On Sheer Idiocy

Image courtesy
the New York Times
New York Times can't keep a secret.

This is a sad day for mankind.

"We can't write a game good enough for people to want to buy, so why don't you tell us how?"
-Wizards of the Coast

I've got too many good games to play. Thanks though.


  1. As an aside, when the f*&^ did it become ok for a company to produce a product no one wants to buy and then expect aid from the people in order to stay afloat. What ever happened to consequences, the invisible hand, or capitalism?!

    I'm sure this resembles some other event recently. . .

  2. The thing is, they didn't produce a product "no one wanted". They produced one that wasn't as successful as they'd like, sure, and lost the top dog spot. But that doesn't mean no one wants it. They are still a big market share, and Encounters is still doing okay. *shrug* They gambled, they lost, but they have enough clout to take another shot and see if they can't stay in the game.

  3. No one out there wanted the game they had been playing for 20 years rebranded as a tactical mini's game requiring computer support to play with broken skill challenges, six hour long combats, and broken monsters requiring a years worth of revisions before it was even playable.

    Uh, I'd take a good tactical miniatures game, but D&D 4e isn't it. There are better, cheaper games out there.

  4. Again, you don't seem to understand what "no one wanted" means. I started playing in the mid 80s as well, and I don't hold that time sacred, nor would I classify 4E the way you do. You don't have to have a computer (though yes the char builder does make it easier), I've yet to run a 6 hour combat (though yes combat does take to long, but that's the case in just about every RPG I've ever played), the game has been playable for quiet some time so I'm not sure what you mean by requiring a years worth of revisions before it was able to be played. I will grant that skill challenges as presented in the book were a poorly implemented way to run a good idea.

    I get that you don't like it, and that's cool... but you are no more "everyone" than I am. Hell, the whole of the OSR and Pathfinder devotees isn't everyone.

  5. So, you agree with all my points, and yet continue to insist that there's some unknown contingent that wanted a broken, hard to run game?

    Yeah, after a couple years it's "playable" but I guess it was a little late for them then. Unless you're saying what you wanted was something that took years to become playable.

    The weird thing is, that what it is trying to do is already done elsewhere. Better. So who are the people who want that inferior version?

  6. OTOH, now that it's a dead game I am fighting a strange compulsion to play it.

  7. But... i don't consider it broken or hard to run. In fact, I'd say it was the easiest of the editions for me to run... though to be fair I've neither played nor ran anything older than 3.x in the past 15 years (which is a scary comment).

    I consider 4e flawed, but I consider every game system flawed in some way, as I've yet to find one that I go "Yes! This does everything I need exactly the way i want!".

    I played 4e as soon as it came out, and considered it playable then. And I consider it playable now. Certainly more so than any of the old school games, which hold no interest for me.

    I'm not seeking to evangelize to you about 4E, really. It doesn't make any difference to me what you play or don't, I just take issue with the knocking them for reaching out to the community when that's been a huge complaint leveled against them, and Piazo is praised all over he place for it's public beta testing.

  8. That's a pretty ridiculously biased interpretation of the announcement.

    WotC took a LOT of flak for developing 4e in secret. Many people have claimed that the echo chamber of developers and hand-picked playtesters is the reason that the game that came out did not have the appeal they expected. This time around, they want to gather feedback during the development cycle, instead of after it's too late to fix anything.

    Also, your description of 4e is pretty lop-sided. It is not the game you wanted. It is not the game I wanted. But, it is a game that is thoroughly enjoyed by thousands of gamers. I follow a number of people who are big proponents of the advantages of 4e (and there are many). Also, moving back to an old-school sensibility of "solid rules for combat, no rules for anything else" is exactly what many people wanted out of 4e (even if they didn't like the result).

    Finally, I think that equating "Okay, guys, we (WotC) misjudged the market, can you give us some ideas on how to do better next time?" and "Oops, we (the auto industry) misjudged the market, can you give us millions of dollars so we don't go broke?" is more than a little unfair.

  9. The crew who did Robot Chicken made a video of a whole session of 4e.

    Now, there's a lot there that I wouldn't like - perception rolls, history rolls and such. But you can see that they are having fun playing a game.

    1. I recently watched this whole series (two days ago). You know what I saw? "No, you can't use that power". and "Ok, you only have to do what you just did six more times" Not once was anyone engaged with the actual fear of the death of their character. There was a lot more that I disliked about it. I will be watching the commentary here on my weekend coming up. A post will be forthcoming.


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