling things that no one else could do, without going crazy with the stuff. In almost every 3.5 game I was in, there wasn't someone who didn't play some super powerful race (Like a half-dragon orc monkeygripping a huge warmace).


Optimization wise, as a tank, I haven't used ANY of my abilities yet, yet I still soak up more damage than everyone in my group combined! Except for that one reaping strike and those second winds, and I am still doing alright. Low on hitpoints, but I always enjoyed the Ragged, bloodied dwarf warrior with a blood cacked Maul at the ready image. :smallbiggrin:

As for the whole roleplaying thing getting lost in the combat and the skills, that is entirely untrue. There was nothing from keeping my character from not being himself, and nothing that kept the other guys from being themselves. We all played how our characters would act like we would, cept combat went faster and I could really tank at first level.

The whole point of sqaures is to make it more simpler and easier on the brain number wise. Honestly, I don't know how many times I gave up figuring out the numbers in my head. MMO have no sqaures as far as I know and as far as I have played.



And on a side note, if you don't optimize your character in 3.5, you WILL get spurned pretty badly. I did a Wizard/Warlock combo because I thought it would be KICK ASS and fun to Roleplay. The Roleplaying has been loads of fun. When combat rolls around, my hitpoints put me about the almost the first one down, my lack of spells around the current monster CR is on the weak side, and my warlock abilities are practically unnoticeble compared to the others. Course I still enjoy the social encounters as him but when the numbers start flying, I edge away from the immenint failure.



Enough of my rant, what I am trying to say, 4ed is not a MMO but a table top. Very different table top without as many confusing numbers but a tabletop none the less.

Prophaniti
2008-07-23, 11:33 PM
You know, you're right: Gandalf was pretty useless. D&D wizards have pretty well owned Gandalf since First Edition.

I've never understood why people keep trying to drag Gandalf into D&D discussions. He's from a continuity with a MUCH different approach to magic. In Tolkien's works, magic has always been a subtle thing, even Sauron didn't go around blasting holes in mountains on a regular basis. To translate Tolkien into a D&D game would require SEVERE restructuring of the magic system, mostly by chucking it all out the window and starting over. It's apples and oranges, people. Yes they're both fruit (magic), but there the similarities end, and no comparison of power can be made.

FoE
2008-07-23, 11:46 PM
I wasn't really trying to drag Gandalf into the discussion; I was really just remarking what a useless bitch he was. :smalltongue:

EvilElitest
2008-07-23, 11:46 PM
Fascinated by such hotly debated opinions on the new direction of 4e, I've been scouring the internet for 4e discussion and reviews.

One of the more common comparisons often invoked (even by professional reviewers, not just forum-dwellers) is to liken 4e to MMOs. To be fair, most of these statements come from the "anti-4e" side, but I've in fact seen them come from both.

I think it's hard to deny MMOs' influences on the new Dungeons & Dragons. If anyone has seen the WotC 4e video podcast that demonstrates a 4e encounter, you'll notice that in the beginning of the video, a 4e developer is actually in his cubicle playing WoW, and is markedly recognized as so. The fact that 4e has been streamlined so much can be seen as a notable change in accessibility to gain new players as opposed to satisfying older ones, new players which are more likely to have been raised on video games and not "pen & paper" RPGs. Add that to the fact that the new D&DI is catering to a more computerized edition of D&D, and that it also costs about the same as your average MMO monthly fee, and you've got a decent conspiracy theory on your hands.

But that's not the issue I'm raising here. I was to talk about mechanics. Rules. Crunch. Whatever you want to call it. I find myself tending to agree with the points that compare 4e to MMOs, but I've been questioning myself why. Despite many attempts to explain why, there are only really 2 fairly abstract reasons that I can fathom:

1) The class roles[which are combat-only definitions] are now explicitly defined, not implicitly defined.
2) 4e is more "gamey" or "gamist" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamist) than previous editions, especially 3.5e.

However, even with these two points out there, I find that they have not really been very well exemplified in any arguments or opinions.


So here is the question for the topic that I'm hoping can result in more fact (through examples) than opinion. If you think 4e is not like an MMO, this question is not for you.

If you think that 4e feels akin to an MMO(whether that's good or not), why? Cite specific examples; the larger-scope, the better.


bugger, i started the whole video game 4E thing long long long long ago when i first read the preview book. But i didn't do the MMO thing, so let me clarify.

4E feels like a video game in general, mixed in with D&D mini and board/war game elements, in a simplified form. The game style is that of a video game, the design is that of a board game, and the spirit is that of a "D&D for Dummies" (and i mean the bloody book series).


Personally, i don't think 4E is becoming an MMO any more than it is becoming any other video game, which quite frankly, a Table top should never base itself off a video game, because video game are inherently limited.
Plenty of people will say "oh no, its not like an MMO, because of X or Y specific detail" but taht is only evading the point,

There are similarities of course to MMO's, just like they are similarities to
JRPGs (actually there are way to many of those, grind happy, tedious, simplistic, and absolute bollocks in terms of depth, Tales excluded)

Its limited, it is anti veritility, and like a video game, it bases things upon roles and meta gaming ideals. Mooks and monsters in general are a good example of this, along with the whole NPC's issue vermilutude, ect ect ect.

A good example of this is the monsters. Even in 3E the monsters are written as other worldy beings who co exist (violently) with the players. In 4E, they are nothing but a pile of combat stats with a few sentences of basic description, like a monster guide in the back of a game manual, they are about as interesting as the monsters from Final fantasy.


In short, 4E is like a simplified, out of the box version of D&D. It would be great as an "introduction to D&D" or a board game based after D&D, but as a new edition it is like a video game in that it is simplified and basic





I compare 4e to WoW and Final Fantasy because these names are synonymous with good quality.
WoW is good as a MMO certainly, through it has flaws. FF has long squandered any talent they once had, through now that there has been some managament changes it might actually stop sucking (doubtful through) Biowhere is Synonymous with good quality

from
EE

Tengu_temp
2008-07-23, 11:57 PM
WoW is good as a MMO certainly, through it has flaws. FF has long squandered any talent they once had, through now that there has been some managament changes it might actually stop sucking (doubtful through) Biowhere is Synonymous with good quality

from
EE

I knew you were going to quote my point the moment I saw you posting here. Good, my Predict Younger People power is in full effect.

And go on, disagree. But even you can't deny FF6 is a bitchin' game.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 11:59 PM
The game style is that of a video game,
No, it's that of a D&D tabletop game.


the design is that of a board game,
Because 3E wasn't battlemat-heavy?


and the spirit is that of a "D&D for Dummies" (and i mean the bloody book series).
Funny, nobody in my group is a dummy, and we like it.



Plenty of people will say "oh no, its not like an MMO, because of X or Y specific detail" but taht is only evading the point,



There are similarities of course to MMO's, just like they are similarities to JRPGs (actually there are way to many of those, grind happy, tedious, simplistic, and absolute bollocks in terms of depth, Tales excluded)
..."grind-happy"? "Tedious"? 4E doesn't have any more "grind" (dull combat for the sake of XP/loot) than D&D has ever had. And it's far from tedious.
As for simplistic--get off it. It's not exactly a 6-page indie RPG or even a 60-page white box. It's cleaner than 3E; there's plenty of complexity left.


Its limited, it is anti veritility, and like a video game, it bases things upon roles and meta gaming ideals. Mooks and monsters in general are a good example of this, along with the whole NPC's issue vermilutude, ect ect ect.
No, mooks and monsters aren't a good example of this, because "minions" and "solo monsters" are staples of certain GENRES, like pulp, action, etc. They have nothing to do with video games.

NPCs only seem to have verisimilitude issues for you. My group hasn't run into any, and we've fought against and alongside a good number.

There is plenty of versatility to be had. The non-spellcasters have as many real, actual options as they did in 3E core.

You also haven't shown how it's "like a video game", since video games aren't necessarily like any of the things you've mentioned.

As for metagame ideals, IT'S A RULESET. OF COURSE IT'S BASED ON METAGAME IDEALS, IT DEFINES THE GAME. THE RULESET *IS* THE METAGAME. It's a class-based game where classes can actually be trusted to be good at their jobs. It's not like 4E rogues weren't expected to be the skillmonkey and do damage, 4E wizards expected to do explosives and crowd control, etc.


A good example of this is the monsters. Even in 3E the monsters are written as other worldy beings who co exist (violently) with the players. In 4E, they are nothing but a pile of combat stats with a few sentences of basic description, like a monster guide in the back of a game manual, they are about as interesting as the monsters from Final fantasy.
Ah, yes. All that OH-so-helpful information about orcs in the monster manual no one ever actually uses. If you can't give monsters a little personality beyond reading from the MM, should you really be DMing?


In short, 4E is like a simplified, out of the box version of D&D. It would be great as an "introduction to D&D" or a board game based after D&D, but as a new edition it is like a video game in that it is simplified and basic
Have you read the book? As someone who's introduced someone who's never played before to 4E, I assure you, it's NOT simple and basic. Something like Risus is simple and basic. 4E is a rules-HEAVY, high-crunch game. Being lighter than 3E doesn't change that, because pretty much EVERY game out there is less crunch-heavy than 3.5. Your familiarity with 3.5 doesn't make it any less simple.


Also, would it really be SO damn hard to fix your typing?

EvilElitest
2008-07-24, 12:33 AM
Tengu, fine i will never ever ever ever say that FF 6 is not an amazing awsome game. that game was freaking great. I don't like the new realizes, through i enjoyed tactics. 6 was amazing

also covered in bees, is taht a reference to Eddi Izzard?

No, it's that of a D&D tabletop game.

Horrary for missing the point. It has a design htat is very much like a video game, with simplicity, lack of vermilitude, and the way the game is set up. It brings about the limitations of a video game when it isn't needed


Because 3E wasn't battlemat-heavy?
I've never claimed 3E was perfect, but certainly preferable.




Funny, nobody in my group is a dummy, and we like it.
I don't care, because that wasn't my point. I wrote D&D for dummies as in the book series, IE, you know, the books X for dummies. A simplified watered down version that covers the basics without and detail.





..."grind-happy"? "Tedious"? 4E doesn't have any more "grind" (dull combat for the sake of XP/loot) than D&D has ever had. And it's far from tedious.
As for simplistic--get off it. It's not exactly a 6-page indie RPG or even a 60-page white box. It's cleaner than 3E; there's plenty of complexity left.
1) Actually it does, because of the design
2) Of course its tedious, look at the MM. Look at all of the fluff, look at the world and character design. It is nothing but basic empty words, not actual


No, mooks and monsters aren't a good example of this, because "minions" and "solo monsters" are staples of certain GENRES, like pulp, action, etc. They have nothing to do with video games.

The idea of designing characters as roles can mean two things. It ether means an attempt to design things in a mechinically neat, but lifeless game, the way Video games do, IE 4E, or doing so for the sake of drama, which Exalted does. 4E has absolutly not depth in terms of fluff, and isn't a drama game so it is the former.


NPCs only seem to have verisimilitude issues for you. My group hasn't run into any, and we've fought against and alongside a good number.




There is plenty of versatility to be had. The non-spellcasters have as many real, actual options as they did in 3E core.

Sigh, look, just because 3E's mechanics were scewed doesn't make 4E good. In 3E, you had the many customaization options, which are lacking in 4E. 3E wasn't balenced, but i prefer 3E's flawed attempts than 4E's pramagitic tedium


You also haven't shown how it's "like a video game", since video games aren't necessarily like any of the things you've mentioned.

i've pointed out the limitations and the lack of imagination, the genearal simplicity, and the general idea of a table top going down to the level of a video game instead of above it.


and since i'm godly tired, content your self with this as i catch up on sleep




OK....... I really REALLY REALLY wanted to love this game. To be honest I've been a sucker for every incarnation of DnD that's come out. I liked all of em in their own way. I prebought this one and every 'pre-book' they've put out... We were all so eager for this new incarnation. It read so well. I can't believe this, but this game has actually managed to depress me!! I HAVE played it. Just spent three hours playing, in fact.

When we finished the party reported that they had the distinct feeling that we had just played a board game version of WOW. Now we all LOVE WOW in our gaming group.. but that's NOT what we sat down to play around a table. We saw nothing 'quick' or 'streamlined' about the gaming experience. We moved pieces around a board adhereing to movement rules and 'squares' for this and that in a fashion that reminded me way too much of the old 'Heroes Quest', albeit a complicated version! Were the game mechanics good? Yes. Why did I give it a 'one star'? Because whilst the game is a good miniature warfare game it seemed to rob the flavor of DnD. The character creation was extrememly confined and the selections were limited. Gone was the ability to customize your character to the point that you actually felt like you had something unique. You will feel as if WOC is controlling the direction your character takes. The game DEMANDED a board and game pieces.. I've always felt that DnD's flavor relied on the 'minds eye', which is so much more colorful in my head than staring at plastic pieces on a piece of cardboard. I do realize that the 'original' DnD was just that, a wargame with a fantasy element. But I feel it evolved into so much more... I guess we've 'returned to our roots'... so why do I feel like we climbed back into the primordial ooze?!

A great deal of the time the magic users felt like they were 'hitting the hot button key'. They had one or two actions that they relied on every round to cause the maximum amount of damage. No inovation or imagination. Everything was geared towards 'how does this directly effect combat'.

The DM's guide isn't that bad. Reminds me a LOT of the first edition book. Information on how to be an effective dm, traps, dungeons, and artifacts. Not what 'thirders' would expect, but not bad.

The Monster Manual is awful. A third of the pictures are just rehashed from all the previous Monster Manuals. The book is concerned with stats so you can play your miniature game effectively. Again.... great if your into miniature gaming. The ecology and culture information is virtually non-existant. Make all the arguments you want about this now being in the pervue of the DM.. the honest answer is that WOC is being lazy. You have a vast variety of stats to place against your carefully created stats, but very little flavor to guide you in roleplaying the encounters.

I have read that the streamlined combat will enhance the rolplaying as you'll have more time available.... that was really exciting.. too bad this wasn't the case. Going to miniatures and a combat board, whilst carefully figuring out where your party and the encounter is, everytime combat arose was time consuming. You'll also notice that you'll have to change the map everytime, of course, which is also time consuming.

If you LOVE miniature wargaming. If Warhammer is something you daydream about.... this is the game for you! As a miniature game experience it ranks a three or four...

If you love games that take place in your head fired by limitless imagination then your probably going to be disappointed.

I really feel like power gamers are going to LOVE this game and probably flame me for my remarks. The game is geared towards being 'godlike'. I'm not knocking this. If you love powergaming and twinking then this is DEFFINITLEY the game for you. To each his or her own. You should buy it immediately... and keep DnD fiscally sound enough to perhaps manage an inevitable rewrite that might restore my faith.

Ironically I'll be keeping my set... I think it'll make a great board game for those rare nights when I just wanna run through dungeons killings things and working off frustrations. According to the DMG I don't even need a DM to do this..... Sound like any RPG you ever heard of???? No story teller... no RPG. Just another board wargame.. albeit a pretty good one.

Good day!



As for metagame ideals, IT'S A RULESET. OF COURSE IT'S BASED ON METAGAME IDEALS, IT DEFINES THE GAME. THE RULESET *IS* THE METAGAME. It's a class-based game where classes can actually be trusted to be good at their jobs. It's not like 4E rogues weren't expected to be the skillmonkey and do damage, 4E wizards expected to do explosives and crowd control, etc.
Wow, capital letters, can't ague with that. Oh wait, i can because you actually not adressing what i said. When i said meta game perspective, i mean the idea of designing the game in terms of what roles they play, instead of designing the game as world, then making the mechanics suit it.





Ah, yes. All that OH-so-helpful information about orcs in the monster manual no one ever actually uses. If you can't give monsters a little personality beyond reading from the MM, should you really be DMing?

I hope you realize, that using a fallacy to try to prove a point only makes your point weaker. "that nobody actually uses" BS, just because you don't use doesn't mean other people don't. That is BS. 3E was far from perfect, but it made an attempt to give some life to the monsters, to make them something more than random encounters, which 4E does not, it instead makes them nothing more than a mass of numbers and things to be killed. It is a simplistic,undefined , amateurish, lazy way to design a game, and it is like monsters in a video game, under detailed fodder, without any life. Maybe i'm too much of a fan of Song and Fire and ice, but hte idea of creatures existing as combat fodder is simplistic. You can oppt to use them taht way sure, but they shouldn't be designed that way. It is like a Diablo II monster guide (actually less, Diablo gives more fluff sadly).
Also major fallacy, saying that i am uncreative. of course i can give them more personality. However i can also balance 3E. That doesn't excuse the books. Just because i can do a better job does not excuse develper lazyness

the 4E monster manual is like the cliff notes of the monsters, not an actual manual

Edit

Niffty review emailed to me

Ok, so I'm reviewing the Monster Manual book more than the way the creatures work. They're just a bunch of worthless stat blocks, so they work just fine, but that's what they are: working stat blocks.

First, let me say that I don't like the artwork. In old monster manuals, there were a lot of monsters that you might fight just because you were at odds with them, or you might not even fight them at all. They could be allies. Take giants for example, the art was of some giant people that looked pretty cool, and some pre-made 3.5 campaigns included them as allies. But in this book, they look ridiculously evil. In fact, everything looks evil. It just looks like they filled the book with things to fight, not think about, which I think it less imaginative and therefore more boring. Even the treant is evil.


MORE IMPORTANTLY...There is no flavor.

Take the Shambling Mound.

In version three, it has Four Paragraphs of description. In version four it has 1 sentence. A single sentence. And then listen to the description of its ability.


This is a direct quote of version 4:

"The shambling mound makes two basic attacks. If both attacks hit the same Medium or smaller target, the shambling mound makes a secondary attack against the target. Secondary Attack: +12 vs. Fortitude; the target is pulled into the shambling mound's space and restrained (save ends). While the target is restrained, no creature has line of sight or line of effect to it. At the start of the shambling mound's turn each round, the enveloped target takes 10 damage and the shambling mound regains 10 hit points. The shambling mound can envelop up to 2 creatures at a time. When the target makes its save, it reappears in a square of its choice adjacent to the shambling mound."

It's so dull. It just gives you all the tactical information to play out the game. It's just rules without anything interesting or imaginative. Monsters have lost tons of cool abilities like swallow whole that require some really imaginative thinking. And Lycanthropes just give you a disease. I feel like 4th edition reduces everything to statistics. The game takes place on a board in stead of in your imagination.


I just can't believe that the Monster Manual took all the fun out of monsters. They all seem evil, and there's pretty much no description of them anymore. I just used to have so much fun learning about monsters and their abilities. It's just sort of sad to see them reduced to mere enemies as opposed to interested creatures with backstories and cool characteristics.

I suppose the book doesn't deserve a 1, but I miss the way things used to be. It's a perfectly acceptable book that does everything it needs to, but it doesn't delve further into things like before, and that's what I thought D&D was about.






Have you read the book? As someone who's introduced someone who's never played before to 4E, I assure you, it's NOT simple and basic. Something like Risus is simple and basic. 4E is a rules-HEAVY, high-crunch game. Being lighter than 3E doesn't change that, because pretty much EVERY game out there is less crunch-heavy than 3.5. Your familiarity with 3.5 doesn't make it any less simple.
yes actually, i own the three main core, and i've been following 4E since it was announced, and the books only confirm taht it like a video game in its simplicity. And just because you've introduced somebody to 4E, what does that prove? I've introduced people to the book Eragon, and some of them liked it, it doesn't make Eragon a good book



Also, would it really be SO damn hard to fix your typing?

I'm dyslexic, so actually it would be, its like asking a cripple to walk faster. But i'm not using Caps to prove a point

edit

Got emailed this review by somebody



The new edition of D&D is headed for some problems, in my opinion. The Monster Manual is not the worst of the three core rulebooks - that honor goes to the Player's Handbook, without a doubt. The MM and the Dungeon Master's Guide are duking it out for second place.

I rated this book at 2 stars, so there must be something good about it, right? Well, yes. Actually many of the individual monster entries have interesting features that could be mined for use in other games. The art is mostly very good, and the monster stat blocks are clear and easy to read. Unfortunately this book has the bad luck to be part of the 4th Edition rules, which are broken in many fundamental ways.

The goal with 4E was simplify, simplify, simplify. Regrettably Wizards of the Coast seems to interpret "simplify" to mean "eliminate options for players and DMs," and that shows here as it does throughout the new rules. There's little or no cultural information given on most monsters. In fact generally there is not even a physical description. If the DM can't come up with a good one based on the art, he's out of luck. Everything has been cut out except for combat abilities - because 4E has almost no support for anything that happens outside combat.

For most monsters, of course, combat information is all you absolutely need - the bare minimum. However 4E takes this to extremes, and it is really glaring in the case of monsters that used to be oriented toward non-combat. Subtlety is gone from the 4E Monster Manual. Mastermind and manipulator monsters are either gone or revised into combat opponents now.

A shining example is the succubus. Those who remember earlier editions (or even basic mythology) will recall that the succubus was never really a combat monster. She was a string-puller who worked behind the scenes. A big part of an adventure involving a succubus used to be just figuring out who your opponent was, because her powers were all about deception, seduction, and temptation. She controlled other NPCs and made life tough for the player characters from afar. No longer. The 4E succubus has few if any abilities that are useful outside combat. Even her "charming kiss" (which used to be a charm monster effect in 3.5) now has one and only one effect: it causes her victim to step in front of an attack directed at the succubus and take the damage that was meant for her. It has no non-combat uses at all, and can't even do any more than that in combat. As for seduction and temptation, the 4E succubus is literally no better at that than a pretty barmaid.

This has happened to the succubus, the vampire, the lich, the mind flayer, all demons and devils, djinns, even those old schemers, the Drow. A DM who wants to build an adventure around a devious mastermind who avoids combat will have to make it up himself - and at that point why pay for this book?

Also gone from the rules is any pretense at internal logic or verisimilitude. Monster abiities often work by completely different rules than PC abilities. For example an "encounter" power works only once per encounter for a PC, but many monster "encounter" powers can "recharge" on a successful die roll. PCs don't get this ability. Even if a monster happens to be of a PC race (such as an elf or dwarf) it still gets abiities that player characters do not get even with feats. No explanation is given for these differences; the game simply treats monsters as collections of powers for PCs to fight, and their connection to the larger universe is never considered.

Players and DMs who like the World of Warcraft experience may not be bothered by this and similar rules issues in the game, but those who like an immersive experience that makes sense internally will likely find it jarring.



from
EE

TheOOB
2008-07-24, 02:16 AM
While 4e obviously learned a lot from MMORPGs, they would be a fool not to pay attention to the success of that genre, the game is still D&D and more or less works the exact same way you are used to, only executed much better.

Now don't get me wrong, 3.x was great, sure it had it's problems, but it served us well for almost a decade, and if you prefer that edition, continue on playing, just do yourself a favor and do it because you have tried each and compared each's merits, and not because They Changed It Now It Sucks. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyChangedItNowItSucks)

One of the biggest complaints about 4e, and it's MMO attributes, is that the system is simplified or dumbed down. While I personally prefer the term "stream lined", thats just semantics, the game is simpler, and even dumbed down, which isn't really a bad thing, it's easier to learn which means it will attract a larger player base, and thus you will be able to find more players.

It's a common misconception that complexity equals depth, when is reality the opposite is more then often true. In an overly complex system, everything your character can do is explicitly stated in the rules, often to aggravating detail. A simple game it explains the basic actions they expect you to take often, and leaves the system open and easy to adapt, allowing you to do things that the game designers never made rules for much easier. One type of game has lots of actions you can do, the other has an infinite number of actions. Take your pick.

tyfon
2008-07-24, 02:41 AM
That's because it's D&D. The D&D books have always emphasized combat over roleplaying. 4E doesn't do this any more, and the fact that 3E had some classes that were worse in combat doesn't make it do so any les.

Yes, it is. Because of many reasons like cut in non-combat powers.


And yet, somehow using a battle grid makes it more like an MMO, even though MMOs don't do this? It's like you're groping for random things to associate with an MMO. Like you looked at it and went "feels like an MMO", and are now trying to support an opinion that's really an unjustified feeling based on things you dislike.

Geez... IT DOES NOT HAVE BATTLE GRID because there is no logical way to introduce grid to computer game when it is real-time based ! And it's very inconvinient to have to measure distances while playing RPG. But idea that there should be fights played with some terrain representation is introducing more combat-oriented and tactical approach to the game - which, I belive, moves it closer both to wargame and mmo.
Argument that every edition did this is very arguable. In 3e it was rather possibility, in late 3.5 they introduced 'tactical encounter'. In 4e it is strongly suggested.


You can't use the same encounter power more than once for mechanical reasons. Encounter powers are not special moves you do the same way every time, for martial characters. For wizards they can be specific spells, but for fighters, your character lands a particularily heavy hit (for example ) when you spend an encounter power.

What? Particulary heavy hit ? So landing two different "particulary heavy strikes" is all right, but striking two times same "particulary heavy blow" is not? What the heck?


Think of them like spending action points--you know, the things from Eberron (which refresh on level-up, purely mechanically).

Very untrue. Very. Action pointis something completly behind mechanics - powers are in-game. You learn them. You can notice that one month ago your friend couldn't strike with fireball - now he cans. Characters are not aware of action pts. World is NOT AWARE of them. This is COMPLETLY not the case of AP.


4E defenders don't "pull aggro". They have special abilities that let them defend their allies in various ways. They don't make the enemy attack them.

What again ? Aggro is calculated basing on player's ACTIONS against MOB ! Not just "is".


"Aggro" refers to the programming of MMO monsters to attack whoever's got the biggest value on the aggro meter. 3E defenders don't work that way. A Fighter can try and stop an adjacent enemy from moving. A paladin can do damage to them for attacking someone else. The monsters can do this anyway--it's no different from giving the monster a -4 penalty to melee attacks with a spell, say.

Wow, that's really so big difference that You cannot distinguish. You can suppress monsters ability to hit others hard, in order to defend them. Fluff says "It's dangerous to ignore a fighter", so going with this monsters should hit them.
Why not completly like in Lineage/WoW/so on? Because aggro meter would be too difficult to track without machine, and they wanted to ged rid of tracking numbers, second - because this is giving little freedom to DM - who - unlike MMO - exists here - by the way, was it mentioned in previous ed that you could play without DM? I mean - ine 3e core books ?


Aggro is automatic. 4E defenders just have abilities that make them good at punishing some enemies for attacking their allies.

It is not *automatic*. It is based on actions taken by players. nobody is striking defender because he IS defender.


If you take your eyes off the fighter, he nails you. Or do you think that any amount of effectiveness in influencing who the enemies attack is the same thing as "aggro"?

Yes, very simmilar - why it's not full aggro I've explained above


A Fighter must be completely unable to do anything to keep people from walking past him and punching the wizard, or he's "pulling aggro"?

Honestly - there was no such concept in 3e - now it is, and it's simmilar to MMO aggro.


Meanwhile, 3E had things like the Goad feat and the Knight class.

We are talking about expansion now - not Core books. Eberron had APs, but I'd not make an argument that D&D 3e HAD APs. No, I had not.


I like how your quick impression of how something is similar to something in some computer game is obviously an accurate representation of the whole system.

Your misperception suprises me even more. IT IS NOT MMORPG. IT IS NOT LIKE MMORPG BUT ON TABLETOP. It has imported some ideas from MMORPG.


No, I can decide whether you're correct or not on my own just fine. You don't seem to be doing a great job of it, to me.

That was just childish.


No. Not in any significant fashion. You're putting World of Worcraft, MMOs, and CPRGs (WoW doesn't play just like every other MMO; MMOs and CRPGs don't play the same, and different CRPGs play very differently) into one big group and saying "that vague and ill-defined thing over there, 4E is totally JUST LIKE that. Except where it's not, but the parts that aren't don't matter."


You see - this JUST LIKE THAT - is something You just made up. DO you really fail to see BIG difference between "IT IS MMORPG" and "IT USES SOME CONCEPTS THAT SHOWED ARE MOST COMMON TO MMORPG" ?



And in D&D you don't play in real time. Thrrefore 4E isn't like an MMO, either.

Look, YOU SAID tactical combat makes something more like an MMO. Either abandon that or stick with it.
Do you mean only thing that "you have squares" or whole combat system ?




If You use arguments that something is real time then ok:

You have Insider, included in CORE book, so You have online gaming table. So You can play multiplayer online RPG. Better now ?

Phil Lucky Cat
2008-07-24, 08:56 AM
Everything that EE said. Nice call on the dyslexia by the way, shows some people up for the stick-kicking venom spitters that they are. You are owed an apology, IMO. This is a friendly forum where you should be able to hold your opinion without fear of vilification. Hey, I'm a pixie and I know that.

I am not opposing 4e's MMO nature... as I said, I believe that this is the precursor to the conversion of the entire system to an online computer version, but transferring the written system to an easily convertible canon source, without tricky things to convert, like flavour text outside statistics, or imaginative role-playing the bits around non-combat situations. The Dungeon Master Guide shows this functionalist approach when it states "Just as a D&D adventure is a series of encounters strung together into an overarching story, a campaign is a larger story that ties those adventures together." (p.130) By changing the focus of adventures from epic character driven quests (with all of the dialogue tomfoolery and wrangling that goes along with it) to a series of encounter based combat situations, with strictly delinated powers/special moves, that one unlocks when one gets enough points (DING!) the conversion of the system to an exciting real-time button hammering experience (X + X + O + O + L2 = Dragon Breath!) will not be impeded by howls from the fans of any loss of authenticity. Because from this edition onwards, it IS the official product.

They have made the system less flowery, less airy-fairy, less imaginative, more functionalist, more stripped-back, and more, well, machine-like. The drive for function over imagination is revealed in the Monster Manual, where, for example, without the pictures of creatures in the Monster Manual, you would quite often have absolutely no idea what the creatures look like, or do, outside of their stat bloc/assigned combat task and the virtual version will utilise these functionalist, stat-beasts in 100% purity. Good for them. Might even be a blast to play. But EE's discussion of the loss of the mystery, or role-playing impact, of creatures such as the succubi prove that in role-playing, you sometimes need more that just an Excel spreadsheet of numbers... some discussion of their outside-combat abilities, motivations, methods, mystique... these things only matter if your monsters matter outside their combat profile. If the game just IS a combat profile, then something has definitely been lost in the mix.

Trying to defuse the fact that the new system seems to belong in the realm pixelated mob/boss battles and clickety-click special powers by specifying that the combat system doesn't follow the specific "aggro" patterns of WoW is surely missing the point. It is not a board game version of WoW, it is a new, streamlined, combat-heavy game that could (and will) be easily converted to a WoW like (or even console) experience. It will, I am sure that Wizards hope, prove compatible enough with WoW's ethos and modus operandi to convert some of that multimillion demographic into the tabletop version. Good for them. By laying the groundwork of converting the pen and paper fanbase to this form of the game, they should get 100% buy-in when they convert to the (totally accurate) video-game version.

I expect now to be howled by Covered with Bees with an excessive amount of fervour that surely reveals him as some form of WotC employee (or progenitor of 4e in some way... or maybe just a major stockholder?). I fully expect "You can't prove that they will make D&D a MMORPG, shut up Grognard" (which was the gist of his previous response), but I stand by the fact that this is A) a free forum where I can offer my opinion on a valid topic for discussion without being quashed by derision, and B) I am surely allowed to predict a future direction for the hobby that has carried computer versions of the game in most of its previous iterations (NWN, NWN2, BG, all the way back to Pool of Radiance, I think...), and the effect of this mechanistic streamlining effect on the efficacy of the eventual translation.

The specifics of whether or not it is a direct copy of World of Warcraft or WoW-like does not matter. The feel of the product has irrefutably streamlined out some of the soul of the rich RPG canon that is Dungeons and Dragons and replaced it with a very mechanistic, MMO-like experience that makes you wonder why you should bother rolling the dice and doing all the calculations when you could just log on and let the computer do it. The gamebooks are virtually the operating manual for that end product.

hewhosaysfish
2008-07-24, 09:46 AM
When I think 'MMO' I think of grind quests, pvp, NPCs that stay in the same place waiting for someone else to avenge their family even though hundreds already have, respawning monsters, and in the better ones, attempts at free-form exploration that range from laughable to decent...

None of these things have anything to do with the actual rules of the game, they have to do with how you play the game. You certainly could play 4e as an MMO, if everyone involved decided to follow those restrictions. You could do that with any system.

4e is not like an MMO, because MMO's are popularly defined by a structure and system only present because of limits in technology and development time (things like stationary NPCs waiting for the 999th person to show up with ten gargoyle skulls). 4e, and any game system, only has these structures or systems if the group playing it wants it to.


I would like to register my agreement with the above.
Many elements of 4e appear to have been inspired by MMOGs but to say this is like saying that certain forms of LARP invove playing rock-paper-scissors: it's the truth and nothing but the truth but....

Jayabalard
2008-07-24, 12:37 PM
How is being a tank, not being the meatshield? Seriously.They overlap quite a bit, and the terms are often used interchangeably. I was more pointing out that the skillmonkey role is pretty much absent from most MMOs (it's highly downplayed if it exiists at all) and that the generalist magic user roles is broken into much more narrow roles (dps, crowd control/bebuff, buffer) in MMOs in order to force player interdependence.

But back on Tanks/Meatshields: there are two slightly different roles: In general, the classic PnP one just soaks damage, while the videogame one has aggro management abilities to force the enemy (AI) into spending their attacks on them. This is something has been creeping from video games into tabletop games for a while, so it's nothing new, but it is part of the trend that people are talking about when they liken newer PnPRPGs to MMORPGs

Viruzzo
2008-07-24, 01:29 PM
The feel of the product has irrefutably streamlined out some of the soul of the rich RPG canon that is Dungeons and Dragons and replaced it with a very mechanistic, MMO-like experience
Obviuosly this is just a very personal opinion that depends on your vision of what "the rich RPG canon that is Dungeons and Dragons" is, and I can't but disagree with you. Also I don't think that any RPG that doesn't involve killing n monsters to collect x items continuosly can be called "MMO-like". MMORPGs are in my opinion much more related to hack'n'slash games than with actual RPGs (and I'm not only talking about Diablo<->WoW, but that's a good example).


that makes you wonder why you should bother rolling the dice and doing all the calculations when you could just log on and let the computer do it. The gamebooks are virtually the operating manual for that end product.
Why do you say this? In which way is 4e more "mechanical" (in a bad sense) than 3e? Does it involve more calculations than 3e? Come on... 3e was more complex, and equally if not less deep.
A 3e fighter with 4 attacks per turn? 4 hit rolls, up to 4 crit confirmation rolls, up to 4 damage rolls. Tell me that 4e is mechanic (in a bad sense).

Starbuck_II
2008-07-24, 02:24 PM
Why do you say this? In which way is 4e more "mechanical" (in a bad sense) than 3e? Does it involve more calculations than 3e? Come on... 3e was more complex, and equally if not less deep.
A 3e fighter with 4 attacks per turn? 4 hit rolls, up to 4 crit confirmation rolls, up to 4 damage rolls. Tell me that 4e is mechanic (in a bad sense).

I know, better yet. Try item creation.
You had to do Trig to do it (I know it helped me pass Trig). :smallcool:
3rd was more complex.

In 4th, items are by level for price. So simpler way to figure out price: it will be one of the those prices.

I found it quite funny that EE thinks Powergamers will love 4th.
When 3rd had all the broken combos.
Heck, only Epic level has a case for being broken in 4th (which was broken in 3rd).
In 3rd you could be broken in the pre teens (assuming no Pun Pun cheese).

Also, I found losts of info on Monsters. Did EE read the Lore checks?
They give oodles of info.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-24, 02:27 PM
Everything that EE said. Nice call on the dyslexia by the way, shows some people up for the stick-kicking venom spitters that they are. You are owed an apology, IMO. This is a friendly forum where you should be able to hold your opinion without fear of vilification. Hey, I'm a pixie and I know that.
It's funny that you say that, and then later go on to say "you disagree with me, clearly you work for WotC." I guess everyone's allowed their opinion--except when they're saying that you're wrong?

For the record, dyslexia explains spelling mistakes, switched letters, etc. I don't know that it would prevent people from hitting the shift key when they hit the "i" key.


I am not opposing 4e's MMO nature...
Of course not. You're just inventing it. But because you decided it's the case, you're irrefutably right, of course.


as I said, I believe that this is the precursor to the conversion of the entire system to an online computer version,
And you have nothing to back this up except a dislike for the system.


but transferring the written system to an easily convertible canon source, without tricky things to convert, like flavour text outside statistics, or imaginative role-playing the bits around non-combat situations. The Dungeon Master Guide shows this functionalist approach when it states "Just as a D&D adventure is a series of encounters strung together into an overarching story, a campaign is a larger story that ties those adventures together." (p.130) By changing the focus of adventures from epic character driven quests (with all of the dialogue tomfoolery and wrangling that goes along with it) to a series of encounter based combat situations,
I don't think you understand what an "encounter" is.
An encounter doesn't have to be a fight--skill challenges are non-combat encounters. An encounter can be a social scene, an infiltration, whatever. It's an event where the PCs are trying to accomplish something and have a chance of failure. Saying that an adventure is made out of a series of events where the PCs try to accomplish something, in the context of a story.
Why is this statement so offensive? Because you're used to associating the word "encounter" with combat? Looks like it.

Like I said, there are already perfectly good video games using 2E and 3E. Some of these were hugely successful. Arguing that they're changing the system to make video games is paranoia that ignores the fact that they were already making video games. 4E isn't any easier to make a video game out of than 3E was (what with 3E's detailed rules)--look at Temple of Elemental Evil, a faithful recreation of the 3E rules.

And the PHB/DMG talk about roleplaying--you can pretend that it tries to remove "epic character-driven quests with dialogue and wrangling", but in reality, all it's told you is that these quests are going to consist of encounters, both combat and non-combat, with


with strictly delinated powers/special moves, that one unlocks when one gets enough points (DING!)
Yes, getting new abilities when you level up is SO like a video game.
Wait, what's that? Hey, apparently in 3E characters suddenly learn to do things when they level up, too. In fact, that's a feature of all level-based systems. Oops!


the conversion of the system to an exciting real-time button hammering experience (X + X + O + O + L2 = Dragon Breath!) will not be impeded by howls from the fans of any loss of authenticity. Because from this edition onwards, it IS the official product.
Ah, right. You don't like it, therefore it's just like mashing buttons!
You know, for a guy who gets so indignant about being able to hold his opinion without fear of vilification?


They have made the system less flowery, less airy-fairy, less imaginative, more functionalist, more stripped-back, and more, well, machine-like.
They have made the rules clearer and easier to sort through. 3E was also a high-crunch system.

The reason they minimized the fluff in the PHB is because no one used that information. Half the people I know use established campaign settings. The other half play in homebrew worlds--fairly generic ones, but still. Being "airy-fairy" is a bad idea for a ruleset. If you look at the skills chapter of 3E, it's not exactly "flowery" by any standard.


The drive for function over imagination is revealed in the Monster Manual, where, for example, without the pictures of creatures in the Monster Manual, you would quite often have absolutely no idea what the creatures look like
Then it's a good thing they gave you a picture, isn't it?
I can't count the number of DMs I've seen who show you the picture from the MM and say "it looks like this". By contrast, no one reads you the description.


or do, outside of their stat bloc/assigned combat task and the virtual version will utilise these functionalist, stat-beasts in 100% purity. Good for them. Might even be a blast to play.
So, let me get this straight.
It's "functionalist" because it doesn't tell you "Blues are a subrace of goblins which are psionic, and some goblin communities target them while others preserve them" and "they generally dress in short leather robes, dyed black"?
Man, what if I wanted the Blues in my game to be a diplomat caste and wear bright-colored cloth instead of black leather?

Could it be that you're just expected to come up with something that fits your game world, rather than being "default" fluff for the world in the PHB that no one plays games in?


But EE's discussion of the loss of the mystery, or role-playing impact, of creatures such as the succubi prove that in role-playing, you sometimes need more that just an Excel spreadsheet of numbers... some discussion of their outside-combat abilities, motivations, methods, mystique... these things only matter if your monsters matter outside their combat profile. If the game just IS a combat profile, then something has definitely been lost in the mix.
Did you really have your NPCs roll Will saves vs. your succubus's Charm Monster or Suggestion, offscreen? Did you really limit her influence over them to what the Charm and Suggestion spell can do?
I don't think you did. I don't think ANYBODY did.
What I did was just give her however much influence I thought was appropriate. "Suggestion" absolutely does NOT let you emulate the subtle manipulator, the whispering adviser, etc. It's a brute-force spell with a specific function. Charm Monster just makes them friendly, but watch out when it wears off (you don't want a king realizing he's been charmed just because he's been busy and you couldn't refresh it/he entered a Magic Circle Against/etc).

The succubus has been demoted (just look at her level). She'll have to rely on her ability to look like anyone she wants and actual social abilities to manipulate people...
...instead of, you know, hitting everyone she wants to control with a spell-like ability over and over until they've all failed, and using Greater Teleport or Ethereal Jaunt to escape if she's ever in danger. How is that fun for the PCs, again? (Oh, right, DMs just didn't use those abilities, or if they did then the succubus gets away, poof, the end.) How is that flavorful for a manipulator, again? (Oh, right, it's not--it makes her a perfect scout, messenger, etc. In fact

The game is not just a combat profile. No matter how many times you repeat this, it won't change any of the non-combat situations (encounters and otherwise) we've had in our game.


Trying to defuse the fact that the new system seems to belong in the realm pixelated mob/boss battles and clickety-click special powers by specifying that the combat system doesn't follow the specific "aggro" patterns of WoW is surely missing the point.
I don't think you get it.
"Clickety-click"? Because using a power is "clickety-click", but casting a spell at your enemies, in 3E, or using your Improved Trip feat, wasn't?
4E combat has less repetitiveness and more thinking. You'd be better off likening it to a tactical wargame than to a video game, because video games don't do this kind of round-by-round tactics.

Minions and solo monsters are nothing like video games (which have "standard monsters" and then really elaborate bosses). What they ARE like is action movies, pulp novels, fantasy books, and plenty of other things. The warrior cutting his way through the evil wizard's minions is a fantasy trope; likening it to a video game just shows a poor understanding, not any kind of accurate assessment.

The new system is a way of playing D&D. It's not any more adaptable to a video game, because it relies just as much on a DM. In fact, the D&D Insider game table? It's not going to be enforcing the rules, specifically so it can allow DMs to do what they want, groups to use house rules, etc.


It is not a board game version of WoW, it is a new, streamlined, combat-heavy game that could (and will) be easily converted to a WoW like (or even console) experience. It will, I am sure that Wizards hope, prove compatible enough with WoW's ethos and modus operandi to convert some of that multimillion demographic into the tabletop version. Good for them. By laying the groundwork of converting the pen and paper fanbase to this form of the game, they should get 100% buy-in when they convert to the (totally accurate) video-game version.
You realize that Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and the rest show us that all the editions are just as easily converted to a computer RPG experience?

You realize that people don't like 4E because it's HURR JUST LIKE A VIDYA GAME, they like it because it's a fun tabletop gaming experience?

4E is combat-heavy if you play it to be combat-heavy. It's certainly combat-moderate, at the very least.


I expect now to be howled by Covered with Bees with an excessive amount of fervour that surely reveals him as some form of WotC employee (or progenitor of 4e in some way... or maybe just a major stockholder?).
"Everyone has a right to my opinion! Don't vilify people for their opinion! YOU'RE QUASHING ME WITH YOUR DERISION! Oh, by the way, if you think my opinion is stupid, then you're a corporate drone, because obviously no right-thinking person would disagree with me on their own. Wait, what's that? Oh, no, I'M allowed to vilify people for and be derisive about their opinions. It's everyone else that should be gentle with me."
I'm "howling" (funny how you take disagreement so seriously) at you because you're saying things without a shred of support. In return for pointing out problems with what you're saying, I get "you muts work for WotC".
Are you starting to see the hypocrisy in this picture?


I fully expect "You can't prove that they will make D&D a MMORPG, shut up Grognard" (which was the gist of his previous response), but I stand by the fact that this is A) a free forum where I can offer my opinion on a valid topic for discussion without being quashed by derision, and B) I am surely allowed to predict a future direction for the hobby that has carried computer versions of the game in most of its previous iterations (NWN, NWN2, BG, all the way back to Pool of Radiance, I think...), and the effect of this mechanistic streamlining effect on the efficacy of the eventual translation.
You're allowed to say whatever you want. Likewise, I'm allowed to disagree with you. My derision isn't keeping you from posting.

You're allowed to predict a future for the hobby, BUT YOU SHOULD SUPPORT YOUR STATEMENTS. You haven't. Your posts so far summarize to "I don't like it and I think it feels like a video game, therefore, obviously and irrefutably, WotC is changing the whole system specifically to turn it into a video game. Wait, what's that, proof? Asking for proof is just you trying to shut me up!"

You aren't just content to say "durr, it's an MMO because you have powers" like some people are--you actually go a step farther. And all without evidence.

Say what you like, but if you can't back it up, that's pretty telling.


The specifics of whether or not it is a direct copy of World of Warcraft or WoW-like does not matter. The feel of the product has irrefutably streamlined out some of the soul of the rich RPG canon that is Dungeons and Dragons and replaced it with a very mechanistic, MMO-like experience that makes you wonder why you should bother rolling the dice and doing all the calculations when you could just log on and let the computer do it. The gamebooks are virtually the operating manual for that end product.
"Irrefutably"? No, it's plenty refutable, because so far, all you've said to support it is "well, the monsters in the MM don't tell me what their personalities are, I have to make that up myself." (Yeah, you know what? Good. About time. Maybe now hobgoblins won't be the same in everyone's game. )
You know, for a guy who doesn't want anyone to tell him he's wrong ("you're squashing my opinion, bawwww!"), you're awfully eager to tell other people that they can't say you're wrong ("irrefutably").

The experience only seems to be "MMO-like" for people like you. I've played World of Warcraft. I didn't care for it enough to start paying for it, but it was OK. It's also nothing like 4E, because with 4E, we've got all those things (epic quests, character banter, scenes of character-to-character interaction, personality development, etc) that you think aren't there in the game. And you know what? 4E isn't any worse for it than 3E or 2E. It's just got better mechanics.

Speaking of mechanics, 2E is the easiest to adapt to a video game. It doesn't have any non-combat rules (non-weapon proficiencies are optional), and while it's got a bunch of tables and random subsystems, those are a breeze for a computer. And you can just excise the ones no one used, like the Punching/Wrestling table, entirely!
Meanwhile, 4E has, oh, say, skill challenges. How would you even carry those over to a video game? Geez, that wouldn't work at all, skill challenges
(Why, it's ALMOST as though they exist to support NON-COMBAT activity, and encourage people to narrate their actions! But that's impossible, right? I mean, you decided 4E is only about combat, so we should just ignore the fact that it has a whole thing for non-combat encounters that D&D never had before, right?)

RukiTanuki
2008-07-24, 02:29 PM
Everything that EE said.

With that sentence alone, I think I'm done in this topic. My post back on page 1 was immediately reworded into something ridiculous, and has since been defended by others that read it properly. I think I'll continue to observe. Every point that might actually deserve a rebuttal has already been masterfully handled by others. I just wanted to thank everyone for providing some well-worded responses.

The best point I've seen so far, which I'd like to highlight: I do see a lot of cases of "Quality X of 4e is like MMORPGs and therefore bad/simpleton/stupid" where a simple "I don't like Quality X" seems to strike at the real heart of the matter.

Roderick_BR
2008-07-24, 03:49 PM
I've been following this thread most of the day, and I'll say what I say in all threads like this one:
Can someone *really* explain why 4E is like a simplified videogame? Camon, no one said. You just use weak comparisons here and there, as someone said "it's Y because of X".
I didn't see ther reason of why 4E is a videogame yet. All I see is "It's like a video game, because you have powers".... and? The rest? Where's the explaination. It's all a "just because" thing?

Btw, FF6 rules over all those Plastation genearation FFs, historywise. Locke x Celes forever! </fanboy>

Deepblue706
2008-07-24, 05:38 PM
I think one of the primary reasons that people associate 4E with MMOs is, in fact, the wide-spread existence of formulaic powers, as well as the very layout of the rulebooks.

Spellcasters in earlier editions may have had very similar functions as those in 4E, but many spells only shared similarity in length, radius and casting time. The effects themselves, I believe, would sometimes vary greatly, and often required detailed descriptions. I think it was wise of 4E to hang onto them (rituals), although I am unsure if I feel their present form is preferable.

Many of the combative spells in 3.X are little different from the regular abilities that Wizards continue to have in 4E, although I think the seeming emphasis on these as regular abilities may have made their function visibly similar to that of MMOs - whose Wizards, after all, often just rely on a "toolbar" of spells that offer only varieties in damage, elemental types, and possibly a minor, added effect.

Because Wizards were often seen as among the most powerful and fun-to-play classes of 3.X, the developers obviously felt it was time to make sure that all classes had equal opportunity to do cool stuff. Fighters in 3.X could do a few things to tweak their damage, ac, and also had a bunch of non-lethal options, but they weren't viable and often lacked flair. They and other classes suffering from the no-spells-blues would be sure to tag along, wherever classes like the Wizards would go.

Now, while Wizards (and those who grab the feat) have access to rituals, they aren't really in the class section with the rest of their abilities (if I'm not mistaken). So, I don't think it's unnatural for some to believe that players are expected to run around using "Magic Missile" a lot, and once every three-and-a-half sessions flip back to the old "Rituals" section, so they can spend 10 minutes preparing to locate an object because the GM felt it was time to finally provide the players with "hide-and-go-seek" challenge, before running another gauntlet of things-that-need-a-good-blasting. And, because all other classes follow the same basic formula, they effectively build the same "toolbar", although they fill theirs up with slightly different abilities (although, some features of abilities do seem to overlap in an arbitrary manner, and just simply come from a different source - a method of which I think was fairly hamfisted and I believe is also present in some MMOs).

So, taking into account this mindset, is it not conceivable that the layout of the rulebooks and larger quantity of formulaic abilities are influencing those who believe 4E is like an MMO, and, not necessarily stupidity?

Covered In Bees
2008-07-24, 05:43 PM
So, basically, "because wizards have a list of powers they can use"?
Seriously? That's why?
I guess 3E Sorcerers were Just Like an MMO, then.

Basically? No, it isn't. Even if you find the things you mentioned problematic ("wizards have an area-of-effect ranged power that stuns on a hit and dazes on a miss; fighters have a single-target melee power that stuns on a hit! They're totally the same!"), that doesn't make them "like an MMO".

Rituals aren't in the classes section, therefore 4E is like an MMO? That's supposed to be a "reasonable" argument? Of course they're not in the classes section. The "Ritual Caster" class feature of wizards is. Imagine how the book would look with the Rituals section in the middle of the Wizard class.

"The layout of the book makes it like an MMO." I'm boggling at this one. Anyone who thinks that where the Rituals section is makes the game more or less like an MMO should have their license to say "MMO" revoked.

Formulaic abilities? If you don't like that and think every class should get wildly different abilities (where was this outcry in 3E? Sneak Attack, rage, weapon specialization/mastery are just different ways of hitting things harder; Stunning Fist is basically a "melee spell"; the Fighter hits things with a sword, the Paladin hits things with a sword and a smite, the Barbarian hits things while angry, the rogue hits things with a rapier, precisely) then okay, whatever, but saying that the Rogue and the Fighter aren't different enough and therefore it's JUST LIKE AN MMO is stupid, because "MMO" says nothing about how different the classes are. Don't Rogues and Warriors play very differently in WoW? Wouldn't that make a bigger difference between them "like an MMO"?


THIS is the problem. It's people saying "like an MMO" rather than "this is what I don't like and here's why."

Viruzzo
2008-07-24, 05:47 PM
So, taking into account this mindset, is it not conceivable that the layout of the rulebooks and larger quantity of formulaic abilities are influencing those who believe 4E is like an MMO, and, not necessarily stupidity?
Well since it's a stupid reason, the difference is hard to notice. Are not 3e spell entries as formulaic?

Also, on the "reach level X, gain power Y = DING!" matter: have you ever read the Monk entry?

Deepblue706
2008-07-24, 06:00 PM
Well since it's a stupid reason, the difference is hard to notice.

Well, at least I'm trying to come up with reasons why people might think things, instead of complacently presuming people who fall short of my magnificent reasoning to be lacking brain cells.


Are not 3e spell entries as formulaic?

Did I not address that?


Also, on the "reach level X, gain power Y = DING!" matter: have you ever read the Monk entry?

I'm sorry, did you think that what I wrote was a defense of my own opinion?

Anyway, that's not something people will inherently call the same, because a Monk gets little fluffy benefits, and enhances already-existing abilities. All 3.X combat is fairly similar, as it's a generic system where most things vary by enhancements.

When each class has differently named attacks, inaccessable by any means unless you have a very special feature that says otherwise, people probably look at them differently.

Just thought it was something worth considering.

Deepblue706
2008-07-24, 06:03 PM
So, basically, "because wizards have a list of powers they can use"?
Seriously? That's why?
I guess 3E Sorcerers were Just Like an MMO, then.

Basically? No, it isn't. Even if you find the things you mentioned problematic ("wizards have an area-of-effect ranged power that stuns on a hit and dazes on a miss; fighters have a single-target melee power that stuns on a hit! They're totally the same!"), that doesn't make them "like an MMO".

Rituals aren't in the classes section, therefore 4E is like an MMO? That's supposed to be a "reasonable" argument? Of course they're not in the classes section. The "Ritual Caster" class feature of wizards is. Imagine how the book would look with the Rituals section in the middle of the Wizard class.

"The layout of the book makes it like an MMO." I'm boggling at this one. Anyone who thinks that where the Rituals section is makes the game more or less like an MMO should have their license to say "MMO" revoked.

Formulaic abilities? If you don't like that and think every class should get wildly different abilities (where was this outcry in 3E? Sneak Attack, rage, weapon specialization/mastery are just different ways of hitting things harder; Stunning Fist is basically a "melee spell"; the Fighter hits things with a sword, the Paladin hits things with a sword and a smite, the Barbarian hits things while angry, the rogue hits things with a rapier, precisely) then okay, whatever, but saying that the Rogue and the Fighter aren't different enough and therefore it's JUST LIKE AN MMO is stupid, because "MMO" says nothing about how different the classes are. Don't Rogues and Warriors play very differently in WoW? Wouldn't that make a bigger difference between them "like an MMO"?


THIS is the problem. It's people saying "like an MMO" rather than "this is what I don't like and here's why."

Uhhh....I think you missed what I was pointing at. And again, I haven't stated my opinion, but rather a hypothesis as to why people think that.

I think you need to chill out a bit.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-24, 06:04 PM
Uhhh....I think you missed what I was pointing at. And again, I haven't stated my opinion, but rather a hypothesis.

Your hypothesis boils down to "these people aren't stupid, they're just influenced by stupid thoughts X and Y."

A more accurate explanation would probably revolve around them being very accustomed to 3.x, change being jarring and causing a negative reaction, and them reaching to explain their negative reaction by comparing it to anything they can find as superficially similar.

I mean, for chrissakes, one of the guys in this thread was using "like an MMO" to mean "like WoW", "like a CRPG", and "like tabletop wargaming" all at the same time, despite these being very different things.

Deepblue706
2008-07-24, 06:07 PM
Your hypothesis boils down to "these people aren't stupid, they're just influenced by stupid thoughts X and Y."

Well, I'm not someone who's quick to call others stupid, because I find many people have methods to irrationality. Missing one thing here or there doesn't make a person dumb, but perhaps ignorant of a detail or two. They could be ignorant because they focus too much on insignificant details, such as presentation.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-24, 06:10 PM
Well, I'm not someone who's quick to call others stupid, because I find many people have methods to irrationality. Missing one thing here or there doesn't make a person dumb, but perhaps ignorant of a detail or two. They could be ignorant because they focus too much on insignificant details, such as presentation.

Boiling it down to "they get hung on on superficial sort-of-similarities rather than how the game plays" might help.

Deepblue706
2008-07-24, 06:12 PM
Boiling it down to "they get hung on on superficial sort-of-similarities rather than how the game plays" might help

Sometimes smart people make stupid mistakes because their preconceptions and intuit method of thought leads them to think on a different track. So? First, chill out. If you really care about what they think, you should probably head-off their arguments with fewer insults and more information presented in a manner they can appreciate.



A more accurate explanation would probably revolve around them being very accustomed to 3.x, change being jarring and causing a negative reaction, and them reaching to explain their negative reaction by comparing it to anything they can find as superficially similar.

I mean, for chrissakes, one of the guys in this thread was using "like an MMO" to mean "like WoW", "like a CRPG", and "like tabletop wargaming" all at the same time, despite these being very different things.

Although I didn't spot what you're referring to, I don't doubt it. Sometimes people do like you say, but I don't think it's right to demonize people who happen to feel that 4E might be like an MMO, just because they have idiots on their side of the debate. I only say that, because you and a few others seem particularly passionate about the idea, and instead of trying to understand why some fail to agree with you, you appear to damn them categorically.

Deepblue706
2008-07-24, 06:17 PM
Wait, did I just quote the same thing twice? I'm losing it.
Edit: Okay, that should be better.

But to sum-up, CiB, I think people just need to have a little more patience with those who happen to judge 4E incorrectly. I think it may be more beneficial to try to fully understand their viewpoint in order to correct it.

I have to go eat something. That will take at least 7 hours, so I cannot continue this discussion for some time.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-24, 06:31 PM
Those are different things. Sometimes smart people make stupid mistakes because their preconceptions and intuit method of thought leads them to think on a different track.
I'm sure they're fine citizens and upstanding gentlement. But their argument is stupid, which is all anyone's really claimed.



Although I didn't spot what you're referring to, I don't doubt it. Sometimes people do like you say, but I don't think it's right to demonize people who happen to feel that 4E might be like an MMO, just because they have idiots on their side of the debate. I only say that, because you and a few others seem particularly passionate about the idea, and instead of trying to understand why some fail to agree with you, you appear to catagorically damn them all.
The fundamental differences between tabletop gaming and MMOs make the comparison inherently bad.

Like I and other have said: until I have to grind mobs for loot and in 4E, rather than having D&D-style adventures, saying it's "like an MMO" is absolutely futile. Even World of Warcraft: d20 isn't like WoW the MMO in more than the superficial, fluffy ways.

I wouldn't want to run every kind of game in 4E. I don't expect everyone to like 4E. There are perfectly legitimate reasons for which 4E might be Not For You. Don't like tactical combat? 4E's probably not for you. Want a game that revolves around political intrigue? Something like Vampire is best. Want gritty, "you get wounded, then you get tetanus, then you die" type fantasy? WFRP is there. Want to start out as a completely awesome dude with grandiose plans and desires but tragic flaws? Exalted is just waiting. Want to play a pseudo-Mormon sherriff battling with sin and sorcery and helping communities? Dogs in the Vineyard is good stuff (it's there for you).

I just wish people who don't like 4E would deal with the real reasons they don't like 4E. It's OK to say "I like being able to do anything out-of-combat with my wizard, and don't mind if the fighter can't do much, and I like the ton of options 3.5 splatbooks give me, so I'm sticking with 3.5. When 4E has a bunch of splatbooks out with more utility stuff, more rituals, etc, maybe I'll take another look."

Instead, we get "they want to kill tabletop D&D and convert it entirely to a video game!" (yay, unfounded paranoia) and "it's like an MMO, a JPRG, and a wargame, all at the same time!" and other such nuggets of brilliance.


4E is not the perfect game. 4E isn't my favorite game, or in the top three. I don't like everything about 4E, and I like some things about 4E that it's perfectly reasonable for other people not to like. "I like monsters that have abilities that I can use as guidelines for what they can accomplish outside of combat, rather than just having to decide what happens" is a good, productive statement. it addresses issues that might not be there for everyone, but at least it's founded in something. "I think that the mechanics should try to simulate the world, rather than focusing on gameplay" is a good, productive statement (but makes you a simulationist heretic who should probably be playing GURPS or something, not any edition of D&D). "It's like an MMO because characters have a set of abilities"? Christ, what can you even say to something like that? It's as bad as "Warlocks are a core class therefore it's like WoW" (which, yes, I've seriously heard).

If we're going to talk about the problems with 4E, can we please talk about the actual problems with 4E, rather than using "it's like an MMO" to mean "I don't like a bunch of stuff about it, and I can't articulate that"? It can be hard, but try. Please. We're here for you all and support you. --Except for you. Yeah, you, there in the back, with the brown shirt. You can just go straight to hell. We don't need your kind around here.

ericgrau
2008-07-24, 11:25 PM
It's like an MMO, it's like a board game, it's like a w/e. What it's not anything like is old d&d, and that's why people complain. It no longer makes much attempt to say, "The player is pretending to be this guy in a fantasy setting, what would he try to do? Okay, let's make all the rules so he can do whatever he wants." Instead it says "You are this level which gives you these special abilities that let you do that." It's like the spells that you get in video games, which even martial characters get in Warcraft. Or in board games it could be a card you play from your hand. The point is, making a vague semblance to reality is no longer a concern. Giving you a pile of special abilities that sound fun to use is the new goal.

Some want to play a game where they can stack on and combo abilities. Others want something they can imagine in their head (without cartoony/anime effects).

"4e sucks" or "3e sucks" probably aren't very valid forms of complaints, but "4e is a different game from 1e-3e" is a valid complaint. Okay, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Did D&D just suck, time for a different rpg? Was D&D great. Should that new rpg get its own friggin' name rather than covering over it? 4e is in fact hiding 3e from would-be fellow players, and that is a valid complaint. Or the "would-be fellow players" might say, if they ever saw 3e, "Thanks for not dumping that on me." Either way, you better believe that if anyone likes playing 3e or likes playing 4e there will be fights.

IMO 4e didn't ruin d&d. ToB and splatbooks ruined d&d, 4e was just the follow-up on that experiment. Especially when DMs are called names for not letting PCs use their books. And if you like those books and want to play that kind of game and want to try 4e, then I'd encourage you to do so. But I don't like that kind of game. The thing is, when powers are on the forefront, the other already obscure rules get ignored even more. Like...

the TWENTY-THREE different tactical activities that might cause bonuses or penalties to attack rolls and AC. Instead, PC archers tend to stand straight up and out in the open even though they're getting shot at, b/c they're too stuck in a "gamey" mindset.
The 6 forms of tactical movement. Instead players are so entrenched into a gamey mindset that they often don't even realize that when you hide or sneak you must hide behind something.
The TWENTY full round actions, TWENTY standard actions, FIFTEEN move actions and TWELVE attack actions available to just about everyone (but more useful to those with the abilities). Half of those depend on circumstances and/or character build, the other half are pretty much always available & useful to anyone with halfway decent stats (i.e., not wizards). FOUR of those are "I [walk up to the monster and] hit it with my sword... again."


And there's much more I could get into involving passive skills - things that typically come up several times each session where a player would automatically gain great benefit from focusing on the right skills (or be totally clueless about the DM's secret roll if not)... if anyone actually paid attention to how those work. Or I could get into the numerous things that can pretty much only be done out of combat and yet have a major impact on the PC's success in the adventure.

Instead it's:
1. Enter dungeon.
2. Activate cool powers.
3. Repeat.

Ok, great, sounds fun. It's a lot easier than the complicated 3e rules. And if you've just been hitting stuff and using powers/spells in 3e, I'd say that's an upgrade. But it's a different game entirely.

EvilElitest
2008-07-24, 11:43 PM
While 4e obviously learned a lot from MMORPGs, they would be a fool not to pay attention to the success of that genre, the game is still D&D and more or less works the exact same way you are used to, only executed much better.

It is not the same as the genre, that is just the thing. It is like a simplified basic unruly version of the genre. It is like a watered down version, teh abridged version, the crappy sequel, the spark notes summery, the rough draft, the movie adaptation (and i mean that in the bad way). It is like a video game in that it is basic and suffers from limitations and simplicity that video games naturally have to suffer from. This is fine for video games, because that is what they are, but table tops don't have that limitations. It suffers by mimicing a game that it is more advanced than.

The game is like a D&D for dummies, and would make a great board game based after D&D i admit, or a beginners. As a seperate game it could do fine, but as a new edition it falls short


Now don't get me wrong, 3.x was great, sure it had it's problems, but it served us well for almost a decade, and if you prefer that edition, continue on playing, just do yourself a favor and do it because you have tried each and compared each's merits, and not because They Changed It Now It Sucks. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyChangedItNowItSucks)

Stop right there. Don't use that fallacy. Really, stop using it. Why does everybody forget this. I do not thing that 3E was the perfect edition. It suffered from many major flaws, namely huge balance issues. I wanted a new edition. When 4E was first announced, i was one of the people who was happy. I want a new edition, and back before i learned of the details of 4E, i was promiting the need for a new edition. After learning about 4E, i realized that it was a load of bollocks, but i'm not against it because i think change is bad.

So don't use that. I realize the advantage of doing so. saying that hte opposing side simply doesn't like change does a great job in making them look like old fashion conservative nuts or radical fanboys, and quite frankly this is not the case

I realize the flaws in 3E, and i have never said it was a perfect edition. I also wish for another edition. I have a major beef with 4E however, but that has nothing to do with conservatism



One of the biggest complaints about 4e, and it's MMO attributes, is that the system is simplified or dumbed down. While I personally prefer the term "stream lined", thats just semantics, the game is simpler, and even dumbed down, which isn't really a bad thing, it's easier to learn which means it will attract a larger player base, and thus you will be able to find more players.
sigh, the game is simplified. It takes complexity away and brings abut a shallow replacement for earlier editions. Yeah, i know it tries to appeal to a wider audience, but that doesn't excuse simplicity and bad design. Maybe WotC is using the cynical idea that the masses can't handle complexity, or maybe it is that WotC, in order to appeal to the masses, have fundamentally changed their game to mimic other popular fantasy ideas, like the LOTRS movies or video games (which includes MMOs and other video games, through i think that JRPGs are the main influence).

THe idea of appealing to the masses by simplifying the game basically is, by definition, D&D for dummies (they've made a new one for 4E apperently). Its just covering the basics of the game, without any actually going into depth, like a biginners guide to D&D, which is basically what 4E is.



It's a common misconception that complexity equals depth, when is reality the opposite is more then often true. In an overly complex system, everything your character can do is explicitly stated in the rules, often to aggravating detail. A simple game it explains the basic actions they expect you to take often, and leaves the system open and easy to adapt, allowing you to do things that the game designers never made rules for much easier. One type of game has lots of actions you can do, the other has an infinite number of actions. Take your pick.

There is a difference between over complex and logically complex. FATAL is the former, Song of Fire and Ice is the latter. And there is a difference between simple and shallow. Buffy the vampire the slayer is the former, Eragon (and 4E) is the latter.


Everything that EE said.
Yes
Step one- Get somebody to agree with everything i say
Step two- Conquer France
???
Profit


Nice call on the dyslexia by the way, shows some people up for the stick-kicking venom spitters that they are. You are owed an apology, IMO. This is a friendly forum where you should be able to hold your opinion without fear of vilification. Hey, I'm a pixie and I know that.


To be fair, my spelling is bad and i don't make it that public, however thanks for your support. You might want to cut down on the aggressions however.



I expect now to be howled by Covered with Bees with an excessive amount of fervour that surely reveals him as some form of WotC employee (or progenitor of 4e in some way... or maybe just a major stockholder?).
ok, i generally agree with you but please don't imply that he is a sock puppet. I've been mocking 4E for almost a year now, most people (with a few exceptions) are actually honest about their believes. So while i agree with most of your points, and i encourage your enthusiastic approach, don't resort to that, i makes everybody look bad. Content your self to counter his points directly, and make your point across. Through i would recomend snark and sarcastic

Now my question about Bees is taht he isn't replying to me. odd

Starbuck II


I found it quite funny that EE thinks Powergamers will love 4th.
When 3rd had all the broken combos.
Heck, only Epic level has a case for being broken in 4th (which was broken in 3rd).
In 3rd you could be broken in the pre teens (assuming no Pun Pun cheese).

Also, I found losts of info on Monsters. Did EE read the Lore checks?
They give oodles of info.

1) yeah i find that funny too, because you know I DIDN"T BLOODY SAY THAT. I made no mention of powergamers at all in my posts, and powergaming had nothing to do with my points. So really, WFT, i never expected you to use a strawman. Honestly, i'm disappointed
2) 3E may have been broken, i never said it was a perfect, and i mentioned that a new edition is needed. But it still had complexity, and it gave options. It wasn't nearly as shallow as 4E, and wasn't as limiting
3) yeah, i saw the lore. And you point is? It is still extremely limiting and primitive. it as a step back. The lore isn't nothing more than some basic sentences, the descriptions in MM 1 are far better, and that isn't much. the lore is crap, and makes 3E's MM lore look complex in comparason (which takes some skill). As i said, like a video game monster guide.
And bees


For the record, dyslexia explains spelling mistakes, switched letters, etc. I don't know that it would prevent people from hitting the shift key when they hit the "i" key.

Actually, dyslexia effects reading stills, so that puts proof reading out the window. On the subject of reading, are you going to counter my points, or are you going for hte ignore style



Of course not. You're just inventing it. But because you decided it's the case, you're irrefutably right, of course.
Looking at a book and saying "hey, this is like a bloody video game" isn't invention, it is observation. Its like noting that "Hey, i think Eragon is the work of a hack"



And you have nothing to back this up except a dislike for the system.
and the massive statements i've written, and the ones i've cut and paste are in fact..........what?



Like I said, there are already perfectly good video games using 2E and 3E. Some of these were hugely successful. Arguing that they're changing the system to make video games is paranoia that ignores the fact that they were already making video games. 4E isn't any easier to make a video game out of than 3E was (what with 3E's detailed rules)--look at Temple of Elemental Evil, a faithful recreation of the 3E rules.

ok first off, ToEE isn't a particrually great game, massive gliches
and secondly, a better example is BG and NWN. And even those games, which are great games are limited, which table tops are not. They are good games as computor games, but they aren't something a table top should be modelled off, it should be visa versa

Yes, getting new abilities when you level up is SO like a video game.
Wait, what's that? Hey, apparently in 3E characters suddenly learn to do things when they level up, too. In fact, that's a feature of all level-based systems. Oops
Um, are you responding to some other quote? Because that isn't what he is talking about. He was talking about the straight jaket approach to skills opposed the options offered in 3E


Ah, right. You don't like it, therefore it's just like mashing buttons!
You know, for a guy who gets so indignant about being able to hold his opinion without fear of vilification?
And what does that make your evasion of points?


They have made the rules clearer and easier to sort through. 3E was also a high-crunch system.

The've made the kiddie version of them


The reason they minimized the fluff in the PHB is because no one used that information.
Another bloody fallacy. Fine, i'll try using your method,
YOU HAVE NO BACKING FOR THIS, YOU HAVE NO SUPPORT FOR THIS, THIS POINT IS BLOODY BS
you have absolutely nothing to back your statement that nobody uses the fluff in the PHB. Consider the influence D&D has, the core ideas, they are used all the time. The normal description of D&D monsters tends to be teh one presented. Sure plenty of people homebrew, which is fine, but the standards are still used a lot. So don't use some fallacy of people not using the stuff when there is plenty of evidence to indicate taht they do, and nothing that indacates that they don't, at least to the scale that you suggest


Half the people I know use established campaign settings. The other half play in homebrew worlds--fairly generic ones, but still. Being "airy-fairy" is a bad idea for a ruleset. If you look at the skills chapter of 3E, it's not exactly "flowery" by any standard.
Um, hello, D&D core isn't a setting, settings are supplements. We are talking description here, not you know, specific worlds. I'm watching Angel now, so i'm writing with Cordelia's voice in my head. This most likely isn't good.



Then it's a good thing they gave you a picture, isn't it?
I can't count the number of DMs I've seen who show you the picture from the MM and say "it looks like this". By contrast, no one reads you the description.

Any backing for this? Because i think this brings us back to the point "absolute BS". Please at least back your point



So, let me get this straight.
It's "functionalist" because it doesn't tell you "Blues are a subrace of goblins which are psionic, and some goblin communities target them while others preserve them" and "they generally dress in short leather robes, dyed black"?
Man, what if I wanted the Blues in my game to be a diplomat caste and wear bright-colored cloth instead of black leather?

Could it be that you're just expected to come up with something that fits your game world, rather than being "default" fluff for the world in the PHB that no one plays games in?
If you want to homebrew fine. That is cool, perfeclty fine. But that doesn't except the need for a default, a well done default.



Minions and solo monsters are nothing like video games (which have "standard monsters" and then really elaborate bosses). What they ARE like is action movies, pulp novels, fantasy books, and plenty of other things. The warrior cutting his way through the evil wizard's minions is a fantasy trope; likening it to a video game just shows a poor understanding, not any kind of accurate assessment.
Wait, that is totally wrong. Almost all video games have the small hoards of one hit monsters who look exactly alike. Where enemies are nothing more than mindless hoards of enemies, it is just a shallow way to design a game



You realize that people don't like 4E because it's HURR JUST LIKE A VIDYA GAME, they like it because it's a fun tabletop gaming experience?

you just as guilty, you just evading the points instead of addressing them, and ignoring others.




I'm "howling" (funny how you take disagreement so seriously) at you because you're saying things without a shred of support. In return for pointing out problems with what you're saying, I get "you muts work for WotC".
Are you starting to see the hypocrisy in this picture?
meh, fair enough



You're allowed to predict a future for the hobby, BUT YOU SHOULD SUPPORT YOUR STATEMENTS. You haven't.
and nether have you (through to be fair, he isn't entirely innocent of your accusations) you are doing the same things. Your evading points, ignoring points, or adressing entirely different things all together.



With that sentence alone, I think I'm done in this topic. My post back on page 1 was immediately reworded into something ridiculous, and has since been defended by others that read it properly. I think I'll continue to observe. Every point that might actually deserve a rebuttal has already been masterfully handled by others. I just wanted to thank everyone for providing some well-worded responses.
Is evading point suddently a masterfully handled rebuttal. There hasn't been one yet


The best point I've seen so far, which I'd like to highlight: I do see a lot of cases of "Quality X of 4e is like MMORPGs and therefore bad/simpleton/stupid" where a simple "I don't like Quality X" seems to strike at the real heart of the matter.

Quality X isn't fit for this style of gaming. It is like making a movie based after a video game, it just isn't a good way to run things


I'm sure they're fine citizens and upstanding gentlement. But their argument is stupid, which is all anyone's really claimed.
and you lack of on is.......



If we're going to talk about the problems with 4E, can we please talk about the actual problems with 4E, rather than using "it's like an MMO" to mean "I don't like a bunch of stuff about it, and I can't articulate that"? It can be hard, but try. Please. We're here for you all and support you. --Except for you. Yeah, you, there in the back, with the brown shirt. You can just go straight to hell. We don't need your kind around here.

1) Sure, the acknowledge points and address issues and we will have a system going.
2) Ok, welll, yeah that guys a bit of a bastard so.....yeah can't argue there


A civil argument is fine. But both sides need to do it, except for hte brown shirt guy who nobody likes





It's like an MMO, it's like a board game, it's like a w/e. What it's not anything like is old d&d, and that's why people complain. It no longer makes much attempt to say, "The player is pretending to be this guy in a fantasy setting, what would he try to do? Okay, let's make all the rules so he can do whatever he wants." Instead it says "You are this level which gives you these special abilities that let you do that." It's like the spells that you get in video games, which even martial characters get in Warcraft. Or in board games it could be a card you play from your hand. The point is, making a vague semblance to reality is no longer a concern. Giving you a pile of special abilities that sound fun to use is the new goal.

Some want to play a game where they can stack on and combo abilities. Others want something they can imagine in their head (without cartoony/anime effects).

"4e sucks" or "3e sucks" probably aren't very valid forms of complaints, but "4e is a different game from 1e-3e" is a valid complaint. Okay, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Did D&D just suck, time for a different rpg? Was D&D great. Should that new rpg get its own friggin' name rather than covering over it? 4e is in fact hiding 3e from would-be fellow players, and that is a valid complaint. Or the "would-be fellow players" might say, if they ever saw 3e, "Thanks for not dumping that on me." Either way, you better believe that if anyone likes playing 3e or likes playing 4e there will be fights.
Quite frankly, 4E would be a great Board game version of D&D, it only really fails as a new edition

from
EE

Tengu_temp
2008-07-25, 12:12 AM
stuff

Wow, that's so wrong I don't even know where to start, so I'll let Covered in Bees rebut each and every point instead. But, pray tell, what makes you think that 4e is somehow less immersive, is a worse RP experience, than 3.x?

EDIT: Argh, I got into another argument about 4e. Won't happen again.

ericgrau
2008-07-25, 12:29 AM
Wow, that's so wrong I don't even know where to start, so I'll let Covered in Bees rebut each and every point instead. But, pray tell, what makes you think that 4e is somehow less immersive, is a worse RP experience, than 3.x?

EDIT: Argh, I got into another argument about 4e. Won't happen again.

And I merely described 3e, specifically content that fills a large chunk of the PHB. So either you hate the way 3e works, which is fine but plz don't take it out out others, or you're just plain being disrespectful to me. You might as well have said, "Everything you think is wrong and it doesn't even warrant a rational discussion to prove thus".

Well I didn't say a word about the RP aspects of 4e, but since you asked: 4e is just fine for RPing between encounters, and it's a fine tactical game during encounters. But you can't do squat tactically & RP-wise at the same time. From "Tide of Iron!" to "Lance of faith!" you might as well be in a comic or cartoon or fighting video game (e.g., Capcom vs. Marvel) shouting out your abilities and doing a 1/4 circle on the joystick as you do them. You don't actually have to shout it out and do the 1/4 circle, but the style of the ability itself is essentially the same.

3e has more reasonable tactics... which most people never even use or know how to use. For those, I recommend 4e. I'm not against it, I just prefer 3e myself.

EvilElitest
2008-07-25, 12:34 AM
Wow, that's so wrong I don't even know where to start, so I'll let Covered in Bees rebut each and every point instead. But, pray tell, what makes you think that 4e is somehow less immersive, is a worse RP experience, than 3.x?

EDIT: Argh, I got into another argument about 4e. Won't happen again.

1) the lack of heart. 4E is shallow in everything but combat (which would make it a great board game). I mean, take exalted or legend of the fire rings. I don't play the former, the love the latter, but in both cases they are really in depth, complicated, and logically smart games.
2) tengu, do you have to go to another meet?
from
EE

Nebo_
2008-07-25, 12:43 AM
1) the lack of heart. 4E is shallow in everything but combat (which would make it a great board game). I mean, take exalted or legend of the fire rings. I don't play the former, the love the latter, but in both cases they are really in depth, complicated, and logically smart games.
2) tengu, do you have to go to another meet?
from
EE

{scrubbed}

CompositeSanta
2008-07-25, 12:47 AM
I'm just going to post this and be on my merry way. Not stopping to catch the argument train. (http://www.gamegrene.com/node/20?fro...ts_per_page=70)

Deepblue706
2008-07-25, 01:09 AM
{Scrubbed}[/COLOR]

Wow.

I actually feel that 4E rulebooks lack some of the aspects that I found in the 3.X books that aided in immersion, but that's my opinion, and I wouldn't necessarily argue it in the way EE has...

But that's being childish.

EE, allow me. Do you feel the environment of 4E is shallow because there is more description for specific attacks, and less for monster info than in the past? For the benefit of everyone involved in this discussion, would you mind elaborating? Please be as specific as you can in your statements, with examples, if you can.

Nebo_
2008-07-25, 01:25 AM
Wow.
I actually feel that 4E rulebooks lack some of the aspects that I found in the 3.X books that aided in immersion, but that's my opinion, and I wouldn't necessarily argue it in the way EE has...


I agree that it has less description in the books, but that doesn't mean the game has to be less immersive. EE has proven time and again that he isn't too stubborn or not imaginative enough to to expand and play D&D without the apparent permission of the books.



But that's being childish.

No, I've just become frustrated by the stupidity of the posters here. EE is just the most frustrating for me. You underestimate how intensely I dislike him.


EE, ignore him.

He probably will. I know I'm not making a difference, I just really don't like these forums any more. I've been trying to get banned for a while now, but I'm afraid I've been too subtle.



Do you feel the environment of 4E is shallow because there is more description for specific attacks, and less for monster info than in the past? For the benefit of everyone involved in this discussion, would you mind elaborating? Please be as specific as you can in your statements, with examples, if you can.


The 4e books are shallower than the 3.5 ones, I agree. But EE's vendetta against 4e makes it seem as if there's no more than a stat block for monsters and a list of powers for classes. In this case, and in many, many others, he's full of it.

Deepblue706
2008-07-25, 01:42 AM
I agree that it has less description in the books, but that doesn't mean the game has to be less immersive. EE has proven time and again that he isn't too stubborn or not imaginative enough to to expand and play D&D without the apparent permission of the books.

I agree with the immersion bit. I dunno if EE is really saying what you think he is, tho.



No, I've just become frustrated by the stupidity of the posters here. EE is just the most frustrating for me. You underestimate how intensely I dislike him.

Eh. I recommend herbal tea and classical music.



He probably will. I know I'm not making a difference, I just really don't like these forums any more. I've been trying to get banned for a while now, but I'm afraid I've been too subtle.

Huh. I don't really understand that mentality. On absolutely no basis, I continue to recommend herbal tea. Or, as an alternative, club soda. Lil' club soda fix most anythang.



The 4e books are shallower than the 3.5 ones, I agree. But EE's vendetta against 4e makes it seem as if there's no more than a stat block for monsters and a list of powers for classes. In this case, and in many, many others, he's full of it.

Well, to be fair, the suggested info for knowledge checks on monsters mostly just say stuff like "It doesn't like you. I don't like you either. I've got the death sentence on twelve systems..." And then the limbs start getting hacked off.

Nebo_
2008-07-25, 02:03 AM
{Scrubbed}

Starsinger
2008-07-25, 02:03 AM
I also agree with Covered with Bees on many points, like spellcasters putting rogues to shame. You couldn't name a skill that a wizard or cleric couldn't do better with a spell at hand. Heal? Cure light wounds. Hide? Invisibilty. Move Silently? Silence. Track? Divination.

Use Magic Device. That which makes Skill-monkeys amazing because it lets them use magic to do what they could have done with their 6+ +Int mod skill points/level (x4 at first level).

Speaking of, I believe the amount of spells which eat skills (particularly those found in later splat books) came about from the realization that just about only Skill Monkeys even had skill points (Because severe niche protection is good... durrr). So what do you do in a party with out a skill monkey? Well, you use casters to emulate skill monkeys. Of course with UMD ranks, you can use a skill monkey to emulate a caster emulating a skill monkey.

Mmm. That's immersive!

Deepblue706
2008-07-25, 02:16 AM
Don't patronise me.


How about try to calm the air with silly comments? Does that offend?



I know. My qualm with the way EE handles this, and other things that are written in books. He has it in his head that that's all there can ever be to the monster, and seems incapable of forming his own opinion on anything that isn't specifically written down.

Eh. I tend to look at those arguments a little differently. But, I don't expect to change your mind about that...

CarpeGuitarrem
2008-07-25, 02:25 AM
I'm just going to post this and be on my merry way. Not stopping to catch the argument train. (http://www.gamegrene.com/node/20?fro...ts_per_page=70)
Nice, to the point, it works. I like your style.

Talic
2008-07-25, 02:41 AM
Just on a side note, there seems to be a misconception here. Some here are under the impression that D&D 3.x mandated 4 combats per day.

It did not.

It stated that a balanced party should be able to deal with 4 evenly balanced encounters each day.

An encounter could be combat, sure...

It could also be escaping Duke Ferdinand's palace before guards notice you're missing.

It could also be dealing with others.

Consider the following, which happened in one of my recent campaigns:

Party approaches a town. They notice a large disturbance on the outskirts of the town, many people gathered.
Party Response: They move to investigate.

They find a mob of 60 or so, gathered around a group of about 6 people, and the mob appears to be shouting and jeering.
<Listen Checks, party rolls, 7, 13, 18, and 22>
Party Member 1 (Wizard) hears only the jeering and angry yelling.
Party Member 2 (Fighter) picks out a word that's repeated by several... "Witch"
Party Member 3 (Rogue) hears above, and also hears from one of the 6, a rather large human, "Any of you wants my boy, you're going through me first"
Party member 4 (Cleric) hears above, and can identify the first two people in the mob to start any shout or jeer, and picks them out in the crowd, as the mob leaders.
Party response: Fighter Intimidates the mob. I assign a +6 circumstance bonus to the mob, as they still outnumber the perceived group by a factor of 6 to 1. Fighter is good at what he does, however, and beats out the mob, 23 to 21. I rule this prevents the mob from escalating, but doesn't back them away. (A victory by 5 or more would have. A victory by 10 or more would have made them lose their nerve and begin dispersing.)

Cleric moves toward the 6 victims, slowly, nonthreateningly. No modifier to above roll. Also attempts to ascertain if any are hurt. Successful heal check shows that from a distance, a couple bruises are evident, but nothing appears to be serious. Close examination would be needed to be sure, however.

Wizard moved near the fighter, and stated that he was scanning the crowd, ready to cast a spell at the first sign of hostility towards the party or the victims. I ruled (silently) that the wizard would be considered aware of any combatant in the mob that wasn't successfully hidden, should the situation become violent.

Rogue moves to cleric, and murmurs towards the captives that if things got ugly, to make a break for it. He then attempts to use diplomacy. I tell him it'll take at least a minute, so as long as the others can keep the mob quelled for a minute, he'll have the opportunity to check. Player role plays, as do I.



Now, this encounter ended with a few surprises and twists for players, but note how the PLAYERS chose what they were going to do, and how they were going to approach the situation. The rogue could have tried a different tack, sneaking into the group, or bluffing, or the mage could have used magic. The cleric could have tried Sense Motive, to gauge the crowd's likely course of actions. But they didn't.

But in any case, this encounter has a risk for failure, is a genuine threat to the party, and is resolved or overcome by the party. It is a credible CR-based encounter, and should be awarded as such, despite the fact that no player made a single attack, nor were they attacked.

NOTE: In all my campaigns, the rolls come first, then the player roleplays the result... Whether it's being inattentive, or coming up with an exceptionally good intimidation, I find that this broadens a character's acting scope, and allows him/her a non-embarrassing way to roleplay being less than stellar at times. Otherwise, many players fall into the "I have 9 ranks in this at level 6, I am the best that ever was, and can never be less than stunning" mentality. If the other group rolls well,a nd you roll poorly? Show me why. Even seasoned vets make judgement errors, and it puts those into the game.

Charity
2008-07-25, 02:42 AM
*Kzzzt* Whats that, you're breaking up *kzzzt*
Signal to noise level at an all time low.

The Ignore function could have taken most of that pain away Nebo, if there's anyone still out there squelch now.

Phil Lucky Cat
2008-07-25, 02:44 AM
Alright! STOP!!!

Jeez Louise! First of all, everybody make a bowl of cornflakes or something!!!

The question was : why do some people compare 4e to an MMO?

To some of us, 4e reminds us of an MMO. Plain and simple. The article asked how people could make such comparison, and the reasons have been given (extensively, for reasons ranging from atmosphere, layout, combat configuration, character roles, flavour text, to mechanics, etc. etc). [insert CWB comment : "Well, they're wrong"]

For some of us, the very notion that 4e could remind anybody of any aspect of an MMO is blatantly unfair, dishonest, and contrary to all logic; and anyone who suggests such a thing is an utterly debase foe of Dungeons and Dragons, gaming and generally an outdated and silly sausage with their blinkers on (I think the term may be "grognard" (evil enemy of progress)).

I BOUGHT 4e. I OWN it. It is mine and I am free to comment upon it. I have enjoyed reading it. It is VERY different to the system that I grew up with (see outdated silly sausage comment). I patently like more fluff and less crunch (more "imaginative" blurb and less flat-out mechanics) because I believe it aids immersion, fires the imagination, and creates a greater RPG experience. One day, when I have enough minatures, and time, and motivation, I may even run it for my veteran friends and see how it pans out.

But I will play it as a board game. [Insert CWB comment : "You can't say that its both an MMO and a board game, hahahaha, you've contradicted yourself *pout*"] I will also wait for the video game version : which I am sure will be able to TOTALLY encapsulate the experience, as it seems to be very much an encounter-driven wargame mechanicist game rather than a RPG ["Oh, so its a wargame now!! Hahaha"].

You cannot disabuse me of the notion that in making the game more appealing to the MMO market (and the pure allocation of the character classes to concide with the MMO roles, they have signalled their intent to do so), they made the game more like a MMO ["No they haven't!!!! You haven't proved it, you can't prove it!!! Hahahahaha!!!"].

Controversially, as well as the streamlining of the system for that market, I perceive a streamlining of the imagination...

["You're wrong, and that a fact free opinion" from CWB. I have never met anyone on any RPG forum as aggressive, seriously. Good work mate. The fact that you seem to think that we are lucky that WotC have graced us with pictures alone for the Monster's description, as we all only look at the pictures, and they somehow liberated our imaginations from the perils of such things as flavour text, monster habits, and non-combat activities, so we can be free (or are required) to make our own versions up, reveals either a complete paucity of any form of perspective or massive determination for spin that rivals the work of the Pentagon's best.]

...which I think is sad, considering the 25 years+ of imaginative joy the system has given me. ["Good riddance!!! Hahahaha!!! Go play another system!!!"] And as a long-term consumer/player, I am saying that this edition hasn't inspired me (for all of the reason listed, and because the whole thing reminds me of a tabletop MMO, or MMO in waiting). ["Hahahaha! That's because you are stupid!!!"]

Call me obstinent. Call me stubborn. Deconstruct every last word of what I have written (as I am totally sure is about to happen). Capitalise, mock, and bold type all you want, like a militant chinese Blogger in the face of the Tibetan torch protests. Claim every form of bias that you want. Dispute that the friggin thing reminds me of an MMO. Whatever. Have a happy Olympics. :smallcool:

Kurald Galain
2008-07-25, 04:00 AM
The question was : why do some people compare 4e to an MMO?

The answer to that is surprisingly simple.

Where earlier editions were rife with exceptions and special cases that required human adjudication, in 4E pretty much every power can easily be written down as two or three lines of computer script.

3E fireball: need to adjudicate for blasts going around corners, possibility of doing enough damage to break through nearby walls, and most importantly setting stuff on fire and causing people to scream in terror.

4E fireball: foreach (creature) { if (creature.distance (fireball.x, fireball.y) <= 5) { damage (creature, fire, 10); }}

That is the point, and that is by design. People differ in opinion as to whether this is a good thing; indeed, it is certainly more simple and more fair than earlier editions. It is also more mechanical, and it's easy to leap from "mechanical" to "computer" to "MMORPG".

I think a better comparison is Magic: the Gathering. Early on in Magic there were discussions like this. The spell "Terror" destroys a creature, through the flavor of scaring it literally to death. The "wall of stone" is a creature. Can you scare a wall to death? Well, no. Does the spell "terror" work on a "wall of stone"? Yes, because the rules say so.

Makes for easier gameplay, doesn't it? In 3E you can't scare a wall to death because it doesn't make sense. In 4E you can scare the wall to death because the rules say you can.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 04:26 AM
To some of us, 4e reminds us of an MMO. Plain and simple.

Well, obviously. No one's saying you're not making it up, just that it's not actually like an MMO in any relevant or important way (layout? Really?)


The article asked how people could make such comparison, and the reasons have been given (extensively, for reasons ranging from atmosphere, layout, combat configuration, character roles, flavour text, to mechanics, etc. etc). [insert CWB comment : "Well, they're wrong"]
They haven't been very well supported, though. Only one actual point has been put forth (yes, yes, EE, I'll get to you, hold your horses).


I BOUGHT 4e. I OWN it. It is mine and I am free to comment upon it.
You seem obsessed with this notion. "I'm free to comment on it! You can't stop me! You can't stop me from having an opinion and posting it!"
Relax, no one's trying to.


One day, when I have enough minatures, and time, and motivation, I may even run it for my veteran friends and see how it pans out.
PROTIP: use Lego figures. Much more fun and awesome than minis.


But I will play it as a board game. [Insert CWB comment : "You can't say that its both an MMO and a board game, hahahaha, you've contradicted yourself *pout*"] I will also wait for the video game version : which I am sure will be able to TOTALLY encapsulate the experience, as it seems to be very much an encounter-driven wargame mechanicist game rather than a RPG ["Oh, so its a wargame now!! Hahaha"].
You realize that taking potshots at me instead of actually addressing what I say makes it look like you don't have a point?

If you play 4E like a board game, that's all you'll get out of it. Basically, you've fixed your opinion, you're saying nothing can possibly ever change it, and you will play the game like this, no matter what.
If you come to the table with an attitude like that towards ANY game, I can't imagine you'll enjoy it very much. If I think that "man, Exalted is just stupid anime stuff!" and make an Exalted character who's as anime as possible, and do my best to imitate anime when I play, the results are going to be obvious, and I'll have no one to blame but myself.


You cannot disabuse me of the notion that in making the game more appealing to the MMO market (and the pure allocation of the character classes to concide with the MMO roles, they have signalled their intent to do so), they made the game more like a MMO ["No they haven't!!!! You haven't proved it, you can't prove it!!! Hahahahaha!!!"].
"You can't disabuse me of the notion" = "I've made my mind up" = "I refuse to change my opinion, regardless of the facts."
Also, please notice that anticipating that I'll say that you haven't proved something isn't a substitute for proving it.



Controversially, as well as the streamlining of the system for that market, I perceive a streamlining of the imagination...

["You're wrong, and that a fact free opinion" from CWB. I have never met anyone on any RPG forum as aggressive, seriously. Good work mate. The fact that you seem to think that we are lucky that WotC have graced us with pictures alone for the Monster's description, as we all only look at the pictures, and they somehow liberated our imaginations from the perils of such things as flavour text, monster habits, and non-combat activities, so we can be free (or are required) to make our own versions up, reveals either a complete paucity of any form of perspective or massive determination for spin that rivals the work of the Pentagon's best.]
Why do you bother to post at all? You're entitled to your opinion, sure, but you seem to think that consists of "post it over and over and shrug off anything anyone says".
I'm not suggesting that flavor text or monster habits are somehow bad. I think that the notion to put in twice as many monsters instead of half the monsters and as many pages of that is certainly a valid one, and I think that gamers will get along just fine.
The way people talk about the blurbs in the Monster Manual--which are often, perhaps even usually, useless or irrelevant--you'd think that they were some kind of magic fountain of creativity and roleplay. They're not. They tell you things like Blues wear short leather robes. Occasionally they say something useful, but if anyone regularly uses the information in the Monster Manual, speak up now. Generally, those blurbs of "monster habits" are a potentially fun read, nothing more.



...which I think is sad, considering the 25 years+ of imaginative joy the system has given me. ["Good riddance!!! Hahahaha!!! Go play another system!!!"] And as a long-term consumer/player, I am saying that this edition hasn't inspired me (for all of the reason listed, and because the whole thing reminds me of a tabletop MMO, or MMO in waiting). ["Hahahaha! That's because you are stupid!!!"]
Are you done taking potshots at me, yet? I can wait. Weren't you the one who got huffy at "stick-kicking venom-spitters" and people who were "quashing" you with their "derision"? This kind of behavior is awfully hypocritical of you.


Call me obstinent. Call me stubborn. Deconstruct every last word of what I have written (as I am totally sure is about to happen). Capitalise, mock, and bold type all you want, like a militant chinese Blogger in the face of the Tibetan torch protests. Claim every form of bias that you want. Dispute that the friggin thing reminds me of an MMO. Whatever. Have a happy Olympics. :smallcool:
Of course it reminds you of an MMO; people don't just make that up. But like many opinions, it's pretty irrational.
I don't have a problem with you not liking 4E. I have a problem with you saying things like "it's irrefutable that WotC made 4E more like an MMORPG so they could turn it into a video game!"




3E fireball: need to adjudicate for blasts going around corners, possibility of doing enough damage to break through nearby walls, and most importantly setting stuff on fire and causing people to scream in terror.
Fireball doesn't break through walls, even if it somehow does enough damage to break them. Blasts still go around corners. Causing people to scream in terror? This is a property of the system... how?
Do you really need the text of Fireball to tell you that fire burns/melts things? (I mean, are we supposed to assume that Burning Hands, Firestorm, and other spells DON'T set things on fire, melt low-melting-point metals, etc?)

By the way--you realize that 4E explicitly relies on the DM making a decision? Things like the DMG page 42, trying to use a new skill in a skill challenge, circumstance bonuses, and the like require a DM. Hell, even which powers do and don't work on objects is left up to the DM. (Meanwhile, in 3E, the Fighter can cut tunnel his way through a wall with Power Attack and a mundane sword. So much for 4E going with the rules over what makes sense and 3E doing the reverse.)
I'm not sure why you feel that the fundamental rules need to require DM interpretation. That'd take us back to the days of AD&D.

The DM gets involved where you need a human mind. The DM comes up with scenarios, figures out what those kobolds are doing over there, rolls with the unexpected actions players take, creates the world and the story, plays the NPCs... the DM has a lot to do without needing to be his own rules lawyer, too.


That is the point, and that is by design. People differ in opinion as to whether this is a good thing; indeed, it is certainly more simple and more fair than earlier editions. It is also more mechanical, and it's easy to leap from "mechanical" to "computer" to "MMORPG".
Microsoft Excel: the MMORPG.
(It's only easy to make that leap if you have no idea what you're talking about.)


In 3E you can't scare a wall to death because it doesn't make sense. In 4E you can scare the wall to death because the rules say you can.
Why don't you back this up, first? I don't see anything in 4E being like scaring a wall to death.
(And do you really think there aren't plenty of things that didn't make sense but were in the rules, in 3E? I mean, come on, getting older makes your eyesight better. The Fighter burrows through stone with his sword. There's plenty that doesn't make sense.)

tyfon
2008-07-25, 04:48 AM
Discussion leads nowhere.

Both sides presented their viewpoints, and so far it does not seem likely that anybody's mind can be changed.

Can we settle wieth "Some people consider D&D 4ed more simmilar to MMORPG than 3ed has been" ? Like "Criticism" section in wikipedia?

This way whole topic will meet neutral viewpoint requirement, and we will not turn into bitter enemies.



I know I'm short tempered and I'd like to apologize. Hope that nobody feels insulted by my posts.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 04:50 AM
Can we settle wieth "Some people consider D&D 4ed more simmilar to MMORPG than 3ed has been" ? Like "Criticism" section in wikipedia?


Weasel words are bad. "Some people..." is really just a way of saying "I". Some people do. Some people also consider 3E to bemore similar to MMOs (for example, the heavy dependency on items sure resembles MMOs a lot more closely than "well, uh, you have a bunch of powers..."; 3E characters and WoW characters both need the right items to face serious challenges, and the items have a very dramatic effect on character performance).

tyfon
2008-07-25, 05:10 AM
Ok, me and at least 4 other people in this topic.

Seeing simmilarities and inspirations from MMORPG in new D&D is quite popular, prepare to see it aroud.

Jayabalard
2008-07-25, 05:23 AM
Weasel words are bad. "Some people..." is really just a way of saying "I". Not true; on this forum alone there are dozens of people that have said this in various threads, so "some people" in this case does not just mean "I", it means "some people" (as opposed to "most people" or "all people")


Don't patronise me. I don't see how suggesting that you need to relax rather than get angry over someone being wrong on the internet is patronizing.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 05:36 AM
Ok, me and at least 4 other people in this topic.

Seeing simmilarities and inspirations from MMORPG in new D&D is quite popular, prepare to see it aroud.

People carried on about how 3E is like a CRPG the exact same way when 3E came out. It won't last, just like it didn't then. People will get tired of their trite, superficial comparison, and either play the game or not play the game.

Charity
2008-07-25, 05:46 AM
tyfon just because an unjustified opinion is popular doesn't make it any more worthy of repitition.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you are going to draw comparisons you should be prepared to defend them, without recourse to thats what I say and I'm not gonna change lalala I'm not listening


Jayabalard, however in this case Mr Bees (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-tl6GBOBo) is correct, tyfon admits as much.

Kurald Galain
2008-07-25, 06:00 AM
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you are going to draw comparisons you should be prepared to defend them, without recourse to thats what I say and I'm not gonna change lalala I'm not listening

Ironic how both sides are doing that, then.

Note how this thread asks "why 4e is compared to MMOs", hence asks after the motivation of the people who make that comparison. It does not ask people to list the similarities and dissimilarites of 4E and MMOs (which would add up to two quite long lists; aside from that, there surely are people that understand why other people hold an opinion that they themselves don't share, but the existence of gray areas is ill understood on the internet).

So all those people shouting "your opinion is wrong because I have a counterexample" could use a cup of tea and perhaps a dose of happy pills. Yes, happy pills are mandatory. And Paranoia resembles a MMO in that in both games people die a lot :smallsmile:

Charity
2008-07-25, 06:08 AM
Hey I was not differetiating between sides implicitly. [paragragh breaks FTW]
Your subconcious did that for you... I wonder why it did that? :smallwink:

I have merely tiped my toe into this thread (before you start swinging the accusing stick), but you are never going to get motivations without a list the similarities and dissimilarites, face it it's inevitable.

Syne
2008-07-25, 06:13 AM
My main gripe with 4e is how many powers are copies of one another and there is little variety. The 4e Fighter has still more variety than the 3e Fighter, but much less variety than the ToB Warblade; at least in terms of unique powers. I like the concept of powers and have been excited about them as soon as I heard them, but the execution strikes me as very poor.
What makes it worse is that all powers are similar to those of the Fighter, even a Wizard's. Sure, they have different names, and they don't deal x[W] damage but straight out 4d6 + INT, but something is very wrong with your Wizard when the difference between 1st and 29th level spells is 6d6 points of damage.
There is also a distinct lack of flavor. While flavor is malleable, a flavorless book is just boring to read. I didn't necessarily like the flavoring of ToB, but it was fun to read.
I wouldn't say it reminds of an MMO. What's bad about MMOs is how they lack roleplaying, not anything about their system. It does remind me of a CRPG somewhat, in that complex abilities have been eliminated and the result seems to easily transfer to a computer game.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 06:26 AM
My main gripe with 4e is how many powers are copies of one another and there is little variety. The 4e Fighter has still more variety than the 3e Fighter, but much less variety than the ToB Warblade; at least in terms of unique powers. I like the concept of powers and have been excited about them as soon as I heard them, but the execution strikes me as very poor.

...the 4E Fighter has at least as much variety as the Warblade. A good example is a Fighter with plate armor and a heavy blade and shield, versus a fighter with light armor and a spear. Both even use STR and DEX, and yet they play very differently. The sword-and-board guy can take things like Passing Attack, Come and Get It, Rain of Steel, and other powers that let him deal with (and mark) entire groups of enemies at once. Meanwhile, the spear guy winds up with powers like Armor-Piercing Thrust or Rain of Blows and Silverstep; he defends by being mobile (so he can always get where he needs to be) and pushing enemies out of position and placing them where he likes, and punishes enemies with more damaging or multiple-attack powers.

The STR/CON fighter with a Maul and high damage will likewise play differently.

I like the Fighter best of all the 4E classes, and it's precisely because you can build them so differently. The hoplite plays differently from the mauler or the guy with the glaive, but they're all good.

Sure, all Fighter attack powers involve attacking people with your weapon somehow. I'm not really sure what else they would involve.



What makes it worse is that all powers are similar to those of the Fighter, even a Wizard's. Sure, they have different names, and they don't deal x[W] damage but straight out 4d6 + INT, but something is very wrong with your Wizard when the difference between 1st and 29th level spells is 6d6 points of damage.
Similar to those of a Fighter? Really? The AoE blasts aren't any more similar than they ever were (damage is damage). The other powers create difficult terrain and zones of damage, hands of ice to grab people, webs to trap them, walls of fog, fire, and ice, or grab hold of people's minds, etc. Look at Icy Terrain, or Wall of Ice, or Confusion, or etc. So what are you talking about? That Color Spray does some damage now?


Meteor Swarm is notoriously bad, but damage just doesn't scale as much. Compare Legion's Hold to your first-level spells.


There is also a distinct lack of flavor. While flavor is malleable, a flavorless book is just boring to read. I didn't necessarily like the flavoring of ToB, but it was fun to read.
Really? AFAIK most people skipped over it. The book is good because of the classes and the system, not its flavor.

tyfon
2008-07-25, 06:31 AM
tyfon just because an unjustified opinion is popular doesn't make it any more worthy of repitition.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you are going to draw comparisons you should be prepared to defend them, without recourse to thats what I say and I'm not gonna change lalala I'm not listening


Jayabalard, however in this case Mr Bees is correct, tyfon admits as much.

I'm well prepared to defend my viewpoin, and, by the way, opinion that "4e has no ideas imported from MMORPG and bears no simmilarities to MMO" is not justified just because there are many people saying that.

I'm ready to say that here and there CWB is right - because I'm tot arguing just for sake of arguing, I try to present my viewpoint and I'm not deaf to arguments of other people. This, I belive, is what separates constructive discourse from flame war.

I agree that "some people" is not good way of putting that, because it seems like making argument by something that cannot be proven (otheres ar "as we all know" or "common opinion is") but anyway - there are many discussions all over www that 4e bears simmilarties to MMORPG, and those people are not just "saying so", they have their arguments (however, better would be saying that cRPG, including MMORPG, introduced some new concepts and that concepts, and clmate, partialy found it's way to new D&D).

I think that pointing out that it's not like MMORPG, because you have grid, you do not play online is not good way to prove or disprove anything. Also calling that there is no aggro-meter or that per encounter recharge is not like cooldown time - simply because even if I WoW was ported to PnP RPG, it's not MMORPG on paper - it is RPG influenced by MMORPG. For sure You are not going to get all mechanics, because complicated calculations are not good for PnP (Traveller 2000 had formula for granade blast area - it included cube root!).


That's why I called example of aggro. Aggro in MMO is to complicate fight - monsters are guided y AI, which is not at this moment going to be as intelligent as DM, besides computer must handle thousands of monsters at same time for many groups and many situations (good call for cloud computing ;) ) - so aggro is introduced so monsters can have basic tactics - hit someone that presents great danger.

This creates issue: monsters rush to casters/buffers/dpfs and ignore tanks - from monster viewpoint (it's reasonable) tank is the least dangerous enemy - relatively small damage, no AoE, cannot improve other's durability or damage. It destabilizes computer game and was also issue in 3e. if U look to archives of "Please, save my game!" this issue was addressed there. It was like "I'm playing fighter, and I'm supposed to defend party, but my DM uses tactics that fast monsters bypass me ang go for wizard and cleric. I wear heavy armor and cannot force them to fight, help!".

Issue was - make tank useful, make monsters fight him. So aggro became tool for players, as WoW Wiki says
"Holding aggro is done by (usually) one person (the tank) who uses his abilities to make the enemy attack him and no one else."

So, there is ability that allows tank to convience monster attack him, not others. This is bottom line, it does not matter how it is expressed by mechanics, aggro meter, threat list, forcing monster to attack or just giving penalties or damage if he attacks someone else.

I think that marking is feature I have not seen in any RPG before (maybe there is, well, there are also MMO using grid and turns), now it is in 4e - and I say it is MMORPG influence - it's common that concepts that derrive from other source, influence source in the end - physics was important for computer science, and was influenced by by computers, too.


Last thing - You know?

I like it, I like marking and aggro - because it addresses important issue that troubled players in 3e - now fighter is more effective and fills his role nicely.

It's ok now.





The book is good because of the classes and the system, not its flavor.

This is major point in our discussion, and I belive it's completly up to one's opinion.

Jayabalard
2008-07-25, 07:02 AM
tyfon just because an unjustified opinion is popular doesn't make it any more worthy of repitition.But it does mean that "some people" is the correct wording and that "Some people... is really just a way of saying I" is not a correct statement.


People carried on about how 3E is like a CRPG the exact same way when 3E came out. It won't last, just like it didn't then. People will get tired of their trite, superficial comparison, and either play the game or not play the game.People still liken 3e to a CRPG, particularity with ToB. People who started playing D&D in 3e were less likely to notice than those who started in 1e or 2e, and tended to be more active on the internet, so as time went by and old schoolers went on to other systems or stopped gaming, you saw less people still talking about it.


Note how this thread asks "why 4e is compared to MMOs", hence asks after the motivation of the people who make that comparison. It would have been nice if people had stuck a little closer to that topic instead of just going off on rants/raves about 4e in general, but that seems to be par for the course.

Matthew
2008-07-25, 07:47 AM
I can think of a couple of reasons why I would compare D20 3e/4e to a CRPG, but it wouldn't be a very strong comparison for MMORPGs, and would apply to more games than these.

1) Defined Options. To much of the game is predefined and in a very 'gamey' way. Instead of saying "Aldros charges the Orc", the player says "Aldros uses the charge action to charge the Orc." Rather than a description of what the character will do, the player provides a description of the game mechanic he will use (or the button he will press).

2) Game Master as rules knower instead of rules interpreter. This is closely linked to the above, but basically is the idea that people are encouraged to use the 'official' methods of resolving an action, rather than relying on their imagination and sense of fair play. This is also the root of the 'broken rule', where a player exploits some poorly written code in the game and complains when the GM 'fixes it'.

A lot of this is perceptual, though. The reality of gaming doesn't necessarily reflect what is discussed on the internet.

Syne
2008-07-25, 07:55 AM
...the 4E Fighter has at least as much variety as the Warblade. A good example is a Fighter with plate armor and a heavy blade and shield, versus a fighter with light armor and a spear. Both even use STR and DEX, and yet they play very differently. The sword-and-board guy can take things like Passing Attack, Come and Get It, Rain of Steel, and other powers that let him deal with (and mark) entire groups of enemies at once. Meanwhile, the spear guy winds up with powers like Armor-Piercing Thrust or Rain of Blows and Silverstep; he defends by being mobile (so he can always get where he needs to be) and pushing enemies out of position and placing them where he likes, and punishes enemies with more damaging or multiple-attack powers.

Those powers are practically the same. Sorry, I don't find much difference between 'all enemies shift' and 'this enemy shifts'. Anyway, Warblades have plenty of movement-based maneuvers; Sudden Leap, Quicksilver Motion, multiple stances. There are also feats they could take that greatly increase their maneuverability.They definitely have no shortage of abilities that deal damage to multiple creatures; i.e., the full attack action, scything blade, cleave, and so forth.



Similar to those of a Fighter? Really? The AoE blasts aren't any more similar than they ever were (damage is damage). The other powers create difficult terrain and zones of damage, hands of ice to grab people, webs to trap them, walls of fog, fire, and ice, or grab hold of people's minds, etc. Look at Icy Terrain, or Wall of Ice, or Confusion, or etc. So what are you talking about? That Color Spray does some damage now?

Most spells deal damage, daze, stun, slow, or knock prone for generally 1 round/save ends. That's what most Fighter powers do, as well.



Meteor Swarm is notoriously bad, but damage just doesn't scale as much. Compare Legion's Hold to your first-level spells.

I've compared Legion's Hold to Sleep. What's your point?



Really? AFAIK most people skipped over it. The book is good because of the classes and the system, not its flavor.
That's very good for 'most people'. I can only say what I thought about it.

nagora
2008-07-25, 08:07 AM
{Scrubbed}

tyfon
2008-07-25, 08:08 AM
Really? AFAIK most people skipped over it. The book is good because of the classes and the system, not its flavor.

Isn't this agrument suprisingly simmilar to "some people..." ;) ?

tumble check
2008-07-25, 08:09 AM
OP here.

Indeed my original question was only asking for some examples of why people compare 4e to an MMO, and more specifically, because so many posters and reviewers have made this comparison largely on their own, why is there a tendency to do so? Regardless of your(the reader) own opinion, why do you think there is the general tendecy to do this?

Anyway, reading this thread has brought to the surface yet another misgiving I have with 4e(I'm not attacking it, don't flame me), and it has to do with the DM/player adjudication.

These newly-streamlined rules, less fluffy descriptions, and exception-based framework, for me, has taken out of D&D that which I most enjoyed about it. The adjudication and deliberation over rules, intentions, and exceptions are what separated the game from feeling like a "game" to me. (Or, more accurately, move the slider away from the "Gamist" node, see the original post.)

[I'm about to give examples in terms of 3.5e] I want my class abilities and feat descriptions to be paragraphs long. I want my spell descriptions to be a page long. I want the fluff and crunch of these descriptions to be interspersed, so that I have to pick out the relevant parts. I want to discuss with the DM the meaning of a certain word in a description. I want to interpolate the DCs of things not mentioned in the PHB or DMG using precedents and reason. I want each player to meticulously document buffs and effects, I want the Bard to know exactly when his Inspire Courage effect wears off, and for which characters.

I understand that these types of things are indeed what many players hated most. Clearly so, because they've been expressly removed or overhauled in 4e. For me, it was this constant human interaction and reasoning that made D&D feel like more than a game. Clearly I am in the minority.

I'm hoping CiB and others deem this as a legitimate opinion and not a hollow attack on 4e.

tyfon
2008-07-25, 08:13 AM
OP here.

Indeed my original question was only asking for some examples of why people compare 4e to an MMO, and more specifically, because so many posters and reviewers have made this comparison largely on their own, why is there a tendency to do so? Regardless of your(the reader) own opinion, why do you think there is the general tendecy to do this?


Straight and simple: main reason why review writers are draving comparsion to MMORPG is that when dawn of 3e has come MMORPG was not so popular and widely known as it is now.


{Scrubbed}

Maybe being a slow moving heavily armoured combatant ISN'T the ultimate tactic which will defeat any and every opponent? Gee, how unfair is that?

Armored warrior is one of classical concepts of the game and of fantasy iconic character. This defines his outlook, fighting style and purpose. Of course You can create game where characters are race drivers who cannot drive cars, feel free, but this is not lot of fun, I presume.

Of course I can easily imagine playing character who is miserable - did it few times, especially in WoD, but this is completly switching mood of the game.


What abilities? What is the character actually doing? Charm Monster? Bribery? Special perfume? "Your mama" jokes?

In-game should it be that because of threat presented by fighter and his constant pressure enemy cannot concentrate on his attacks vs. other combatants, I think.


{scrubbed}

Ewwwww... logic has never been shining brightly in D&D. Not that other games are so great on that field.


{Scrubbed}.

Yes, my idea is "players and DM have fun". I'm not easily pleased when I do code review, not when I play game with friends

nagora
2008-07-25, 08:19 AM
Straight and simple: main reason why review writers are draving comparsion to MMORPG is that when dawn of 3e has come MMORPG was not so popular and widely known as it is now.
Yes.

That and the fact that 4e is clearly and obviously intended to be more like a video game than, say, a book, movie or (gasp) real events happening to actual people.

Charity
2008-07-25, 08:22 AM
Tyfon, please donít read my previous post to be entirely directed at you, only the first bit, no more.

many of the folk Iím talking about in the second part, I have shuffled onto the ignore list in order to avoid going nepo (as I will now refer to it).
Unfortunately most folk Have a habit of quoting large chunks of their posts so I have to read it anywayÖ



OP here.

Indeed my original question was only asking for some examples of why people compare 4e to an MMO, and more specifically, because so many posters and reviewers have made this comparison largely on their own, why is there a tendency to do so? Regardless of your(the reader) own opinion, why do you think there is the general tendecy to do this?

How do you know what influenced these people to come to make these comparisons?
I am not trying to undermine the rest of your argument but, this is the internet, we can all see a variety of opinions on any subject at a keystroke. The idea that all of the reviewers formed their opinions in a vacuum seems very unlikely.
If I were called upon to write a review, I would definately peruse a few other reviews before I set mine to print.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 08:27 AM
[
[I'm about to give examples in terms of 3.5e] I want my class abilities and feat descriptions to be paragraphs long. I want my spell descriptions to be a page long. I want the fluff and crunch of these descriptions to be interspersed, so that I have to pick out the relevant parts. I want to discuss with the DM the meaning of a certain word in a description. I want to interpolate the DCs of things not mentioned in the PHB or DMG using precedents and reason. I want each player to meticulously document buffs and effects, I want the Bard to know exactly when his Inspire Courage effect wears off, and for which characters.

I understand that these types of things are indeed what many players hated most. Clearly so, because they've been expressly removed or overhauled in 4e. For me, it was this constant human interaction and reasoning that made D&D feel like more than a game. Clearly I am in the minority.

I'm hoping CiB and others deem this as a legitimate opinion and not a hollow attack on 4e.
:smallconfused: You like what you like, I guess, but that's certainly... unique. You enjoy trying to figure out what the rule actually says, arguing about interpretations, and tracking the durations of various spells/effects? Uh. Yeah, that's definitely something a LOT of people see as a pain. However, it's also all very "gamist".

You just have really strange preferences. Maybe Talking About D&D On The Internet is the game for you!



Yes.

That and the fact that 4e is clearly and obviously intended to be more like a video game than, say, a book, movie or (gasp) real events happening to actual people.
Ah, yes, "clearly and obviously". If you say it, your opinion is incontrovertible!

(Psst. A game that plays like a book or movie wouldn't be fun. Tabletop gaming is its own medium.)

Charity
2008-07-25, 08:35 AM
TC you should marry Silvanos...


A lot of this is perceptual, though. The reality of gaming doesn't necessarily reflect what is discussed on the internet.

Matt we should get back to writing session reports.

nagora
2008-07-25, 08:37 AM
Ah, yes, "clearly and obviously". If you say it, your opinion is incontrovertible!
Thank you.


(Psst. A game that plays like a book or movie wouldn't be fun. Tabletop gaming is its own medium.)
Yes, but I suppose that it would be too much for you if I said that RPGs were clearly and obviously originally influenced by books, movies, and other stories.

Draco Dracul
2008-07-25, 08:46 AM
Just my two cents here:
I believe the statement that "DnD 4th edition is like an MMO" is correct, but so vauge as to be pointless. Any game/book/movie can be likened to an MMO if it contains any of the following: a system with classes, a system without classes, dragons, robots, people, monkeys, quests, fire, skills, the abillity to fight monsters.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 08:50 AM
Yes, but I suppose that it would be too much for you if I said that RPGs were clearly and obviously originally influenced by books, movies, and other stories.

Of course they are!
And yet, playing a campaign isn't like watching a movie or reading a novel. Nor should it be.

nagora
2008-07-25, 09:01 AM
Just my two cents here:
I believe the statement that "DnD 4th edition is like an MMO" is correct, but so vauge as to be pointless. Any game/book/movie can be likened to an MMO if it contains any of the following: a system with classes, a system without classes, dragons, robots, people, monkeys, quests, fire, skills, the abillity to fight monsters.
True, but the issue at hand is really whether 4e has moved towards being more like MMOs, and I suppose also whether it's deliberate if it has.

I think it's very obvious that the answer to both is "yes". Hasbro see MMOs as where their target audience is "at" at the moment and want to position themselves to appeal to them. Monkey see, monkey do.

Matthew
2008-07-25, 09:03 AM
Matt we should get back to writing session reports.

It's next on my list of fun things to do. :smallbiggrin:

Jayabalard
2008-07-25, 09:14 AM
<snipped for brevity>I understand that these types of things are indeed what many players hated most. Clearly so, because they've been expressly removed or overhauled in 4e. For me, it was this constant human interaction and reasoning that made D&D feel like more than a game. Clearly I am in the minority.

I'm hoping CiB and others deem this as a legitimate opinion and not a hollow attack on 4e.Well said


Of course they are!
And yet, playing a campaign isn't like watching a movie or reading a novel. Nor should it be.Depends on the people playing; some campaigns can indeed play like watching a movie or reading a novel and since some people like that, "should" is probably not the right word there.

(Psst. A game that plays like a book or movie wouldn't be fun. Tabletop gaming is its own medium.)Wouldn't be fun for you; there are people that enjoy that, they just happen to be bee-free.


How do you know what influenced these people to come to make these comparisons?That's the topic of discussion. The op is asking for your opinion on the matter.

tumble check
2008-07-25, 09:29 AM
How do you know what influenced these people to come to make these comparisons?
I am not trying to undermine the rest of your argument but, this is the internet, we can all see a variety of opinions on any subject at a keystroke. The idea that all of the reviewers formed their opinions in a vacuum seems very unlikely.
If I were called upon to write a review, I would definately peruse a few other reviews before I set mine to print.

I suppose I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. I know that I thought of videogames when I was reading through the 4e PHB for the first time, and I'm trying to analyze why. Moreover, I refuse to believe that this "4e like MMO" was started by one (or even several) person(s) and it spread virally, even into the industry (i.e. reviewers). I like to think that roleplayers of all people can think critically for themselves.




:smallconfused: You like what you like, I guess, but that's certainly... unique. You enjoy trying to figure out what the rule actually says, arguing about interpretations, and tracking the durations of various spells/effects? Uh. Yeah, that's definitely something a LOT of people see as a pain. However, it's also all very "gamist".


You're actually right. What I described is quite gamist. I guess what I meant is that the insta-resolution of problems and intuitive streamlined rules is perhaps videogamist, in the sense that minimal time or interaction is needed to resolve most actions, it's simply put through a simple step-by-step module of logic that returns a product. (Whether it be simple and explicit rules or lines of programming code.)

Kurald Galain
2008-07-25, 09:36 AM
Moreover, I refuse to believe that this "4e like MMO" was started by one (or even several) person(s) and it spread virally, even into the industry (i.e. reviewers).

Of course, it doesn't help that WOTC includes a big advertisement in every single book stating that they really want you to play D&D with a computer...

Starbuck_II
2008-07-25, 09:43 AM
True, but the issue at hand is really whether 4e has moved towards being more like MMOs, and I suppose also whether it's deliberate if it has.

I think it's very obvious that the answer to both is "yes". Hasbro see MMOs as where their target audience is "at" at the moment and want to position themselves to appeal to them. Monkey see, monkey do.

No, that is not obviously "yes". UIt may be possibly "yes", but it is not obvious.

Otherwise, there would be no arguement.
Fact: Some people don't argue for arguement sake. They actually believe different.

Charity
2008-07-25, 09:46 AM
I suppose I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. I know that I thought of videogames when I was reading through the 4e PHB for the first time, and I'm trying to analyze why. Moreover, I refuse to believe that this "4e like MMO" was started by one (or even several) person(s) and it spread virally, even into the industry (i.e. reviewers). I like to think that roleplayers of all people can think critically for themselves.


See I'm not so sure, most internet memes were started by somebody (singular) and they are as prevalent as it is possible to be on the internet.

I would strongly suspect that many some folk have seen it written down and decided they agree, and subsumed it almost without conciously deciding to do so. Things often work this way, a lot of Deja vu is thought to be unconciously absorbed material resurfacing.

Much as we would all love to think us roleplayers are better and more free thinking than them other folk, it isn't really true, folk are folk, and we are generally pretty easily lead, often without our realising it.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 09:49 AM
Of course, it doesn't help that WOTC includes a big advertisement in every single book stating that they really want you to play D&D with a computer...

Online game tables have existed for a long time and the only thing they have in common with MMOs is that they're online.

Charity
2008-07-25, 09:52 AM
If this forum had better graphics...

I've heard 4e is tricky to play over the tubes as it goes.

DeathQuaker
2008-07-25, 09:54 AM
OP here.

Indeed my original question was only asking for some examples of why people compare 4e to an MMO, and more specifically, because so many posters and reviewers have made this comparison largely on their own, why is there a tendency to do so? Regardless of your(the reader) own opinion, why do you think there is the general tendecy to do this?


I think the tendency is different for different people, but it basically comes out of a couple things:

1. As stated earlier in the thread, the Class Powers and Trees thereof resemble the way many CRPGs work for character building. Someone used to CRPGs is going to see this in D&D and feel it as familiar.

2. Grain of salt: I am citing hearsay on this, as I don't play MMORPGs, but my friends who play WoW -- and are also long, longtime D&D players -- say that many powers have similar names to WoW abilities, and visually, much of the art seems similar to that found in WoW (frex the tieflings apparently look a lot like a demonic looking race in that world. So there appear to be "trappings" of the game that make people think "WoW" (or MMORPG) when they take their first or even second glance at the game.

And extrapolating a little, with the massive MMORPG player audience, it kinda makes sense for an RPG designer to think--hey, we could draw them into our market too! So especially, it's easy to assume the visual similarity at least is intentional because they're trying to hook in that audience.

(IMO, I think most MMORPG players who aren't TTRPGers aren't going to switch over. While both MMORPGs and TTRPGs are essentially social kinds of gaming, they have a different form of interaction and feel to them. Some are going to only like one or the other. Myself I like TTRPGs and Single Player Video Games, but not MMORPGs).

Phil Lucky Cat
2008-07-25, 09:55 AM
Are you done taking potshots at me, yet? I can wait.

Yup. I have. Had a whole lotta stuff going on, and its refreshing to meet someone with as much passion and dedication as you have to the new product. I humbly apologise and hereby retract my part of the venom spitting that's been going on. I hope you can forgive me. Let's make this a peaceful place where we can share our opinion, not matter how cornered we and threatened (oooh, poor me! a divergent opinion! how will I ever recover!) we feel by a differing and strongly expressed opinion.


Of course it reminds you of an MMO; people don't just make that up. But like many opinions, it's pretty irrational.
I don't have a problem with you not liking 4E. I have a problem with you saying things like "it's irrefutable that WotC made 4E more like an MMORPG so they could turn it into a video game!"

Hmmm. I was crystalballing, it is true. But I can see the transition to greater functionalism in the canon pen and paper, as a precursor to the conversion of a more "accurate" CRPG or MMO future. Is this a bad thing? Probably not. As I said in all of my postings, that computer version will probably kickass. :smallbiggrin:

The main criticism of 3.0 and 3.5 CRPG conversions I've seen has been that the version of the product has never quite captured the essence (or mechanics) of the pen and paper version. If you change the mechanics and essence of the pen and paper version to an encounter based, all action, rechargable power, MMO friendly experience, I am banking on the computer version being near as dammit to perfect as possible...

Even in the most heated of my postings, I was trying to express something, which is the transition from some degree of roleplaying verisimilitude (even in something as patently fantastic as a swashbuckling, spellslinging RPG romp) to a more "game" based platform. Its like if schools just focused on test scores rather than the entire education of the pupil : yeah, you get kickass SAT's, but are you learning to be a whole human being? With self-esteem, responsibility, and true character? Before you launch into a massive attack, I recognise now that it might be something about how you play it, and how you use this turbocharged combat heavy version of an all-time classic to get into character and experience a new world might be entirely up to us. Mea Culpa *bows*

So, CWB : If I can explain the evolution of my sentiment. Please don't deride me for this. Please be a gentleman, as you have stated that the opponents of your arguments may well be.

There was a killer debate on this forum about the metagamishness of healing surges in 4e. I eventually came to the realisation that some of us have greater suspension of disbelief than others (which is cool), but even in the opponents of said function the key aspect of contention is the lack of any 4e canon explanation for these "cinematic" elements (yeah yeah, HP's themselves are arbitrary and dramatic, but explain why a bulky barbarian receives more capacity to get thrashed than a weedy wizard? There is implied some element of toughness/physical damage in that mix). [this is not the actual point, so please don't get your back up!]

Old D&D (and AD&D) gave a reasonable explanation for those amazing recoveries : divine magic, healing potions, first aid. The new system does it instantly 'cos you can. If you are naked and in a hole, with no props (and certainly no bandages) you can use a point and recover. You get them because you are a hero.

I know that there are functional reasons for it : longer adventures, more cinematic swashbuckling; but that "just 'cos you can" argument lends itself more and more to the functionalist argument... that we are just playing a kickass game, rather than living and experiencing brilliant epic characters on a believable quest.

Its probably from this aspect I first started looking at 4e from the perspective of "it's hit the heal button" and thereby unraveled my viewing of the system as a tabletop RPG, and more as a board game, or perfect candidate for MMO conversion. You probably have a reason to contest this, as you have virtually all of my other points. Kudos to you. But my imagination has been skewed toward viewing this under that paradigm.

So, that's it... no more "4e is proto-WOW2" from me. Its more of the fact that I sense a change in the air... there is a fundamental shift of imagination going on. We uberD&D fanatics must be quite conservative at heart, neh?

Thank you for your patience

Phil

Kurald Galain
2008-07-25, 09:57 AM
Online game tables have existed for a long time and the only thing they have in common with MMOs is that they're online.

And that they're also role-playing games.

Oh, come to think of it, they're also multi-player.

Now if only somebody would invent a massive version of D&D... perhaps they should call it "the living realms" or something, I forget what...

:smalltongue:

Draco Dracul
2008-07-25, 10:10 AM
True, but the issue at hand is really whether 4e has moved towards being more like MMOs, and I suppose also whether it's deliberate if it has.

I think it's very obvious that the answer to both is "yes". Hasbro see MMOs as where their target audience is "at" at the moment and want to position themselves to appeal to them. Monkey see, monkey do.

Which MMO? Are you able to change class (to any class) by going to specific location (FFXI)? Have classes been removed and have they put in specific levels for strength, defence, magic, attack, and range? Are the PCs all antro-animals (Trickster)? There are so many MMOs and MMO are so varied that it would be hard not to have any change make a game more simmilar to one of them.

Covered In Bees
2008-07-25, 10:28 AM
{Scrubbed}

Roland St. Jude
2008-07-25, 11:07 AM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Please remain civil and treat others with respect, regardless of what you think about the content of their posts. We don't care how a flame is written, we don't allow it here.