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View Full Version : Is 4e WoW?



Maelstrom
07-08-2008, 09:37 PM
In the spirit of good natured discussion, let us broach the subject that has been on the lips of many from well before 4th Edition was released. World of Warcraft has topped 5 million subscribers, many of whom have spent thousands of hours in that game. Has WoTC sold out its customer base to try to attract some of these players into the pen & paper games market?

I'll just sit this out for a moment and see where it goes... *sits back and relaxes, getting ready for a good show*

Stormhound
07-08-2008, 09:51 PM
Hmmm, thread title ask one thing, thread text ask another thing.

Obviously, the one game isn't the other, although I see a fair bit of similarity in spirit and terminology.

Has WotC sold out its customer base? I'd wager that we're unlikely to have an objective answer, unless someone here happens to work high in the inner circles of that company. You can make the argument that they have, especially if you love 3.X and dislike 4e, or you can argue that they've improved a game that was getting too bulked out with options...

All I'd say is that they made a business decision, offered me a product, and I chose to buy it and use it. Ain't capitalism grand?

Valdar
07-08-2008, 10:19 PM
Hm...


"Fighter" in plate: WoW: Yes 3e: Yes 4e: No
Gnomes: WoW: Yes 3e: Yes 4e: Gno
Crafting: WoW: Yes 3e: Yes 4e: No
Druids: WoW: Yes 3e: Yes 4e: No
Pets: WoW: Yes 3e: Yes 4e: No
Copious magic items: WoW: Yes 3e: Yes 4e: No
Defined world: WoW: Yes 3e: Yes 4e: No

Conclusion: 3e is WoW.

Additional conclusion: Cherry-picked evidence says what you want it to.

Edit: Tables would be nice to have

Engar
07-08-2008, 10:21 PM
I do not believe 4e is WoW. I do believe 4e took some of the worst concepts from WoW. I believe an attempt to lure away or crossover WoW players to DnD by way of creating similarities is counter-productive and short term.

I will further predict that the surge is a trend brought on by a number of socio-economic factors and will fall flat within a year or two leaving DnD and probably WotC on the Hasbro chopping block if they have a glut of inventory. That expends my divination for the day.

Webhead
07-08-2008, 11:17 PM
I would say that anyone who believes either IP to exist in a vacuum is a least slightly naive. I'm virtually certain that at some point in its conception WoW (and likely every Warcraft game ever produced) had D&D to thank for its inspiration. I'm sure the game designers were big D&D nerds back in the 70's and 80's and decided to take those ideas a make a computer game out of them.

Likewise, I'm sure that on at least some level, WotC looked upon WoW for inspiration. It is arguably the most popular computer game ever played and I'm sure that had some WotC big-wigs wiping the drool from their chins as they dreamed about making such a big splash in the Pen-and-Paper RPG industry.

In short, I think WoW ultimately grew out of and fed off of D&D to that point that it has become its own "entity" and now D&D has seen that it might learn a thing or two from its mutant offspring.

Is 4e intrinsically WoW? No. They are two seperate entities. Can it be made to resemble WoW? Sure. Why not. That's not necessarily a bad thing unless you're talking about making 4e "play" like WoW "plays" (that is, trying to make it like a computer game with dice). Actually, a lot of the ideas behind the universe of WoW (the races, creatures, factions, etc.) could really be turned into a cool setting by an inspired GM. Therein lies the crux. I think 4e will ultimately be what you make it. You can make it D&D if you want to...you can make it WoW if you want to...you can make it some kind of twisted half-breed. Or you can make it something else entirely. WotC doesn't own your imagination. You're free to do or not do whatever you like with what's there. It's your game...your choice.

dalenvec
07-08-2008, 11:51 PM
In short, I think WoW ultimately grew out of and fed off of D&D to that point that it has become its own "entity" and now D&D has seen that it might learn a thing or two from its mutant offspring.
im ganna have to agree with this. I think DnD is an insperation for alot of things in the video game, and even book and movie market.

I do think they pulled some aspects of WoW in to 4e. The biggest one ive noticed is lumping classes in to types(which i personally dont like) and the must have of certain classes ie cleric, and tank(paladin/fighter) which i also dont like. Both these originated in MMORPG's like Everquest and Anarchy online, and where made more widly known in WoW.

But 4e isnt WoW because there is an actual World of Warcraft table top game setting. But I think WoTC would be smart business wise to capitalize on WoW sucsess and try and draw people into the pnp game realm, and i can see why if they did, emulate certain things of wow.

just my 2cp

Engar
07-09-2008, 12:05 AM
It's your game...your choice.

Is it? I doubt most GM's get to really say that. Even my old group of 20yrs had to be sold on something new. (If you think I dislike 4e, sheesh. But much of that is time and money. No time to relearn and no desire to pay to do it.)

I am also starting to be irked by the argument that you can make it into anything you want. I can sculpt a turd and paint it gold. Want a gold medal for your suggestion? Can you roleplay in WoW? Yup. Is it desirable? No. (Please do not argue with me here, if you like it fine, go do it, really, go away. Grown ups are talking. Shoo, you bother me.)

It is not WoW, but it is rigidly structured like WoW and to me feels similarly impersonal.

Tamerath
07-09-2008, 01:38 AM
I've played and loved Warcraft since before it was a "World" (RTS days). Although lately I've been a little bored (hopefully Lich King will respark some interest), I've never been bored with D&D. I know a lot of people get sick of it...or turned off of it...but never me thankfully. Is 4th Edition like WoW? The only thing that even half way close reminds me of it was that Wizards put some thought into "character builds" for each class to help the player make better choices based on what they'd like to play. It actually helped some people in my past group. The other thing I'd say was inspired by WoW was an aggro mechanic used by paladins and fighters. (Although I've always held a similar mechanic I used back in the day before even WoW.....did Blizzard send their spies to my game session...hmmm....ANYWAY) I Like WoW for what it does...but that being said...I think Dungeons and Dragons always has done stuff WoW could never hope to do...like make a cinematic experience that is defined by the character the players have made...and a legacy there at that...and a World that the Dungeon Master has made...and as so many DMs here can attest...World of Warcraft doesn't have a shot compared to (props to my fellow Dungeon Masters that have spent all their hard earned time to create living and breathing worlds)

Tomcat1066
07-09-2008, 05:29 AM
4th Edition, for all it's flaws, isn't WoW. I feel it does have a lot of WoW elements, and those aren't necessarily good ones, but it's not WoW.

I can't say WHAT I think it is on a family oriented forum, but it ain't WoW ;)

starfalconkd
07-09-2008, 07:09 AM
I've never played WoW. So I would think I'm not qualified to answer this question. But I must say, Maelstrom, "You opened a big can of worms with this one."

ryan973
07-09-2008, 07:48 AM
Mabie the title should read IS 4th MAGIC THE GATHERING. I have heard that argument alot and it usually makes alot more sence.

tesral
07-09-2008, 09:09 AM
Well, hearsay only, I am not a WoW player.

It has been WoW players I hear making the comparison the most. I don't have the Knowledge to prove or refute the idea. I am simply reporting from the field.

"Those WoW players that I know and that also play D&D and have Forry, compare the two as highly similar."

"I have been told that the combat roles are identical."

Interestingly this does not excite those self same WoW players. To quote one "Mike" "I don't like WoW in my D&D."

Reporting form the field. Yes, I do get out of the house.

Riftwalker
07-09-2008, 09:36 AM
It seems like the purpose of this discussion is threefold:

(1) to determine how similar it is to WoW
(2) determine if it is similar to WoW for the sake of increasing its popularity (assuming the answer to #1 is "it is")
(3) and then (by association (#1) or the relevance of #2) praise or condemn it

The problem is that the answer to #1 depends on what points of comparison a person uses, and furthermore, what type of D&D game they like to play with the 4e rules.

The answer #2 is purely speculation unless WotC employees post on this board. If you were a WotC business executive, would you come to the conclusion that:
- The market segment for WoW and the market segment for 4e D&D overlaps
- This overlap can be exploited by changing the game to suit the tastes of the union of the market segments in a way that doesn't lose the majority of the strictly D&D segment.
Or other business reasons along the lines of #2?

And then (for #3), if #2 = "yes", does that ruin the game? If the game is worse for it (and that itself is up for debate), I would hazard a guess that some people judge a game for what it is and not the marketing reasons behind it, and that others are left with a bad taste in their mouth because of the method behind the madness.

Webhead
07-09-2008, 09:58 AM
Is it? I doubt most GM's get to really say that. Even my old group of 20yrs had to be sold on something new.

All I was attempting to imply here is that 10 different GMs can run the same game 10 different ways. I've witnessed this in 3.X too. I was in 3 different campaigns that were all very different games. They all used the same basic rules framework, but each DM put his own "stamp" on it that made it feel unique.


(If you think I dislike 4e, sheesh. But much of that is time and money. No time to relearn and no desire to pay to do it.)

I agree. Especially being frugal as I am, I have to decide whether the time and money investment will provide any lasting value.


I am also starting to be irked by the argument that you can make it into anything you want. I can sculpt a turd and paint it gold. Want a gold medal for your suggestion? Can you roleplay in WoW? Yup. Is it desirable? No. (Please do not argue with me here, if you like it fine, go do it, really, go away. Grown ups are talking. Shoo, you bother me.)

No arguments from me or gold medals desired on that front. As I've said, I don't play WoW for any kind of "role playing" experience. I play it as a computer strategy game. What I was trying to say was that D&D does seem to come closer to resembling WoW tropes (a double-edged sword at best) which can influence the way it is played. But what D&D (any edition) has that WoW doesn't is that the players have to imagine D&D for themselves, whereas WoW imagines the game for you (via graphics and sound effects, etc.) which is why I feel WoW is not conducive to role playing.


It is not WoW, but it is rigidly structured like WoW and to me feels similarly impersonal.

I can see and even agree with the argument for that. Like I've said, I'm not "pro" or "anti" 4e at this point. Just curious. I've been surprised (in both good and very bad ways) by RPGs before. I've found that I can never really judge a game until I've played it, as many of them sound really cool on the page, but break down horribly on the table. 4e could be one of those.

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-09-2008, 10:57 AM
I would like to make an analogy here...

I am an artist. As an artist, I went to art school, studied art history, looked at so much art, thought about so much art, read about so much art that it would make a normal person vomit from dizziness. I talked with my peers, teachers, fellow students, professional artists, and studied their art work also. I now work in a museum with some of the best living artists working today (Maya Lin to drop a big name). I would be shooting myself in the foot, cutting off my own head, gouging out my eyes, or whatever self depreciating factor you can come up with if I allowed myself NOT to be influenced by all of the art around me. It can only make me bigger, better, and stronger (like Daft Punk!)!

So is 4e WoW? No. If it was it would say WoW on the books, and have undead as playable races!

Has WoTC sold out its customer base to try to attract some of these players into the pen & paper games market? NO. If they are smart, and I think they are, they have allowed 4e to be influenced by WoW on several levels and for several reasons, they would be stupid NOT to do this. One reason (warning, opinions coming up!) is to grow the game and make it more of an enjoyable minis wargame (for me 3.5 is not enjoyable as a wargame). Another reason is to try to draw some of the computer gaming crowd into the fold. This is evidenced by the fact that there is a review in Game Informer of 4e when it was released last month and the reviewer specifically says to put down the controller and give an old school pnp gaming a try, or something to that effect. I'm sure there are more but I don't really care enough to keep going on.


So no, 4e is not WoW. Do they influence each other, oh heck yes! Is that bad, well, who is to really say and be the final word on that other than yourself.

tesral
07-09-2008, 04:19 PM
One reason (warning, opinions coming up!) is to grow the game and make it more of an enjoyable minis wargame (for me 3.5 is not enjoyable as a wargame).

Then I suggest Decent. Minis wargame with none of the RPG fluff.

I like Three and pre becasue they are not minis wargames. If I want a war game, I have several, including minis games and minis to play them with. I love some real high crunch simulation wargames. Stuff to make a D&D player's eyes cross, bug, and fall out.

D&D can have a miniture aspect, but it is not a mini war game, or shouldn't be.

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-09-2008, 04:27 PM
Then I suggest Decent. Minis wargame with none of the RPG fluff.

I like Three and pre becasue they are not minis wargames. If I want a war game, I have several, including minis games and minis to play them with. I love some real high crunch simulation wargames. Stuff to make a D&D player's eyes cross, bug, and fall out.

D&D can have a miniture aspect, but it is not a mini war game, or shouldn't be.

D&D has always been (Chainmail) a minis wargame with roleplaying fluff thrown on.

Some people like it some don't.

But when I am getting into a combat in 3.5 it is frustrating to no end to have rules upon rules bog down the combat to a crawl. If 4e has remedied this then I welcome it because i LIKE my D&D mini wargame with roleplaying fluff on top! Don't forget the cherry!:hungry:

Maelstrom
07-09-2008, 05:12 PM
So no, 4e is not WoW. Do they influence each other, oh heck yes!

That pretty much sums up my feelings.

What I don't get is the direct comparisons between WoW and 4e. There are some surface similarities (powers based on level, player roles, party makeup), but how they play out is completely different. One is a set of predefined worlds in which characters interact to accomplish preset goals. The other is a living and breathing game where imagination and social interaction are the key.

Ramzei
07-09-2008, 07:39 PM
...4e is not WoW. Do they influence each other, oh heck yes! Is that bad, well, who is to really say and be the final word on that other than yourself.

Stole a lot of my thunder there but I have a few points of my own to make. I am an avid WoW player, AND an avid D&D player. It appears I am the guy who farts in the elevator. There is a lot of D&D in WoW, that much is pretty undeniable. From the minor things like names, to the major concepts. However, having played a great deal of both games (D&D playing experience in 4e is lacking but I have read the cores) there is one MAJOR difference. Almost all of the WoW players I have encountered are lacking in some way to be able to play on paper. Be it intellegence, (I have to admit I REALLY hope WoW is not a true cross-section of the population) motivation to read anything, deisre/ability to actually get away from WoW to go somewhere, etc... Most of the paralells I see between the two have been hit upon. I am pissed I spent the money on the cores and to let WoTC know I won't be buying anymore. I already don't play much since I am still stuck on 2e (no, I don't have a dot-matrix printer). I am not as opposed to 3.x as I am to 4e, but until I find a good group for 3.x I will continue (seemingly in vain) to find a 2e group in my area.

tesral
07-09-2008, 09:45 PM
I already don't play much since I am still stuck on 2e (no, I don't have a dot-matrix printer).

Do you have any idea what dot matric printers cost these days? Ain't cheap I can tell you that.

(He that uses color laser)

Ramzei
07-10-2008, 12:26 AM
Do you have any idea what dot matric printers cost these days? Ain't cheap I can tell you that.

(He that uses color laser)

More of an inference toward clinging to things that are "outdated". I may still have a few in my grandmother's basement.... :p

tesral
07-10-2008, 12:47 AM
More of an inference toward clinging to things that are "outdated". I may still have a few in my grandmother's basement.... :p

If they work you could sell the things. :eek:

Grimwell
07-10-2008, 11:38 PM
4th Edition is 4e WoW?
Not a chance. Looking only at the mechanics that drive each game, they are not that similar. The core systems that drive each are divergent enough to be totally different in my mind.

D&D influences WoW?
Undeniable. I'll even give tangible evidence. My company made the first "big" fantasy MMO (*cough* EQ *cough*).

The world behind the game stemmed from a D&D campaign (2E obviously, given the dates), but the system that drives EQ is muuuuch more complex than 2E ever dreamed of being (or 3E, 4E, or Rolemaster to make the larger point). That said, there are D&D and other RPG books in many offices on a shelf as inspiration material for when the designers get in a rut. D&D has a definite influence on their work.

My company is not an exception. My friends at Blizzard have their D&D books too.

WoW influences D&D?
You bet. Any game designer worth his/her salt plays a lot of games to explore new systems and ideas. You can be sure that the WotC folks have put in their time in WoW, EQ, and a host of other online games. There's just no other way about it. That exposure will impact their view of what a game can be.

More than anything, I think the influence is just an updated lexicon that appeals to the more common gamer. Byt the way, us grognards who have been doing this for decades... we aren't the common gamer anymore. That ended in the early 90's. 4E speaks a more modern language of gaming, using new verbs and descriptors; but it's not lost in translation to us old ones in the process; it just irritates us some. :D

So yeah, influence is impossible to avoid. That's no big deal to me though, it's a natural sign of game designers exploring what they do. The artistic analogy from Tremayne is spot on.

Valdar
07-24-2008, 07:16 PM
More than anything, I think the influence is just an updated lexicon that appeals to the more common gamer.

Quite. The method of battlefield control for previous versions of D&D were correct for the time, but expectations have changed. Players want a simple "taunt" mechanic (call it what you will) these days that would have appeared quite contrived in 1e.

I've seen two things so far that are glaring rip-offs, though- residuum is obviously close, but elite monster design is practically taken verbatim- i.e. an elite monster is supposed to be as hard to fight as two regular monsters in WoW, and that's true in 4e as well, to the letter. They didn't even call them something different like they did with residuum...

Unless someone knows of some source that had these things before WoW or 4e? I wouldn't be surprised if they came from a common ancestor...

kirksmithicus
07-26-2008, 05:53 PM
My thought was that 4E reads like WOW because the 4E RPG was really meant to be both a stand alone RPG for old school gamers such as ourselves, and as a manual for the future D&D MMO.

Just my thought, I might be wrong..................I usually am.

Ramzei
07-29-2008, 05:43 PM
My thought was that 4E reads like WOW because the 4E RPG was really meant to be both a stand alone RPG for old school gamers such as ourselves, and as a manual for the future D&D MMO.

Just my thought, I might be wrong..................I usually am.

I can't say I would be surprised by wotc trying to "move forward" into an MMORPG. Every time they turn their backs on their base it gets easier.

Valdar
07-29-2008, 07:17 PM
I can't say I would be surprised by wotc trying to "move forward" into an MMORPG. Every time they turn their backs on their base it gets easier.

Like this, you mean?

Dungeons & Dragons Online (http://www.ddo.com/)

Or some other way?

Engar
08-04-2008, 12:32 PM
Having played 4e a few times, I now see much more in common with WoW than DnD. For example, in 4e is is perfectly logical to ask: what is your build?, are you a tank (defender)?, dps (striker/controller)?, healer (leader)? There is a "talent tree" of powers. I expect the PHB2 will introduce fishing and cooking skills (which constitute roleplay in WoW).

The game is fun, but it is not DnD. DnD is much more robust for roleplay while 4e is very combat/encounter oriented. Faster advancement in 4e provides frequent rewards as motivation to keep grinding. It is possible to play DnD using the 4e system, but it is much better adapted to pen and paper WoW.

Webhead
08-04-2008, 08:16 PM
Having played 4e a few times, I now see much more in common with WoW than DnD. For example, in 4e is is perfectly logical to ask: what is your build?, are you a tank (defender)?, dps (striker/controller)?, healer (leader)? There is a "talent tree" of powers. I expect the PHB2 will introduce fishing and cooking skills (which constitute roleplay in WoW).

The game is fun, but it is not DnD. DnD is much more robust for roleplay while 4e is very combat/encounter oriented. Faster advancement in 4e provides frequent rewards as motivation to keep grinding. It is possible to play DnD using the 4e system, but it is much better adapted to pen and paper WoW.

I'll buy that for a dollar. So...who wants to play a D&D campaign using one of a plethora of alternate systems? I've got Mutants & Masterminds, Unisystem, OVA, FATE, Risus, Wushu, Pace... Take your pick, I'm down for it. :)

Engar
08-04-2008, 09:36 PM
How about 2e house ruling in everything good from 3.5 or 4e.

tesral
08-04-2008, 11:07 PM
How about 2e house ruling in everything good from 3.5 or 4e.

Kind of what I've been doing minus anything from Forry.

Engar
08-05-2008, 08:22 AM
Hmmm. I thought your foundation was 3.x. There is a bunch of info under the development thread (something like that) right? I need to look that over again.

tesral
08-05-2008, 09:12 AM
Hmmm. I thought your foundation was 3.x. There is a bunch of info under the development thread (something like that) right? I need to look that over again.

Dig down under all the pile and you'll find Zero Edition. There are still a few hangers on from 32 years back. I have never cleanly upgraded from edition to edition. I have always kept the parts I like and replaced the parts I didin't

Webhead
08-05-2008, 01:53 PM
How about 2e house ruling in everything good from 3.5 or 4e.

Possible...slightly appealing even...but probably too much investment for too little reward. I'm lazy...what can I say? I'd much rather spend the time coming up with adventures, npcs and cool battles than tinkering around with amalgamated rules structures. Besides, I'd like to see some of my ideas take shape in other, less restrictive game systems anyway.

Oh well. I'm a kook! :wacko:

Chris House
08-05-2008, 02:17 PM
I want to buy 4e - but then I force my self to release that its not DnD , HACKMASTER is DnD:( DnD is Crunchy and good in Katchup, 3.0 -3.5 was another game that was soft in the middle and hand a sweet candy shell!)
ever want something salty and crunch and get given a candy Bar?

so I went to our local half price books sellers of used and recycled books and slowly but surly I am re buying all my old stuff back!
1e and 2e, also I am picking up star frontiers and space opera, heck there is even a game out there that combines old school with some good ideals from 3e its like fried sneakers !
be well all