Dungeons & Dragons - 4E Interview

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Shir'le E. Illios
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Dungeons & Dragons - 4E Interview

Postby Shir'le E. Illios » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:34 pm

I'm running terribly behind in reporting news. Last week was GDC, which means a lot of new games news, and this week sees the release of the first Dragon Age expansion, which also means that they've been pumping up the news for that. But I've also been incredibly busy with work and as such haven't had time to report everything; it'll probably take some time to get through the news I've collected.

So let me start off with a relatively short bit of news that predates GDC.

The Escapist had a two part interview with Wizards of the Coast (part 1, part 2) about Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. Here's an excerpt:

[Alexander Macris]: What is the audience for today's Dungeons and Dragons, and how is that different from the audience for my Dungeons and Dragons, growing up in the '80s and early '90s?

[Andy Collins]: One thing we certainly saw over the course of 2nd edition was the audience did tend to age along with the game. The game was a very playable, a very entertaining system, but it didn't necessarily speak to the people who were coming up into the optimal RPG age category through new ways. When we were all playing 1st and 2nd Edition, we didn't cut our teeth on MMOs or console gaming or Facebook or any of those things. At best, maybe we had experience playing Monopoly or games like that, Risk, so that D&D was a totally foreign thing. That's just not true anymore.

People today, the young kids today, are coming into exposure from D&D after having playing games that have very similar themes, often have very similar mechanics ... they understand the concepts of the game. So in some ways they are much more advanced as potential game players. But in other ways, they are also coming from a background that is short attention span, perhaps, less likely interested in reading the rules of the game before playing.

And I'm not just talking about younger players now, but anybody. I know when I jump into a new console game, for instance, the last thing I want to do is read the book. I want to start playing. And that's a relatively new development in game playing and game learning. And we've been working to adapt to that, the changing expectations of the new gamer.

Right. So 4E is the way that it is because they believe that everyone has a short attention span.

To be honest, the article doesn't satisfy at all. They still seem to be happy with the direction they've taken D&D, most of the interview sounding more like a big advertisement (though through no fault of the interviewers). But I guess that I feel that way in part because I'm predisposed to not liking 4E.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that there are good things about the system as well (I honestly don't know it in-depth enough to tell). But the main issue I have with it is what it caused them to do to the established setting(s). And there's really not much of any comment on that at all. But then, I seriously doubt they'd come out and say "we were wrong, sorry" anyway.

But take it for what it is.


[link] to interview with WotC part 1 at The Escapist.
[link] to interview with WotC part 2 at The Escapist.


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Shir'le
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Postby Ra'Sona Races-The-Wind » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:46 pm

It's not like people not being bothered to investigate the material is a good thing, is it? Game help threads in forums are filled with posts that read simply "RTFM".

I've always maintained that the whole point of P&P RPGs was so that you weren't having your hand held to walk you through everything that happens. You know, a real gaming experience. . .

Damn, that sounded really elitist, didn't it? Well. . . good! I don't want my favourite system influenced by people who consider pressing F1 1000 times to level up a good thing. The make-it-just-like-warcraft thing is my primary problem with the changes. Firstly, I hate warcraft. Secondly, you can't compete with them by doing the exact same thing. If you do, people will just buy more warcraft because they might as well get flashy graphics for all their pressing of the substitutional F1 key.

Un, sorry. Rant. I just didn't realise that they'd actually gone out of their way to make it a WoW imitation, I kind of assumed it was coincidental.
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Postby veraka » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:18 pm

LMAO, finally someone who speaks sense. 8)
I have to agree with Ra'Sona on that; if the 4ed was meant to be knock off of World of Warcrack, then there's no sense in playing it any more.
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Postby Bhaern Quel » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:56 am

Hmm, I accused 3rd Edition as being designed to be more computer friendly, SKR denied that was the intent.

It however appeared clear to me that ir appeared the simpler the game was made, the better odds of increasing sales.

It also should be noted, that most RP games appear to have expanded from the While Book, with of course adjustments, White Wolf took a different direction, however it strikes me as unlikely they would have even tried it if D&D failed, Avalon and/or Elf Quest might have been developed without D&D. Time marks do matter, but i the end war gaming (Which D&D was born from) has been around for hundreds of years. D&D was the first major effort to include magic and small party effects into a war game.


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