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Maelstrom
06-24-2008, 03:54 AM
The greed factor is evident in the holes as wide as a dragon's butt left in the expected material for later books to sell.

This is an argument I've seen against 4e a few times, and while I can understand many of the arguments, this is one that I don't quite get. Maybe some of you can help me out. Where is it so obvious that the D&D 4e rules system (as opposed to the business model) is so much about greed?

What I see is a group of zealous Game Designers who put together a brilliant if very different game despite the efforts of their parent company to the contrary.

WoTC has done several things that make me agree with the greed statement from how they've poisoned the GSL to how they've marketed the game and cut off support to 3.5 so quickly, but that is the business model itself, not the system.

From my view, the Designers were allowed complete latitude in how they put together the rule system. It seems they decided to make some very fundamental changes to "fix" some of the issues and lessons learned that they saw in 3.5, and these fundamental changes resulted in something that from a rules-system perspective was a big change from 3.5, but from what I've seen, none of these changes were purely for pushing books.

In fact, some of the decisions they made will actually save people money. For example, including everything a player needs in the PHB. There is absolutely no need to purchase the DMG/MM if you are a player. In 3.5, you almost had to because of animal companions/summons in the MM and magic items/prestige classes in the DMG.

Is it because they left out classic races and classes? What?

Christopher_rowe
06-24-2008, 06:07 AM
I'm new here. Is there a way to give you points or props or something beyond just saying, "Well said!"?

Talmek
06-24-2008, 06:49 AM
...What I see is a group of zealous Game Designers who put together a brilliant if very different game despite the efforts of their parent company to the contrary.

...how they've poisoned the GSL to how they've marketed the game and cut off support to 3.5 so quickly...

...the Designers were allowed complete latitude in how they put together the rule system. It seems they decided to make some very fundamental changes...

...some of the decisions they made will actually save people money. For example, including everything a player needs in the PHB...

Is it because they left out classic races and classes?

Statement 1. I agree that the designers, devs, & playtesters did work very hard to release as polished, finished product as possible while the "Big, Bad, Corporation" was rumored to hurry the development process so they could get the new edition out into the public view. In a nutshell, 4th edition leans more heavily toward combat rules and less toward character development than any of the previous editions. It is simply a more slim, "play as you learn the rules" approach to the game, not necessarily outright greed.

Statement 2. I personally do not agree with what they have done with the GSL, or the abandonment of 3.5 edition. However, looking from their point of view I can understand wanting to put the full creative and financial muscle of the corporation behind their new product to maximize sales. In my opinion, it wouldn't cost too awful much to at least compile all the resources they have for 3.5e and keep them available on the WotC website, and keep a ton of their fanbase returning to their website in the process.

Statement 3. While the designers may have been allowed creative freedom to assemble the system, it only takes a single memo from the afore-mentioned "Big, Bad, Corporation" saying, "Just make sure the product is stand-alone and incompatible with previous editions." Do I honestly think it happened like this? No, but you see where it leads.

Statement 4. As with any major revision, there are changes in the contents of the core rulebooks. The difference in 3e and 3.5's DMG alone was substantial enough to nearly force the customer to purchase the newer version. In the instance mentioned above, the Company did something right. Definitely not a showing of greed, but perhaps those designers really thinking through the setup and contents of their book.

Statement 5. The removal of certain races and classes is a wound that will not soon heal for many players, and even when it does it will scar horrifically. I think the designers may have been a little hasty to "slim down" their product, at the expense of some of the less popular (but no less valuable) options. However, it's not too difficult to build/adapt the 3.5e version to 4th...just inconvenient.

All in all, I believe players are claiming "corporate greed" on the basis that there have been 3 separate rulesets released in less than a decade. Table-top RPG consumers (D&D more specifically) are not accustomed to this much change in the style/rules/game in such a short time, leading to thoughts that the Company is "in it for the money". As a businessman, I can relate to the desire to make a profit and run a successful business. However, I also learned a lesson early on that if you burn enough of your customers with unpopular business practices, you won't have any to buy your product.

Oldgamer
06-24-2008, 07:44 AM
All in all, I believe players are claiming "corporate greed" on the basis that there have been 3 separate rulesets released in less than a decade. Table-top RPG consumers (D&D more specifically) are not accustomed to this much change in the style/rules/game in such a short time, leading to thoughts that the Company is "in it for the money". As a businessman, I can relate to the desire to make a profit and run a successful business. However, I also learned a lesson early on that if you burn enough of your customers with unpopular business practices, you won't have any to buy your product.

Well said, no one is in business to "just get by", or most aren't anyway. Most are in business to improve their lives through whatever their goals are whether it be financial or great strides in their field.

But having so many rule sets come out in such a short time and cutting off support to older rule sets is bad business, it forces you to "keep up with the Joneses" and keep buying the new product even though you've got a perfectly (well, not quite perfect, but certainly functionable) good system you've spent a small fortune on already (or in my case you have about 7 previous versions gathering dust).

That's like buying the brand new '09 Cadillac, and in 2012 there will be no parts sold for the '09 anymore when the newer Caddy comes out. That is the epitome of 'corporate greed' to me, it goes beyond trying to make a buck, it jumps heartily into full blown greed then.

Engar
06-24-2008, 09:57 AM
Go to www.amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com). Search on 4e. Scroll the pre-orders. 'nuf said.

Oldgamer
06-24-2008, 01:33 PM
No need to go that far, most players and GM's I am gaming with (I'm in a lot of PbP's) they are saying their book orders are on backorder.

InfoStorm
06-24-2008, 01:33 PM
True, but nothing makes a happy client than buying a product and not liking it. I can't tell you how many computer games I've bought and wished I could return. I'm glad I didn't purchase 4e.

I fully agree that it is WotC and Hasbro's job to make money. They believed that a new edition to D&D would make them money, and maybe it has. Their greed has gotten the better of them in making a product that makes 10 years of previous products, all of which are still used, useless. Sure I can try and use old books, but 50-90% of their content is useless now. Previous editions to the game have some backwords combatibility, the new game, very little. With no backwards compatibility, all the content will habe to be rewritten and repurchased. That is greed that I dislike.

Oldgamer
06-24-2008, 01:53 PM
Yeah, and then you have all the people who say "Well go back and play any edition you want", but they haven't given it any more thought than that. People will start leaving the older editions and it will increasingly get harder to find people who will play the edition you enjoy... eventually, if you want to play the edition you like that's not the latest and greatest... you'll be searching harder and harder to find people to play with and eventually you will be forced to "keep up with the Jonses" just to play. I know there are people out there that play all of the editions, but they are becoming less frequent and harder to find.

Webhead
06-24-2008, 02:30 PM
Yeah, and then you have all the people who say "Well go back and play any edition you want", but they haven't given it any more thought than that. People will start leaving the older editions and it will increasingly get harder to find people who will play the edition you enjoy... eventually, if you want to play the edition you like that's not the latest and greatest... you'll be searching harder and harder to find people to play with and eventually you will be forced to "keep up with the Jonses" just to play. I know there are people out there that play all of the editions, but they are becoming less frequent and harder to find.

This is a general trend that I've begun noticing since the release and explosion of the d20 system. This is limited to my own experience of course, but it seems exponentially more difficult to find players for a non-d20 game of any sort than any flavor of the d20 system.

There are some really darn good games out there (new and old) that don't use the d20 system, but it's getting a lot of players to "break the ice" of another system that proves daunting.

I'm not saying all the players I know are closed-minded, far from it, but if I put them all in a room together and said, "Who wants to play D&D?" (at which they would assume I was referring to 3.5), at least 90 % of them would raise their hands. If I then said, "Who wants to play [insert non-d20 game here]?", maybe 10 % of them would raise their hands eagerly, and maybe another 10% would shrug their shoulders with indifference and say, "I'll play whatever is being run".

This is putting individual pet-systems aside. I know one player for example who's favorite game is Vampire, one who's favorite game is Werewolf, one who loves BESM, one who loves AFMBE, one who loves Star Wars, etc.

frank634
06-24-2008, 06:13 PM
Well, now I have to chime in on the "Corporate Greed" arguement.

First, I Love D&D and I am extreemly happy that WOTC bought TSR. If they didn't, D&D would be Dead.

Secondly, They are business people and an industry that, quite frankly, is Dieing a slow and painfull death (thanks to electronic gaming). I was honestly surprised it took as long as it did to come up with the 4e of D&D. The only way to spark new sales is to do what they did. If it does not do well, then D&D will be a lost game.

Third, gaming is a hobby and hobbies cost money (just like anything else). To say these companies are just money grubbing thieves, well, just remember, if they were not, these games would not exist and we will all be playing home brewed RPG's which would be so frustrating, we wouldn't play at all. (or worse, be giving our money to sony and its playstation or microsoft and its xbox and vegatate in front of a TV.)

Honestly, I hate paying for the hobby, but i do enjoy the hobby. Therefore, I will praise and support WOTC and give any suggestion to them in a friendly way as to encourage them to produce more materials and to see the profit in the industry.

Well, I am sure this is going to get an ugly response, so shoot away.

Talmek
06-26-2008, 06:02 AM
...First, I Love D&D and I am extreemly happy that WOTC bought TSR....

Secondly, They are business people and an industry that, quite frankly, is Dieing a slow and painfull death (thanks to electronic gaming)...

Third, gaming is a hobby and hobbies cost money (just like anything else). To say these companies are just money grubbing thieves, well, just remember, if they were not, these games would not exist and we will all be playing home brewed RPG's...

...Therefore, I will praise and support WOTC and give any suggestion to them in a friendly way as to encourage them to produce more materials and to see the profit in the industry.

Well, I am sure this is going to get an ugly response, so shoot away.

1. I completely agree. While I haven't been playing D&D very long (3.0 forward), I'm of the type that researches everything. I have looked far and wide for information about table-top RPGs with particular emphasis on D&D as it's my personal favorite. Without WotC's purchase and revitalization of the D&D rights, it would be a dead game. Well, perhaps not dead...but it wouldn't have had the rebirth that it has had in the past eight years.

2. Unfortunately, this is true as well. Electronic gaming has become my main source of roleplaying as I have yet to find a group of roleplayers within 100 miles of my hometown. Since I dedicate more time to online gaming (and effectively, more disposable income) D&D has become more of a "reading hobby" as one may study military history, etc. This is not by choice, but I can easily find at least 20-30 MMORPG players within 20 miles of where I live. Heck, I can name three that I work with.

3. I agree that almost any hobby/game/service will cost money however, it is how much and how often the customer is forced to pay that dictates said hobby's value. For instance, an MMORPG has a monthly subscription fee. Similarly, WotC releases roughly 1-2 products per month. Two accessories would cost almost four months subscription to most MMOs (29.99 x 2 > 14.99 x 4). I'm willing to pay for those accessories/books/whatever because I believe that it will have use for me either presently by reading the books, or in the future running/participating in a game.

4. While I may not purchase 4e, I will not boycott the company for it's release. I won't be purchasing it mainly because I have such a large investment tied up in 3.5e (See the "How many 3.x books did you buy" thread for details). They purchased the rights to the game and namesake so legally they could release a new edition per month if they wanted to...with only the consumers' response (or lack thereof) as feedback. It is their product, and they may do with it as they see fit, even causing the "death" of the hobby.

Now, do I think they would do that? Not considering the significant investment they have tied up in D&D as a whole. As stated before, they are in business, not charity.

Finally, ignore anyone who gives you a nasty response Frank. If they can't properly articulate an argument, then there's no value to their comment.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-26-2008, 10:21 AM
Well, now I have to chime in on the "Corporate Greed" arguement.

First, I Love D&D and I am extreemly happy that WOTC bought TSR. If they didn't, D&D would be Dead.

Secondly, They are business people and an industry that, quite frankly, is Dieing a slow and painfull death (thanks to electronic gaming). I was honestly surprised it took as long as it did to come up with the 4e of D&D. The only way to spark new sales is to do what they did. If it does not do well, then D&D will be a lost game.

Third, gaming is a hobby and hobbies cost money (just like anything else). To say these companies are just money grubbing thieves, well, just remember, if they were not, these games would not exist and we will all be playing home brewed RPG's which would be so frustrating, we wouldn't play at all. (or worse, be giving our money to sony and its playstation or microsoft and its xbox and vegatate in front of a TV.)

Honestly, I hate paying for the hobby, but i do enjoy the hobby. Therefore, I will praise and support WOTC and give any suggestion to them in a friendly way as to encourage them to produce more materials and to see the profit in the industry.

Well, I am sure this is going to get an ugly response, so shoot away.
Agreed, and well said.

Thoth-Amon

agoraderek
06-26-2008, 02:33 PM
i have no porblem with gaming companies releasing editions with the frequency car manufacturer's make new models. no one is forcing anyone to buy anything. my only gripe is from a customer service point of view. they chose to completely depart from d&d as we know it, and made backward compatability too much of a chore.

4.0 isnt a bad frpg. but it severs almost all ties with the past. but then, even in advertising, they market to a young crowd with new products, for the most part, not the crowd with the most disposible income...

tesral
06-26-2008, 03:39 PM
i have no porblem with gaming companies releasing editions with the frequency car manufacturer's make new models. no one is forcing anyone to buy anything. my only gripe is from a customer service point of view. they chose to completely depart from d&d as we know it, and made backward compatability too much of a chore.

4.0 isnt a bad frpg. but it severs almost all ties with the past. but then, even in advertising, they market to a young crowd with new products, for the most part, not the crowd with the most disposible income...

Like I have been saying. A slap in the face to older gamers. "Get a rocking chair gramps!"

As to the greed element it is evident in the holes left in the system that people expect to be fill, which will be filled 30 bucks a pop.

As someone else pointed out, how do you add triflings and dragonborn to a game that hasn't had them, as if they have been there all along? But leave out an old core race or two. We'll have to have that source books for gnomes and half orcs as well.

Greed, throw out everything you have bought from use before and get ready to buy it all again with new numbers on old concepts. That is the greed factor. Reselling the same stuff over and over, never really making anything new, just shuffling the bits, slapping new labels on it and marketing again. How many Versions of Forgotten Realms are you going to buy? This time the marketing trolls have made sure you can't just adjust the numbers from the last version.

Ebberon is the last really new idea out of D&D. And it was not an in house invention.

ryan973
06-27-2008, 10:10 AM
Go to www.amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com). Search on 4e. Scroll the pre-orders. 'nuf said.


Couls that have anything to do with the fact that those are people who ordered the product before its release. Like me. Or mabie people who dont have a local gaming store and have yet to see the final product. I own fourth and I am obviously not a fan.

tesral
06-27-2008, 10:36 AM
Go to www.amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com). Search on 4e. Scroll the pre-orders. 'nuf said.

Sort of like the Microsoft sales figures for Vista.

To those that are dying to get their books, my LHS has a stack of 4e just sitting there. Get yourself to Garden City Michigan Middlebelt Road one block south of Ford Road. Pandimonium (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl) is the LHS. I am sure they will sell you a set.

Valdar
06-27-2008, 01:04 PM
I hadn't heard about the Amazon fiasco- what happened?

Grimwell
06-27-2008, 06:29 PM
I think some people got it after the expected dates. I ordered it and got it ahead of schedule, but that made me happy so I'm likely to be short a few details.

Valdar
06-28-2008, 08:52 AM
I think some people got it after the expected dates. I ordered it and got it ahead of schedule, but that made me happy so I'm likely to be short a few details.

Aha- exactly what happened with 3.0 then, except without the people getting it ahead of schedule.

From what Wizards said, Amazon went with a completely made-up date for 3.0 well in advance of what Wizards said (so they could shut out local stores), and then blamed Wizards when they didn't have the books.

Farcaster
06-28-2008, 12:43 PM
I ordered my books through Amazon as well, and I ended up getting them about a week late. Of course, at one point they sent me an email saying they'd be a month late. I was about to cancel when I saw that they had shipped already. One week isn't too bad though. I was a bit miffed since I "preordered" after all, but I did save something like 35% or more on the books. So, I'll take that.

agoraderek
06-28-2008, 09:05 PM
i got this from the lorraine williams article on IGN:

"TSR became infamous for micromanaging its licensing partners, with draconian licensing managers that dictated everything that a licensor could do, from the color of a box to exactly which piece of licensed D&D artwork the licensee would be forced to use. Even Gary Gygax himself wasn't immune. When Gygax created a new RPG system with Game Designer's Workshop called Dangerous Journeys, TSR sued him for copyright infringement."

hmmm, sounds similar to what the GSL does right now...

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-29-2008, 01:28 AM
I ordered my books through Amazon as well, and I ended up getting them about a week late. Of course, at one point they sent me an email saying they'd be a month late. I was about to cancel when I saw that they had shipped already. One week isn't too bad though. I was a bit miffed since I "preordered" after all, but I did save something like 35% or more on the books. So, I'll take that.
Farcaster,

Consider yourself lucky. Mine have been moved back twice. The next date when shipment will "supposedly" be is July 28th. I would have cancelled but 50 bucks is 50 bucks.

Thoth-Amon

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-29-2008, 01:28 AM
i got this from the lorraine williams article on IGN:

"TSR became infamous for micromanaging its licensing partners, with draconian licensing managers that dictated everything that a licensor could do, from the color of a box to exactly which piece of licensed D&D artwork the licensee would be forced to use. Even Gary Gygax himself wasn't immune. When Gygax created a new RPG system with Game Designer's Workshop called Dangerous Journeys, TSR sued him for copyright infringement."

hmmm, sounds similar to what the GSL does right now...
This doesnt surprise me. Sad to say.

Thoth-Amon

tesral
06-29-2008, 01:30 AM
I ordered a Draconmonicon Thursday. Amazon Marketplace. It was in the mailbox today.

Neat book reading it will be fun if I never use half of it.

Maelstrom
06-29-2008, 05:54 PM
As to the greed element it is evident in the holes left in the system that people expect to be fill, which will be filled 30 bucks a pop.


Could you be more specific? Which holes? I'm having no problem playing and running 4e with the rules in place. Just like for 3.5, I don't intend in buying every 4e supplement that comes out, only those that will directly improve my game.



As someone else pointed out, how do you add triflings and dragonborn to a game that hasn't had them, as if they have been there all along? But leave out an old core race or two. We'll have to have that source books for gnomes and half orcs as well.


Actually, Tieflings (directly) and Dragonborn (indirectly) did exist in 4e, and were quite popular amongst the crowd that continued to purchase 3.5 books (and thus had a lot of say in the direction 3.5 was taking). The Tieflings were a Monster Manual race that got a lot of attention along with the Asimar as races of choice (take a look at the RPGA settings, which allow Teiflings as stock races to choose from). The Dragonborn comes from various Dragon-style races that were also popular, such as half-dragons etc.

Point is, the race selection was arbitrary, and explanations were made as to why gnomes and half-orcs weren't initially included. Corporate greed to leave them out just so people would have to buy a new supplement? It's definitely debatable. I for one can see this as a design decision in line with the others they made.



Greed, throw out everything you have bought from use before and get
ready to buy it all again with new numbers on old concepts.


I don't see it. They made fundamental design decisions that changed the course of D&D, and thus maintaining complete compatibility turned out to be impossible. Which of the design decisions they made seem to indicate it was the greed factor that caused them to make that decision?



Reselling the same stuff over and over, never really making anything new, just shuffling the bits, slapping new labels on it and marketing again.


I thought that a lot of the arguments against 4e were that they changed too much, not too little...