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View Full Version : Explain to me the whole 4e is an MMO concept..



Meeki
01-16-2009, 10:14 AM
I don't understand why or how people connect 4e together with an MMO. The whole idea seems silly, since MMO's draw heavily upon D&D and the fantasy table top gaming genre. Bo9S and SWSE both contain design concepts that were heavily expanded upon in 4e. If the argument is against "naming" melee and ranged attacks or having powers have "abnormal" effects well spell casting does the same thing AND stories, fables, legends of heros contain rediculous feats of "martial prowess".

Additionally naming attacks is historically accurate, if you have ever read a manual on sword play (see True Arte of Defense, translated from di Grassi or Agrippa's manual) you will notice that certain attacks have names associated with them. The Italians loved naming actions.

What are the arguments FOR comparing 4e to an MMO?

Please make arguments that are MMO specific; for instance the existance of "shield bash" is NOT MMO specific. Aggro, however, is MMO specific.

griffonwing
01-16-2009, 11:57 AM
There are a couple that come to my mind.

- After battle you are healed to maximum
- your attack powers are the similar to a MMO or RPG game

Valdar
01-16-2009, 12:20 PM
People play an MMO enough, everything starts looking like one. I even had one guy telling me that "Warriors in D&D now get Taunt", despite there not being a threat/aggro/taunt mechanic in D&D, to say nothing of him forgetting that they're called "Fighters".

Do some websearches about the reaction to 3e back in 2000, and you'll see people calling it a CCG, since that's what they were playing all the time when it came along.

Suzaku
01-16-2009, 12:24 PM
Each class is pigeonholed archetype with no room or flexibility to branch out.

Everyone is a spell caster of some sort yes even the fighter. The differences between the classes are just spell selections. Before you say other wise explain how does an enemy take damage if they don't attack you, or how does a halfling move an orge 3 spaces?

You can be brought down to 1 out 300+ hp and overnight without magic you're back to full.

Healing surge self healing that comes out of nowhere.

Creativity is squashed as everything is narrowed and you're not allowed to use power unless for its intended purpose.

It's all about combat, as soon as you try to do anything that's not combat or dungeon deviling it drops the ball.

Meeki
01-16-2009, 12:32 PM
There are a couple that come to my mind.

- After battle you are healed to maximum
- your attack powers are the similar to a MMO or RPG game

Both are incorrect. You are not healed to maximum after a battle. How are the attack powers similar to an MMO? Because they are attacks? I fail to see how that is MMO specific.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Each class is pigeonholed archetype with no room or flexibility to branch out. Incorrect, pigeonholed is the wrong terminology in this case. An archtype is just that, a archtypical character, the generic character, such as the 4e cleric (which has two obvious options of builds). You cannot really pigeonhole an archtype in the manner you note, it's almost redundant. Also, please provide an example how this is like an MMO and unlike older editions of D&D.

Everyone is a spell caster of some sort yes even the fighter. The differences between the classes are just spell selections. Before you say other wise explain how does an enemy take damage if they don't attack you, or how does a halfling move an orge 3 spaces? Again incorrect. Read the PH and DMG, you will see that damage is not necessarily physical damage, it is more abstract (Very not MMO at all in fact). A halfling moves an ogre 3 spaces by pushing it? You can do that in every edition of D&D, again NOT MMO specific. Older editions had str limits for races, but some did not. The difference is in 4e there is a specific "move" designated. Citing a more specific example might help.

You can be brought down to 1 out 300+ hp and overnight without magic you're back to full. Again read the description of HP.

Healing surge self healing that comes out of nowhere. Read the description of healing surges.

Creativity is squashed as everything is narrowed and you're not allowed to use power unless for its intended purpose. Incorrect, read the DMG, you are allowed to use powers for "other purposes" but it is up to the DM, JUST as every edition of D&D is up to the DM.

It's all about combat, as soon as you try to do anything that's not combat or dungeon deviling it drops the ball. Again incorrect, read social interactions in the DMG, recommendations how to do "non-combat". In fact I believe there is a chapter called Non-Combat. How is this specific to MMO?

Valdar
01-16-2009, 12:47 PM
Each class is pigeonholed archetype with no room or flexibility to branch out.


Multiclass feats. Just because there isn't level-dipping anymore doesn't mean you can't do it.



Everyone is a spell caster of some sort yes even the fighter. The differences between the classes are just spell selections. Before you say other wise explain how does an enemy take damage if they don't attack you, or how does a halfling move an orge 3 spaces?


Only arcane characters have spells. Martial etc. characters also have interesting powers, so half the PHB isn't taken up by things that the martial characters don't get- why is this a bad thing? They basically took out all the useless Wizard spells and made the Fighter more interesting instead.

Lastly, how is Divine Challenge and forced movement MMO-like? I don't know of any MMOs that have this.



You can be brought down to 1 out 300+ hp and overnight without magic you're back to full.


Again, how is this MMO-like? 4e has disease and poison effects that don't automatically go away overnight.



Healing surge self healing that comes out of nowhere.


You need a way to activate a healing surge- Second Wind (once per encounter) is the self-variety, with similar Arcane and Martial equivalents for healing others. No healing surges in MMOs to my knowledge.



Creativity is squashed as everything is narrowed and you're not allowed to use power unless for its intended purpose.


Explain? Do you mean that the rules are clearer now and you're not as able to creatively interpret or stretch them? As a DM, I see this as a good thing.



It's all about combat, as soon as you try to do anything that's not combat or dungeon deviling it drops the ball.

Skill Challenge encounters are non-combat, and didn't exist before 4e. What else were you hoping for?

Yes, everything you mentioned seems like an MMO to you- I concede that this is your impression. Nothing you've mentioned actually appears in an MMO, though, and would be fairly difficult to implement in an MMO due to the differences between MMOs and tabletop.

Edit: Ninja'd, big time ;)

Mindbomb
01-16-2009, 12:57 PM
Wow, I want in on this debate, unfortunantly I'm pressed for time, bbl.

Etarnon
01-16-2009, 01:19 PM
It's not a debate, it is the OP correcting people with the little green pen, when they have failed the exam question.

Valdar
01-16-2009, 01:29 PM
It's not a debate, it is the OP correcting people with the little green pen, when they have failed the exam question.

Or, a dead horse that gets dragged out from time to time for a good beating.

Summary as I see it:

"How is 4e like an MMO?"

"It isn't. Here are a dozen things that I don't like about 4e that, incidentally, do not appear in any MMO, but I will call them MMO-like because it makes for a good insult. My real reason for hating 4e is that I don't want to spend money, learn a new set of rules, be forced to play as part of a team, convert my campaign, or give up all those wonderful exploits that I have discovered in previous editions."

Rochin
01-16-2009, 01:41 PM
This tread is funny(not funny ha ha, but funny blah blah) because of all the "Opinions". 4e is what you make it, I see it as a half done game that was introduced to try and steal people from WOW. The attacks, power recharge, overnight healing(if your not poisoned or plagued) and the fact that every class is a different build of the same base character model, makes it a MMO to me. I disliked WOW and all the other MMO type games for the same reason. No one is really specialized, each "class" is either one thing or another, stuck in their role to no end. That is how 4e feels to me. Want to be a fighter that uses a bow, cool, but you do not get any cool powers to use for your bow. I am a wizard, but each classes powers do more damage than mine, oh good, but I can kill minions like no tomorrow, etc.

Each to his own is how I cope with 4e. It is not my favorite edition, but I will still play it.

Suzaku
01-16-2009, 01:42 PM
In 3.5 you can build a wizard to be battlefield controller, a blaster or gish. You're not forced to be a battlefield caster which you are in 4E. In many MMORPG each class is pigeonhole for one archetype. For example in FFXI a warrior, ranger, monk etc will always be a striker, a paladin will always be a defender and white mage and red mage will always be a healer errr I mean leader. And Meeki I find that hard to believe this halfling rogue would be to push a creature that is more than 5 times it's size and perhaps just as strong. Some things are just too much for a sense of disbelief.

I have to disagree as these martial powers are just still spells and at best super natural abilities that resemble spells. You can take any martial power replace words like weapon with words like spell give it to a different class with a different name and you're done.

As for the marks they're trying to mimic agro systems of MMOs by either giving damage by ingoring the marker or recieving penalities that virtually unexplain except by magic.

Resting for full is done alot in MMOs infact practically every MMO I play you could do it (barring some small penalities that could come from diease that lowers your total hp).

It punishes players creavity, gone are spells like silent image where you can cast it over a pit trap and make it seem like pit trap was somewhere else and lure enemies to the real pit trap. Or cast presiditation on the fighter to make him taste like ear wax so whatever is biting him would stop.

Some times you want to in a ship adventure to explore new lands or create your own magical items.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Or, a dead horse that gets dragged out from time to time for a good beating.

Summary as I see it:

"How is 4e like an MMO?"

"It isn't. Here are a dozen things that I don't like about 4e that, incidentally, do not appear in any MMO, but I will call them MMO-like because it makes for a good insult. My real reason for hating 4e is that I don't want to spend money, learn a new set of rules, be forced to play as part of a team, convert my campaign, or give up all those wonderful exploits that I have discovered in previous editions."

Or things have pointed out that are MMO like and then have people come and claim they're not MMO like because they like 4E and want to defend it with blind faith.

Meeki
01-16-2009, 01:57 PM
Actually I'm looking for an argument that makes sense. See if there is some design they took straight from MMO's. I'm not here to praise 4e and ignore everything else, take everything on "blind faith. I asked for something VERY specific and people are giving me gripes about 4e with really no further explanation into it's connection with MMO's or RPG's.

Suzake, the rules for ALL past editions allows a halfling to push an ogre. Plus it is very heoric like, as in stories of heroes, as in fables or fantasy books. MMO's may do this but it certainly doesn't stem from MMO's. Having something believable shouldn't really matter in this instance, if you want a more realistic game then it's a matter of taste, which I am not really interested in discussing (if one taste is better than another that is).

The idea of aggro is straight MMO, but how is marking trying to mimic that? Is marking merely a very poor representation of aggro? I think the defender "idea" may be ripped straight from MMO's since they have alot of options to move creatures to them. That might be a valid argument.

Again you cannot rest to full in 4e, also the HP system is more abstract in 4e rather than just straight up physical beating (which, I would argue, no edition of D&D really had HP represent that).

The rest of your argument is opinion. Martial powers being spell like, your opinion although if you alter a martial power, change the name, take away using a weapon, and add the word spell to it I don't really see how it is anything like the original power. I think what you are getting at is they named all the attacks and gave a martial character as many options as a spell caster, which you think is MMO like?

The archtype problem exists in many MMO's but really existed first in table top games. It is fairly restrictive in this edition, coming from the world of 3.x, but I don't think they took that from MMO's, since MMO's, and RPG's in general, took it from table top games. 4e lacks alot of character building options and you are forced to choose from a small pool of characters (early editions of D&D did the same). I wish they would have expanded the options.

Valdar
01-16-2009, 02:16 PM
Or things have pointed out that are MMO like and then have people come and claim they're not MMO like because they like 4E and want to defend it with blind faith.

The things you're calling MMO-like don't appear in any MMO. You find Halflings sliding Ogres to be unrealistic? I can accept that. No MMO has this though.

Suzaku
01-16-2009, 02:16 PM
Actually I'm looking for an argument that makes sense.

Suzake, the rules for ALL past editions allows a halfling to push an ogre. Plus it is very heoric like, as in stories of heroes, as in fables or fantasy books. Not MMO's.

Except these are rare occurrence but in 4E this can happen multiple times. In 3.5 an Orge has natural +9 (4 for being large and 5 from strength) while a halfling rogue -3 usually (-4 from size +1 from strength most of the time). So it'll be very rare but he won't be able to move the Orge 15 feet. And these knock backs do exist in MMOs btw... FFXI has it and I believe CoH has it.

Valdar
01-16-2009, 02:32 PM
Forced movement isn't knockback, just like marking isn't taunting. There's enough of a similarity that someone who plays lots of MMOs will think of one in terms of the other, but everything's going to look like an MMO at that point.

Imagine if I do something that forces my opponent to attack me or face a consequence- would you say that this is the same as "taunting"? If so, then I guess Chess is "MMO-like" too?

Meeki
01-16-2009, 02:34 PM
Except you can build a character specifically to do this in 3.x and toss ogres all freaking day. Again, existing in an MMO does not mean it originates from MMO's.

The representation of moving around ogres in 4e, which, btw, the power attacks will and probably deals with confusing the ogre or knocking it off balance since it IS top heavy (assuming the ogre is a male), is fairly abstract and mundane.

From the sound of it people seem to be upset that 4e uses similar explanations for what happens, for example a slide from a rogue is the same as a slide from a fighter. Although, thanks to the D20 system, this existed the EXACT same way in 3.x, for example a dagger does D4 damage and a magic missile does D4, but the fluff is taken out to an extreme so the "skeleton" of the system isn't hidden as well. Instead the developers said a rogue can use sly flourish and do X damage and a ranger can do the same thing. There seems to be a big upset and decry of it's an MMO because the bare bones of hte system are easily seen; while the 3.x hid the raw components underneath fluff and explaining the same mechanical effect differently. (Charm Person can be accomplished with Diplomacy, for instance, if you use the NPC attitude adjusting as written)

The gutting of the magic system was upsetting, and made D&D unique they did destroy that with 4e. Perhaps the fact that MMO's boil down to numbers and 4e's numbers are so easily calculated that it seems like an MMO.

I think the simplification of description and focus on presenting mechanics over fluff really turns people off. They could have done a better job.

However, I do not agree with the opinion that each class is forced to stick on one path. You can make some very diverse characters with 4e. Your roles can differ greatly, you can make a very controller like ranger, for instance. Although, I agree, you are stuck with the "meta" archtype (striker, defender, leader, blah-blaher) and that is a pain.

Riftwalker
01-16-2009, 03:23 PM
At a high level, in many ways, the fundamentals of any game can be summed up with a handful of design principles. One design principle that both 4E and many fantasy MMOs are designed around is an idea that you're calling a "meta archetype." Because both 4E and MMOs are derived from this, encounters and basic encounter strategies are similar in nature. Tactics and ideas that work well in one also typically work well in another. For example, the defender/tank is usually expected to get into melee range of a monster/mob and keep it busy while the strikers/dps kills it off. If someone is familiar with both MMOs and 4E, it will (therefore) seem like a similar game.

In contrast, 3E placed less emphasis on its archetypes, or they were less important. There were fewer mechanics designed to encourage this structured style of play and the strategies and battle tactics that go along with it.

People say that 4E seems like an MMO because both 4E and MMOs are designed around the archetypes concept and stemming from that are concepts and tactics that carry over from one to the other, moreso than they do from other versions of D&D.

Meeki
01-16-2009, 04:06 PM
I would argue that 3e had archtypes as well. They were just not defined. If you didn't have someone who could heal, someone who could deal sufficient damage, and someone who could control the monsters to some extent you were going to get eaten alive. Of course on thing you didn't need in 3e was a defender type, since wizards and other arcane casters, could essentially fill any non-healing role (well maybe with splat books they could do that as well). I may have played way to many high level 3.x games to appreciate melee characters, but IMO they were worthless although I played one to 28 levels.

Riftwalker you have a point about having the roles (defender, leader, etc). That is fairly similar to an MMO but when I play 4e it seems nothing like WoW to me. There doesn't seem to be the "best tactic single solution" that many MMo's have. I think the idea of the roles is terrible and really is purely from MMO's who took the idea of classes farther than table top games, but in practice you can deviate fairly far from a single role. IMO the fighter seems more like a fighter from fantasy stories, there to take a beating and get in the way, and less like a 3.x fighter that had a completely different purpose.

Kalanth
01-17-2009, 07:51 AM
I don't want to skim through two pages to post, so I will cut in here and probly say something slightly repeated or inacurate.

4e is very minimally like an MMO any more than 3.5 is like an MMO. Actually, 3.5 is used in an MMO, so 3.5 is more like an MMO than 4e is. People that do not play 4e glance at it and instantly compare it to an MMO which is an inacurate assesment of the game. If comparison with something is your objective then a fair and accurate assesment would be to compare 4e to a strategy game like Final Fantasy Tactics. Turn based, has powers, you can heal all the way to full at the end, and get special magic items to boost your characters. MMO's are not turn based in the slightest, don't have powers that work with a grid like mentality, and generally allow more freedom of motion than a range between 5 - 7 squares without running.

1958Fury
01-17-2009, 12:16 PM
Imagine if I do something that forces my opponent to attack me or face a consequence- would you say that this is the same as "taunting"? If so, then I guess Chess is "MMO-like" too?

The Chess analogy sticks with me; while I totally disagree with those who say 4e is like an MMO, 4e does feel more like a board game to me than previous versions. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to the player.

Skunkape
01-17-2009, 02:30 PM
Actually, 3.5 is used in an MMO, so 3.5 is more like an MMO than 4e is.

Wouldn't a more accurate comparison be,the MMO is more like 3.5 since the 3.5 system was used as the basis for the rules of the MMO?

Reavis
01-17-2009, 03:11 PM
Most MMO's are based on D&D mechanics, so I'm not sure that saying anything from D&D is like an MMO but rather the other way around. You could sleep to heal in in NWN and that is a game that is stated to be based on D&D. If you look at the fine print in games like WoW you can see where things like the dice roll are done for you. When you swing on a higher level enemy sometimes you miss, sometimes you do less damage some times you get a crit, these things have been around in pen and paper games for a while now. There has always been a focus on the group and expanding the way that the game has been played. After the MMO explosion it is a lot easier to see the common threads. You rice dice in Monopoly, but you don't fight dragons does that mean one game is trying to be like the other, or are their common elements. I'm sure someone sat down when working an MMO and was like "This could be like D&D with a lot more people."

If memory serves the rules for comparing and contrasting is that whatever came first is the thing that is being copied. From what I have seen of D&D the changes come from growth, from years and years of the game being around growing and changing from feedback and the way that people have played. It's like a car, its gonna change with the times, otherwise we are all driving model T's.

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-17-2009, 04:59 PM
Here is my take on 4e.

I think I was really really hoping 4e was much more like Star Wars Saga edition. I think the classes/characters in Star Wars get a lot more options, characters are incredibly more customizable, and you can have just as many combat options as you want, depending on how you build your character. I really don't like the minion system. I know people rave about it and I can see the point of it, I just find it a nuisance. When building an encounter they eat up XP from the EL of the encounter yet they hardly can do anything. I rather have my "minions" or nonheroics around to at least seem like a threat, and I can do that with nonheroics in Saga. I also have a problem with the healing surge issue, it alleviates some of the fear of death and can become to standardized in its use like 3.5 can be/is. Such as fight, then short rest, rinse, repeat. I think relying on the second wind mechanic is the way to go, I am even considering boosting it to you gain half your hit points back, so that you can seemingly participate in more combats before having to rest. Wizards moved D&D from a simulationist game (3.5) and made it more into a gamist game, Saga, I think, blends those 2 perfectly. It is simulationist without being overtly so and that causes it to have just enough gamistness to it that it doesn't turn into 4e.

And that is the cause of the likeness to MMOs. MMOs are very much gamist and 4e is very gamist thus they seem similar. Yes you can have simulationist games in 4e but it takes a lot of work and the core rules don't seem to support it. It is very much about your powers and the cool things you can do in combat or a skill challenge. Character customizability is excatly the same for all the classes thus they all feel the same. Your fighter is still like a wizard his powers are just called different things and do different things but they still have powers and are casting/using them each round.

Kalanth
01-17-2009, 07:03 PM
Wouldn't a more accurate comparison be,the MMO is more like 3.5 since the 3.5 system was used as the basis for the rules of the MMO?

You could argue that as well. Depends on the direction of the argument. If we are saying which PnP game is like an MMO, then I would think saying it as I had would be correct. If we were saying which MMO is like PnP, then flipping it would be accurate.

Tomatto - Tomahtto afterall.

Grimwell
01-17-2009, 09:18 PM
Wouldn't a more accurate comparison be,the MMO is more like 3.5 since the 3.5 system was used as the basis for the rules of the MMO?

No, you couldn't say that. It starts to break the space-time continuum... Let me show you how!

If MMO's are like 3.5 and 4E is like MMO's then 4E is like 3.5! :biggrin:
Even as I type this the very fabric of reality is starting to tear around me :eek:

In all seriousness, 4th Edition is absolutely nothing like a MMO. If you want to compare the systems that MMO's use to a pen and paper system, I'd go for Rolemaster.

Because computers are being used, MMO's are able to efficiently track a large number of systems behind the combat and each attack that you see when you play a MMO actually involves a good number of calculations based on the weapon you are using, the attack you are using, your stats, skills, race, etc. going against the armor, resistances, quickness, health, and more of the defender. Even in a dull MMO, the system behind the play is pretty damn complex.

4th Edition D&D is much more straight-forward by comparison (where as Rolemaster has layers of things to reference on a hit). It's not like a MMO.

People who say it feels like one are saying just that -- how it makes them feel. They will not be able to provide facts on demand to prove that 4e = MMO because those facts do not exist.

The feeling they get when playing it though, could be entirely valid for them. It could be that they are not giving 4E enough of a chance; or that they play too many MMO's for anything to not fit the reference, but the cause is only so important. This is the truth of how they feel, which can't be proven or externalized to the system itself.

Which means this thread is about as fruitful as a search for Atlantis.

(Mind you, people comparing 4E to a MMO make me crazy because it's just not the case at a systemic level, but I don't hate them for it.)

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-17-2009, 09:51 PM
People who say it feels like one are saying just that -- how it makes them feel. They will not be able to provide facts on demand to prove that 4e = MMO because those facts do not exist.

You hit the nail on the head my friend!

I feel the same way, there is something about 4e that just doesn't sit right with me. I can explain away the things I do not like about it and the things I do like about it, but in the end, it just doesn't feel right.

MortonStromgal
01-17-2009, 10:52 PM
I would say that video games have copied D&D for years but 4e is more typical of a video game than it has been in the past. The two big ones I see are...

Healing Surges, its very common for you to heal your wounds more quickly in a video game than in real life, D&D you have always healed pretty darn quick but now you can heal in combat with a moment of rest. This can happen in other fantasy RPG though someone casting a spell but to my knowledge D&D 4e is the first one where the effect is not described as a spell.

Naming all your attacks, D&D 4e is not the only RPG to do this, infact 3.X had all these feats that gave you named attacks already, but the "recharge" on it gives it more of a video game feel than ever before. I can only use this ability once per encounter is a good example of what I am talking about. Some games give you bonuses for describing your attack which is similar but they are not always pre-named and as far as I know D&D 4e is the only one with a once per encounter limitation.

I wouldnt say these are particularly MMO things but I can see how someone may think that.

[edit] frankly I would wear the 4e = WoW as a badge of honor. If you think about WoW it was EQ 1 with all the suckage removed.

Meeki
01-18-2009, 10:53 AM
The Chess analogy sticks with me; while I totally disagree with those who say 4e is like an MMO, 4e does feel more like a board game to me than previous versions. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to the player.

Agreed, it does feel more like a board game right now than it has in previous editions, especially with the x'ing of actual measurements and the use of squares.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

I think I was really really hoping 4e was much more like Star Wars Saga edition.

Also what I was hoping. SWSE really made me excited about the future of D&D. The dev's took it in a way different direction.

Valdar
01-19-2009, 02:10 PM
So, to answer the second part of the OP's first question, we can all describe HOW we think 4e is MMO-like, but what about WHY we want to say that?

It sounds like the unspoken assumption here is that: "4e shares some characteristics with MMOs, therefore it is identical in all ways to an MMO, therefore it is all about killing things and no roleplaying is possible with it, therefore anyone who likes it is a munchkin fanboy who doesn't know what REAL roleplaying is, and it's poisoning the RPG community by bringing in gamers that don't know how to play properly."

Is that about it?

gdmcbride
01-19-2009, 04:50 PM
So, to answer the second part of the OP's first question, we can all describe HOW we think 4e is MMO-like, but what about WHY we want to say that?

It sounds like the unspoken assumption here is that: "4e shares some characteristics with MMOs, therefore it is identical in all ways to an MMO, therefore it is all about killing things and no roleplaying is possible with it, therefore anyone who likes it is a munchkin fanboy who doesn't know what REAL roleplaying is, and it's poisoning the RPG community by bringing in gamers that don't know how to play properly."

Is that about it?

Ummm...no. In fact, not just no but hell no. Its unspoken because, probably no one agrees with your strawman rant. I haven't heard anyone in this thread say anything like 'anyone who likes [4ed] is a munchkin fanboy' or 'doesn't know what REAL roleplaying is' or 'poisoning the RPG community'.

What I've mostly heard is people who happen to not like the direction the new edition of D&D has taken. Me, I've never played a MMO. So, I can't comment if 4ed is MMO-like. What I do agree with is this:


The Chess analogy sticks with me ... 4e does feel more like a board game to me than previous versions. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to the player.

Dead on. 4ed has a very board-game-like, tactical feel to it. Undeniable. It is the most strictly 'gamist' of any of the versions of D&D. Whether that is good or bad is purely personal preference.

Why can't we leave it there and skip the vitriol and the straw men?

Gary

Webhead
01-19-2009, 05:21 PM
...It is the most strictly 'gamist' of any of the versions of D&D. Whether that is good or bad is purely personal preference...

I think this is probably the most profound nugget of 4e wisdom that I've come across out of the sea of 4e threads on this site. From my *very limited* experience, I would say that I can agree with this. Whether you think 4e is "good" or "bad", whether you think 4e is a "table-top MMO incarnate" or whether you think it is "just another flavor of D&D", 4e has struck me as the most "gamist" rendition of the venerable RPG to date. I would say that every new edition has been slightly more "gamist" than the edition that came before it, and 4e is the epitome of that evolution.

Now, whether you like the "gamist" angle or the "story" angle or even something inbetween is a matter of personal taste. But I do think it is safe to say that 4e is much more "board-gamey" than previous versions. That doesn't mean you can't role play in it. That doesn't mean it's a "bad" game. But it does mean it's going to play differently than other versions.

fmitchell
01-19-2009, 05:46 PM
And again the edition wars rage ...

But yes, that's my main beef with 4e. I've never played an MMO, and I don't care if an RPG gets its inspiration from Tomb Raider or Pong. I do, though, resent interrupting a good story to play a complex board game just to see how the next five minutes of game time turn out (tense though they may be).

Kalanth
01-19-2009, 06:42 PM
And again the edition wars rage ...

Everytime there is a radical change there will be an edition war. 4e was to 3e as 3e was to 2e. The dramatic changes were bad back then too. I remember picking up a Dragon magazine, reading about Whirlwind Attack and slamming the magazine back down screaming about how D&D was becoming Final Fantasy. This transition is no different in that it resembles other games out there, taking some portions from MMO's and strategic board games.

I do agree with you that a major detraction from the game would be the brick wall effect of combat. RP moves at the speed of sound, and combat crawls along. Sure, you can add rules in there to make it faster, but WoTC wanted combat to take longer and be more epic. They certainly accomplished the longer part. I love my 4e, but as I go along in my campaign I experience things that I do not enjoy. Try setting up an encounter between 6 players and 21 enemies of -2 to +2 level. That, my friend, is a long and drawn out combat that the DM needs to be on top of at all times to make sure there is dialog and RP going on. I can tell you from experience that I will NOT do that again.

Valdar
01-19-2009, 07:34 PM
I haven't heard anyone in this thread

I certainly wasn't talking about this thread- I was talking about the times this topic gets brought up in other threads elsewhere on these boards (which I think is on topic, since this thread starts by referring to other threads). I could chase those down for you, but I think you've probably seen them too. The term "fanboy" does get tossed about a lot, and the claim "4e isn't a roleplaying game" appears quite often as well.

Anyway, this is the second time we've had this thread, and the 4e=MMO comparison never seems to survive much analysis. I'm just wondering why it keeps coming up if nobody can really defend the position beyond "it just feels like one".

Grimwell
01-19-2009, 09:48 PM
...because it's convenient short hand for the folks that want to voice what they don't like about 4E.

The problem is that there is enough geek crossover with D&D that those of us who know our MMO's get itchy by the shorthand because it's horridly inaccurate. OCD requires that we post our disagreement. ;)

I like the 'gamist' angle. It's much more fitting to my mind.

Aidan
01-19-2009, 09:53 PM
It's because of Wizard's First Rule. People are stupid and believe what they want to believe, no matter how many rational arguments you present. Passion rules reason. For this same reason, there are many people who still believe that Obama is a secret Muslim.

kirksmithicus
01-20-2009, 12:11 AM
OCD requires that we post our disagreement. ;)

I like the 'gamist' angle. It's much more fitting to my mind.[/quote]

...or type up a post with our disagreement and then think better of posting it

:D


I have to agree that it does feel a bit like final fantasy tactics.

Valdar
01-20-2009, 04:57 AM
You could definitely say that 4e is the most gamist of the versions, but they've all been pretty gamist, and when previous versions tried to be simulationist, the result was just clunky. 3e AoOs, for instance.

Whatever your gaming preference, expecting D&D to be classless, simple, or simulationist is simply expecting it to be something it's not, and hasn't been in a long time. It's like driving a Hummer for the gas mileage. There are better systems for those sorts of games- in fact, just about any other system would be better. But sadly, for some reason, those systems aren't as popular- I could idly speculate what those reasons would be, but I don't really have any evidence one way or the other.

I do wonder about the claim that 4e combats take longer than 3e combats (or was the comparison to 2e?). 4e combats take half the time of 3e combats to run, and a tenth of the time to set up, in my experience, and in the experience of others I've talked to.

Have to link to today's Starslip though- Memnon's description of chess as "needlessly complex checkers with violent little archetypes" seems eerily apropos:

http://www.starslip.com/archive/20090120.shtml

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-20-2009, 08:42 AM
You could definitely say that 4e is the most gamist of the versions, but they've all been pretty gamist, and when previous versions tried to be simulationist, the result was just clunky. 3e AoOs, for instance.

Yes but the point is that a lot of us LIKE that simulationist aspect of those editions, 2e and 3.5 I am thinking of. 4e core mechanics do not allow for a lot of simulationism and thus why people are against it.

I will sing the praises of Star Wars Saga Edition again, its awesome, it does well of blending both aspects, gamist and simulationist, and it works! Man that is an awesome game system!

Sethannon
01-20-2009, 09:29 AM
I'm actually going to quickly agree here, SWSE was actually a pretty well done game. I was very impressed when I first tried it out, and that hasn't really been lowered as I've played more games of it.

One thing I would ask to people that have played 4e/MMO's (I have played quite a few MMO's before, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, but haven't played 4e): The moves/attacks (Sly Flourish, etc.) and their "recharge" times seem vaguely like FFXI's abilities and their recharge times. While it doesn't seem exactly the same, it sounds vaguely similar from what I've heard.

Can anyone with experience with 4e (and FFXI if possible!) verify/clarify that for me?

Webhead
01-20-2009, 09:36 AM
...I like the 'gamist' angle. It's much more fitting to my mind.


...a lot of us LIKE that simulationist aspect of those editions, 2e and 3.5 I am thinking of. 4e core mechanics do not allow for a lot of simulationism and thus why people are against it...

And that is the beauty of variety. To each his/her own. Variety in taste can even vary for a single person from game to game, theme to theme. I've not yet played 4e, so I can't say whether or not I will find its apparently "gamist" system-behavior palatable, but that's an entirely subjective assessment and has nothing to do with the value others might perceive in it.

I tend to be less "gamist" in general, simply because role playing games have a different appeal to me than more traditionally gamist media such as card games, board games and even MMOs. This is because there are experiences that one can get from RPGs that one can't get elsewhere. I like those other kinds of games too but play them for entirely different reasons. That said, as long as a game system encourages me to be creative and supports me in allowing the kinds of scenes and stories that I want to tell, I'm not terribly concerned with the details. Hence why I can have tastes that run the gamut from crunchy, gamist detail (a la M&M) to broad, interpretive conceptualism (a la Wushu) and why both systems can rank among my very favorite systems. Just because you like chocolate ice cream doesn't mean you are thereby required to dislike vanilla.

In the end, I didn't much like D&D 3.X and after sufficient exposure I may not like 4e. But this will likely have less to do with whether or not 4e somehow resembles an pen-and-paper MMO and more to do with whether or not 4e seems to allow the kind of smooth game-flow that I want to experience or whether it throws itself in the way of the pacing. Right now, it's too early for me to say but it has given me suspicions that it might be a little too "gamey" for what I'm looking for.

Rochin
01-20-2009, 09:43 AM
Yes but the point is that a lot of us LIKE that simulationist aspect of those editions, 2e and 3.5 I am thinking of. 4e core mechanics do not allow for a lot of simulationism and thus why people are against it.

I will sing the praises of Star Wars Saga Edition again, its awesome, it does well of blending both aspects, gamist and simulationist, and it works! Man that is an awesome game system!


I got my Starwars Saga edition as soon as my pre-order shipped to me. I think it is great. The classes, feats and force powers are done well and are not over complicated like in the older d20 version(which I thought was good). I was wanting 4e to pick up where Starwars Saga was and DND it up. I think that while I was wanting 4e to be just like the saga system is why I had a big let down with 4e.

gdmcbride
01-20-2009, 12:07 PM
I certainly wasn't talking about this thread- I was talking about the times this topic gets brought up in other threads elsewhere on these boards (which I think is on topic, since this thread starts by referring to other threads). I could chase those down for you, but I think you've probably seen them too. The term "fanboy" does get tossed about a lot, and the claim "4e isn't a roleplaying game" appears quite often as well.

Anyway, this is the second time we've had this thread, and the 4e=MMO comparison never seems to survive much analysis. I'm just wondering why it keeps coming up if nobody can really defend the position beyond "it just feels like one".

Wear "fanboy" like a badge of honor. Obviously we are all fanboys (fan-persons?) -- otherwise we wouldn't be chatting about RPGs on an RPG-dedicated website.

What exactly is a roleplaying game remains elusive -- smoke in the hand. You can play a 'roleplaying' game and never really get into character. You can play chess and really think about what it means to be a pawn. I certainly think roleplay is possible under 4th edition. When is it not?

As far as 4ed being like MMOs -- I suspect this is just a clumsy way of expressing discontent with the rising gamism of the new edition.

Gary

Valdar
01-20-2009, 01:08 PM
Yes but the point is that a lot of us LIKE that simulationist aspect of those editions, 2e and 3.5 I am thinking of. 4e core mechanics do not allow for a lot of simulationism and thus why people are against it.

I will sing the praises of Star Wars Saga Edition again, its awesome, it does well of blending both aspects, gamist and simulationist, and it works! Man that is an awesome game system!

I haven't seen SWSE recently, so I can't speak to that part, but it seems to me that if you're using something as abstract as hit points as a core mechanic, then anything simulationist added on after that is just going to clash. Hit points were simulationist back when each piece on the board was a squad, and each point of damage was a casualty within that squad, but ever since each unit became one person, hit points were a holdover with no real simulationist meaning. HPs are pure gamist, and any definition of what they actually represent is ad-hoc based on what plays out in the game.

Thus, when simulationist elements were added (save or die, rogue's sneak attack not affecting half the monsters, 1e's horrid weaponless combat rules, attempting to control the battlefield with attacks of opportunity, etc.), you wind up with needlessly complex rules that don't add to the game what they were intended to add. When Marking was added for battlefield control, Fighters could do their thing much easier and more often, as AoOs weren't all that effective or available a lot of the time. When Sneak Attack went from specific "attacking vital organs" to abstract "fightin' dirty/creatively", Rogues could do their thing more often. Same goes for Wizards with at-will Magic Missile- anyone else remember the joke about the fighter killing the first level Wizard in the party, so that the Wizard player's next character would have another cast of Magic Missile for that day?

I'd be curious to hear about what simulationist elements work well in SWSE- in my experience, and apparently in the experience of the team doing the research for 4e, D&D has never done them all that well.

fmitchell
01-20-2009, 01:42 PM
... if you're using something as abstract as hit points as a core mechanic, then anything simulationist added on after that is just going to clash. Hit points were simulationist back when each piece on the board was a squad, and each point of damage was a casualty within that squad, but ever since each unit became one person, hit points were a holdover with no real simulationist meaning. HPs are pure gamist, and any definition of what they actually represent is ad-hoc based on what plays out in the game. ...

That's a pretty broad brush. While I grant that D&D's HP are abstract and nebulous -- high level characters don't fear a dagger to the throat? -- other games use HP differently. For example, in GURPS, Basic Role-Playing, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, hit points or their equivalents remain mostly fixed during the life of the character. GURPS and BRP base HP solely on stats, whereas WFRP generate them randomly at the start and allow limited increases based on XP.

Other games may use wound levels or stress tracks, which are equally abstract ... because "realistic" results from a sword slash or an axe hit requires either Rolemaster's endless tables or a degree in medicine, and would "realistically" incapacitate the character nine times out of ten. Unless you're playing Pacifist: The Surrendering, a combat system where a character is knocked out or killed due to a single tactical mistake or die roll leads to short, frustrating games.

Not that I exactly buy GNS Theory anyway, but from what I understand "gamist"/"simulationist"/"narrativist" aren't absolute categories. Real players switch modes during actual play. "Narrativists", in particular, accepts a high level of unreality as long as the story keeps flowing, and even "simulationists" (the bucket for things that don't fit the other two, in my opinion) have to abstract somewhere just to have a game and not a massively parallel supercomputer program.

MortonStromgal
01-20-2009, 01:44 PM
Forced movement isn't knockback, just like marking isn't taunting. There's enough of a similarity that someone who plays lots of MMOs will think of one in terms of the other, but everything's going to look like an MMO at that point.

Imagine if I do something that forces my opponent to attack me or face a consequence- would you say that this is the same as "taunting"? If so, then I guess Chess is "MMO-like" too?

I think your exaggerating a bit on the chess seeing how chess does not have abilities that require any movement except the king, and really check is not required you could choose not to move and loose. The 4e Paladin ability to make a target attack him seams a lot like a taunt to me but honestly I think you can do similar things with the bluff skill in 3.X IIRC. Also miniature wargaming has had things like taunts well before MMOs.

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-20-2009, 03:43 PM
I haven't seen SWSE recently, so I can't speak to that part, but it seems to me that if you're using something as abstract as hit points as a core mechanic, then anything simulationist added on after that is just going to clash. Hit points were simulationist back when each piece on the board was a squad, and each point of damage was a casualty within that squad, but ever since each unit became one person, hit points were a holdover with no real simulationist meaning. HPs are pure gamist, and any definition of what they actually represent is ad-hoc based on what plays out in the game.

Thus, when simulationist elements were added (save or die, rogue's sneak attack not affecting half the monsters, 1e's horrid weaponless combat rules, attempting to control the battlefield with attacks of opportunity, etc.), you wind up with needlessly complex rules that don't add to the game what they were intended to add. When Marking was added for battlefield control, Fighters could do their thing much easier and more often, as AoOs weren't all that effective or available a lot of the time. When Sneak Attack went from specific "attacking vital organs" to abstract "fightin' dirty/creatively", Rogues could do their thing more often. Same goes for Wizards with at-will Magic Missile- anyone else remember the joke about the fighter killing the first level Wizard in the party, so that the Wizard player's next character would have another cast of Magic Missile for that day?

I'd be curious to hear about what simulationist elements work well in SWSE- in my experience, and apparently in the experience of the team doing the research for 4e, D&D has never done them all that well.

I never said D&D did them well, I pointed out that 3.5 was more simulationist than 4e and that was mine (and others) preferred method of play.

The simulation comes from how well the rules reflect a sense of "real world-ness". 4e doesn't do that for me.

We are playing Star Wars tonight and I will give you more specifics on how simulationist it is.

tesral
01-20-2009, 09:49 PM
Near as I can tell the accusations are spot on:

3.x does have CCG elements in it. Feats are so card-like in the way they work it's scary. When you consider that Lizard's big ticket item before they got D&D was Magic the Bankruptcy, this should not come as a surprise.

Forry does have MMO elements built in, and yes, it is even more dependant on board level play that any previous version. No minis no game.

What I see are people getting their back up and denying these elements like they were a bad thing. Rather like saying that "Edmond* isn't a bastard, he just comes from a long line of bachelors." It's true, so own it or say it doesn't matter, you like it anyway.

Otherwise I'm going to say your game has cooties. We know where that will head.

"If you depend on others for your happiness, you will be forever disappointed." -- The Tao of Phoenix


* I sincerely hope no one here is named Edmond.

Valdar
01-21-2009, 12:25 AM
I think your exaggerating a bit on the chess seeing how chess does not have abilities that require any movement except the king, and really check is not required you could choose not to move and loose. The 4e Paladin ability to make a target attack him seams a lot like a taunt to me but honestly I think you can do similar things with the bluff skill in 3.X IIRC. Also miniature wargaming has had things like taunts well before MMOs.

Except the Paladin doesn't "make the target attack him" in 4th ed. There's no compulsion to do so from any mark- there are penalties for attacking a non-marked target, and those vary from defender to defender, but no defender has a charm-like ability to force an opponent to attack them (unless you're talking about using Bluff, which as you said, has always been there). In that way, marks are similar to putting a piece in check- nothing says you can't ignore it, but there are tactical reasons for not doing so. Hence my point that if marking is MMO-like, then chess is MMO-like as well.

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-21-2009, 09:03 AM
Hence my point that if marking is MMO-like, then chess is MMO-like as well.

Thus 4e is like chess!;)

Seriously though, I don't think anyone is denying the fact that everything is like something. Pointing out particulars only further emphasizes that fact.

The difference is there were and have always been similarities to other games, be it chess, card games, or MMOs, but 4e seems to strip away the stuff that kept previous versions from so closely resembling those other games so now, on the surface, 4e looks like/plays like/is like (whatever one's argument) a MMO.

Valdar
01-21-2009, 11:33 AM
That's a pretty broad brush. While I grant that D&D's HP are abstract and nebulous -- high level characters don't fear a dagger to the throat? -- other games use HP differently. For example, in GURPS, Basic Role-Playing, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, hit points or their equivalents remain mostly fixed during the life of the character. GURPS and BRP base HP solely on stats, whereas WFRP generate them randomly at the start and allow limited increases based on XP.


I haven't played BRP or WFRP, but in GURPS, hit points are just physical damage to your body- other things that D&D's HPs represent, like your ability to avoid or ignore damage, are covered by other game mechanics (parrying, toughness, etc.). Thus GURPS is a much better base for simulationism, since if you want to add on another simulationist effect, it fits nicely within the system, rather than subverting or over-complicating it.

kirksmithicus
01-21-2009, 02:52 PM
1st edition = Wargame
3rd edition = CCG
4th edition = MMO

Just so I know, what was 2nd edition?

Webhead
01-21-2009, 04:05 PM
1st edition = Wargame
3rd edition = CCG
4th edition = MMO

Just so I know, what was 2nd edition?

By those parameters, it was mostly a retooling of 1st Ed. so it would tend to fall under "Wargame". Now, my group and I didn't play it that way...it was to us about as far from a wargame as it gets, but if I'm operating off of those terms as bases of comparison then that's where I would think it would lie. Especially with the introduction of the "Player's Option" line of books which added a great level detail to the "rulesy-ness" of 2e.

Jcosby
01-21-2009, 06:04 PM
First I almost hate to respond to this thread because as someone already stated it's just a strawman... But..

Marking is done both in WoW and in 4th Edition for the same basic reason. Designed the same way for the same thing.

Archtypes are exactly like the Archtypes in MMOs. Also someone said you needed x-this and x-that in 3.5 to survive that's completely false. No one class was something you couldn’t do without. In 4th Edition you need to have the Archtypes in each party, the Players Handbook even tells you this.

Lack of options (My personal gripe against 4th) you are X-class/Archtype you can only do this. You can't mix and match like other people have stated and you have very few options to personalize your character. Just like an MMO. In 3.5 you were able to do just about anything you wanted with a character. (Obviously not anything, but a lot more then in 4th edition.)

Spells/Melee Styles being handled exactly like styles in WoW. You as a fighter get a basic melee attack in WoW and in 4th Edition. Then you can choose to use a special attack. In Wow and in 4th Edition there are timers. Of course in WoW they need to be much faster paced as in seconds, but 4th edition does the same thing just with daily, encounter, at-will powers. It's the exact same model.

Health recovery is much faster in 4th edition as some people said but I wouldn't really call that a facet that is MMO'ish

Spell/Melee Styles don't really change they just get a new name. Exactly like WOW, EQ1, EQ2 and many other games. As you level up you get access to PowerX-1 PowerX-2 PowerX-3; again another game design taken right from MMOs.

Now, you can agree or not but I have played every MMO since we were playing DikuMuds and I have also played every version of D&D including 4th edition. There are FAR more similarities and designs taken from MMOs then people here are saying.

In the end, does it matter? I say no. I don't care for 4th edition at all, but the fact that it smells like an MMO to me doesn’t matter. I don't like the game because of the game design and flow. If you like 4th edition, then you like 4th.. go play, have fun. Who cares if it's like an MMO. So what if it is; that doesn't make it a bad thing. It's just different then 3.x and it upsets some people.

JC

Rochin
01-21-2009, 08:51 PM
Very well said post. You make a good many points, and state why. In my other posts I was trying to state what you have said here, I just ended up not making sense. I think I will start what should be a long line of... Thank you. (You made sense of our views on why it is similar to an MMO.)

Grimwell
01-22-2009, 02:09 AM
Now, you can agree or not but I have played every MMO since we were playing DikuMuds and I have also played every version of D&D including 4th edition. There are FAR more similarities and designs taken from MMOs then people here are saying.

This qualifier of over a decade of online gaming experience does not make your point truth.

For instance, not only have I been playing online games (I hesitate to call Diku's MMO's, they are MUD's and proud of it) since 1990 and helped launch an innovative Diku mud in 1992; but I work for the company that makes EverQuest and a stable of other online games.

The similarities you see are because we steal from D&D ideas, as all fantasy computer games have since the 1980's. When I go into designer's offices, they have more than a few of the D&D books from every edition as reference and inspiration. It's not the reverse.

Naturally, you are free to ignore my point and attest otherwise; as those who have failed to refute my point about the system behind any edition of D&D being so much more simple than the system for any MMO out there; but it does not make your point any more true. Or mine.

I think the point I'm most comfortable clinging blindly to is the fact that saying "4e = MMO" is a testament to how people feel when they play the game and not a study of it's systems and mechanics. It's short hand to describe a feeling in modern terms but it's not based in truth and needs not to be.

Just as the folks who called 3.X a magic push for D&D are no more right than I am to call them wrong, but it was viable short hand to explain how that system made them feel.

It might even be that there is no straw man, there is more of a non-existent man. We can't prove anything about it, but we can certainly talk about how we feel about it. :)

Kalanth
01-22-2009, 08:00 AM
It might even be that there is no straw man, there is more of a non-existent man. We can't prove anything about it, but we can certainly talk about how we feel about it.

Well said sir. In regards to my feelings about the system I will say this. I have been playing 4e for months now, and there are quite a few things I do not enjoy with the system but to me the good out weighs the bad. I enjoy the reduction in the skill system allowing the player to expand on their imagination and not rely on a number / rule. I enjoy the ease at which I can build a game and put together a challenging encounter as compared to doing so in the previous edition. I enjoy the way a fight can get to the brink of a TPK but that one lucky die roll and suddenly the party is up on their feet with a dramatic resurgence (and that makes for memorable moments). I am enjoying the short rest / extended rest, and the confidence (and sometimes over confidence) of players because of healing surges. I enjoy the fact that players are heroes with power right from the word go.

And there are many other things that I like.

To be fair, some of the things that I do not like include the slower combats (which is even slower because half my players are still learning the game overall), the broken (and thusly house-ruled) skill challenge system, and the lack of monsters which forces the DM to make his own when he wants something specific.

With these factors and many others I must say that I am very pleased with 4th edition D&D and will continue to play it for many years to come (until the release of the next edition, most likely).

Meeki
01-22-2009, 09:00 AM
I really don't think this is a strawman argument. Pulling out what is opinion from strong correlated near-facts was the point of this thread. Thus dismissing the strawman. There are design concepts that exist and are heavily correlated to other games, MMO's, table tops, Monopoly, etc.. Well not so much Monopoly. I started the thread because I literally have never heard anyone make a real argument for the MMO thing, just people using it as ammunition against 4e. I wanted to see what the real deal was.

There have been many posts about people's un-supported feelings why 4e feels like an MMO. For instance: Naming of Attacks. While this is in MMO's this has been around since the dawn of gaming, but it was confined to only certain game genres, superhero games for instance always had named attacks that you used over and over. Arcade games had named attacks. Now naming attacks is very video game like but I wouldn't stick it with MMO's. Naming attacks is nothing new to this century, heck fencing masters of the 16th c. (diGrassi, Silver) named each and every attack for use in instructing.

In the MMO world I don't even know when the advent of naming every attack came about, UO certainly didn't have it. Most MUDS didn't use it. EQ didn't use it at first. I would say the naming of attacks is not MMO but the powers that they bestow are very MMO like. I feel like my character is more of a superhero than a fantasy hero. Sly Flourish using Charisma for some random reason is a good example.

The "cool down" timers existed in basic D&D, only spell casters really used it though. Not really purely MMO but similar to an MMO, sort of, you will never be able to draw a fight out long enough to "reset" powers. Cool down timers is more of a game mechanic IMO, I mean Warhammer the table top game even has once/game or once/turn type powers that are effectively the same thing.

All this isn't to say this game has NO MMO influence. For instance I believe the roles of the Archtypes (striker, etc) were strongly drawn from MMO, probably directly. Although the developers said they created the concepts from earlier editions of D&D I see more of a correlation between the use of DPS in MMO's and strikers in D&D.

What I find to be an underlying issue is the lack of 4e to support a simulationist style of gaming. Which, btw, is how the game is ran and not the system itself but only certain systems can support simulation. Simulationist gaming is doing what ever you want, more or less, in the confines of what the DM lays out, and then he tells you the results. 3.x could be ran simulationist or not, it was a great system for building stuff, that flew out of control IMO. I'm not perfectly happy with 4e but 3.x was too out of control for me and sticking with "core" or "core + few other books" really didn't tackle the issues I had.

4e CAN be ran as a simulation, the DM needs a better mastery of the rules than they did in 3.x. The basic concept is the same though, allowing your players to use actions to do things not 100% covered in the rules and developing a result. 4e rules support suck endeavors less so than the earlier editions of D&D. Really, as I said above, I feel like my players and characters are superheros rather than fantasy heroes. I don't feel like my characters "grow" into their powers but rather have great powers at level 1 and just gain fancier powers later.

This thread has developed some great points and explored the development concepts of 4e. I don't think it was a waste to start this thread or post on it.

1958Fury
01-22-2009, 09:42 AM
There have been many posts about people's un-supported feelings why 4e feels like an MMO. For instance: Naming of Attacks. While this is in MMO's this has been around since the dawn of gaming, but it was confined to only certain game genres, superhero games for instance always had named attacks that you used over and over. Arcade games had named attacks. Now naming attacks is very video game like but I wouldn't stick it with MMO's. Naming attacks is nothing new to this century, heck fencing masters of the 16th c. (diGrassi, Silver) named each and every attack for use in instructing.

Heh, when I first started reading the 4e handbook, and started reading the names of the Fighter's moves, my first thought wasn't WoW, but "Street Fighter II". :lol:

4e would also be a great engine for a wrestling RPG.


In the MMO world I don't even know when the advent of naming every attack came about, UO certainly didn't have it. Most MUDS didn't use it. EQ didn't use it at first. I would say the naming of attacks is not MMO but the powers that they bestow are very MMO like. I feel like my character is more of a superhero than a fantasy hero. Sly Flourish using Charisma for some random reason is a good example.

Yes, I would go along with the superhero comparison long before I'd go with the MMO analogy. It's a shame WOTC stops producing older books to produce new ones, especially if there's still demand for 3x. It's also a shame that they number the editions like 3, 4, etc. I'd have loved for them to release 4e as a spin-off, for people who like Super Hero RPGs but want to try them in a medeival setting. Call it "D&D Heroes" (a name they've used before.)

But oh well, that's just a name. I like 4e, I like 3x, and I'll play whichever the group is playing. I thought I was going to hate 4e when I first read the PHB, but when I sat down and played it, I loved it. I can see the MMO similarities when they're called out in this thread, and when I'm reading the PHB. But when I'm actually playing the game, I just don't see it.

So this is not an accusation, just plain ol' curiosity, and I don't really have a dog in this fight, but... Of those making the MMO comparison, I wonder how many have actually played 4e, and how many just read the PHB.

Webhead
01-22-2009, 10:02 AM
As to the "naming of attacks", 4e took certainly took the idea and ran with it, but I actually saw that theme happening in 3.X. Let's analyze:

Power Attack

Cleave

Whirlwind Attack

Manyshot

Point Blank Shot

Ride-By Attack

Spring Attack

Stunning Fist

Flurry of Blows

Etc...

Okay, so they were Feats/Class Abilities instead of "powers/exploits". Does that make the concept or execution of them any different?

Grimwell
01-22-2009, 10:28 AM
Okay, so they were Feats/Class Abilities instead of "powers/exploits". Does that make the concept or execution of them any different?

If you ask me, nope!

I've been trying to find a graceful way to put in fun attack names for Fighters since I started reading the Wheel of Time books almost 20 years ago! There is something cool about the idea of a fighter player saying "I attempt to try Wind over Dragon's Wings" against the Ogre chieftan... instead of "I attack and roll a 17, do I hit?"

3E began to give that descriptive element to fighters, and 4E definitely does. Sure, it's all fluff and flavor, but sometimes a fluff label on a game mechanic or ability inspires a stronger connection to the roleplay behind a character concept.

1958Fury
01-22-2009, 11:03 AM
Okay, so they were Feats/Class Abilities instead of "powers/exploits". Does that make the concept or execution of them any different?

Thank you, I was thinking about that earlier, but I was too lazy to look for my 3.5 PHB.

Webhead
01-22-2009, 11:04 AM
If you ask me, nope!

I've been trying to find a graceful way to put in fun attack names for Fighters since I started reading the Wheel of Time books almost 20 years ago! There is something cool about the idea of a fighter player saying "I attempt to try Wind over Dragon's Wings" against the Ogre chieftan... instead of "I attack and roll a 17, do I hit?"

3E began to give that descriptive element to fighters, and 4E definitely does. Sure, it's all fluff and flavor, but sometimes a fluff label on a game mechanic or ability inspires a stronger connection to the roleplay behind a character concept.

Ayep. The same way most of my old group and I (jokingly) made our martial arts-type characters perform our own "named" attacks like: "Super Ninja Dragon Kick!" or "Kamikaze Shotgun Punch!". Good times. :D

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-22-2009, 11:12 AM
Which, btw, is how the game is ran and not the system itself but only certain systems can support simulation. Simulationist gaming is doing what ever you want, more or less, in the confines of what the DM lays out, and then he tells you the results.

To be clear, what you have described is not simulationist, that is narrativist.

Simulationist is trying to accurately portray a "real-world" feeling using game mechanics.

Or for a better description google it or check out the wiki entry.

MortonStromgal
01-22-2009, 12:14 PM
Except the Paladin doesn't "make the target attack him" in 4th ed. There's no compulsion to do so from any mark- there are penalties for attacking a non-marked target, and those vary from defender to defender, but no defender has a charm-like ability to force an opponent to attack them (unless you're talking about using Bluff, which as you said, has always been there). In that way, marks are similar to putting a piece in check- nothing says you can't ignore it, but there are tactical reasons for not doing so. Hence my point that if marking is MMO-like, then chess is MMO-like as well.

You'll have to bare with my poor memory but the paladin IIRC had a power which made the enemy attack you. It gets a save vs this ability but it was there in one of the 2 games I've played in. If it was a misread power or something else I can't tell you. I don't even remember what level it was at.

[Edit] I could totally be wrong I just know the paladin did in one of two games I've played. I have the phb and if I find the power in question ill post it by Monday.

Kalanth
01-22-2009, 12:30 PM
You'll have to bare with my poor memory but the paladin IIRC had a power which made the enemy attack you. It gets a save vs this ability but it was there in one of the 2 games I've played in. If it was a misread power or something else I can't tell you. I don't even remember what level it was at.

[Edit] I could totally be wrong I just know the paladin did in one of two games I've played. I have the phb and if I find the power in question ill post it by Monday.

I will look this up when I get home, but that is a power and not the Divine Challenge ability. Divine Challenge certainly discourages the enemy from attacking someone else being that the monster takes damage if the target is not the paladin, but it certainly does not force the monster to attack. I wonder what power you may be thinking of and what level that is cause it sounds like something I might suggest to my paladin player.

Meeki
01-22-2009, 12:49 PM
To be clear, what you have described is not simulationist, that is narrativist.


Nar, look here about game theory.

http://www.reference.com/browse/Simulationist+Gaming

"Simulationist refers to decisions based on what would be most realistic or plausible within the game's setting..."

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-22-2009, 02:57 PM
Nar, look here about game theory.

http://www.reference.com/browse/Simulationist+Gaming

"Simulationist refers to decisions based on what would be most realistic or plausible within the game's setting..."

To continue the sentence you quoted:

"...or to a game where the rules try to simulate the way that things work in that world, or at least the way that they could be thought of working."

Half that sentence supports what you said the rest supports me.

Here is the rest of the paragraph:

"To resolve combat, a simulationist approach might be to see if the character hits, then if the victim can parry, then how much 'damage' the weapon does, then determine what part of the victim is hit, then how much damage the armour in that location stops, then see how much harm the remaining damage does. The benefit of this method is that it is simple for the players to interpret the results and understand what must have happened. The drawback is that the process of obtaining the results can take a long time to perform, and may still not produce plausible results if it is inaccurate and/or incomplete. Often, simulationist games have numerous additional layers, often optional, that can be used to further increase the complexity of combat or other activities. These optional layers can include things like targeted attacks or the use of special techniques like martial arts, whose complexities can even require an entire optional sourcebook, as in the case of GURPS."

I would like to point out that I never said 3.5 was simulationist but I did say that it is much more simulationist than 4e is. And the minutia of the rules that 3.5 goes into further supports simulationist play more so than the 4e rules do.

Meeki
01-22-2009, 03:24 PM
Umm... I was refuting the fact that my definition was not narrativist. The rest of the sentence was unnecessary as it repeats the intention of the first half, showing that it is setting dependent and based on a reprsentation of results. What I wrote was very close to the definition of simulationist given there.

I stated 3.5 was more simulationist. I also talked about that simulationist is more about how you play (the setting and style of gameplay) and not the rules themselves; although only certian rules support simulation playing. Nothing directed toward you specifically, there was a discussion of this above.

The author of that article puts D&D in the gamist category, which it clearly is in all of its incarnations. Not to say it cannot also be simulationist but it strongly falls into the author's category of gamist, and most likely many other gamers ideas of D&D, especially 4e. That is why I separated the way you play the game being simulationist or not from the actual system itself. D&D can be gamist, simulationist, or narrativist depending on who runs it and how its ran.

I agree that 4e supports simulationist games much less so than 3.x.

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-22-2009, 09:55 PM
Umm... I was refuting the fact that my definition was not narrativist. The rest of the sentence was unnecessary as it repeats the intention of the first half, showing that it is setting dependent and based on a reprsentation of results. What I wrote was very close to the definition of simulationist given there.

I stated 3.5 was more simulationist. I also talked about that simulationist is more about how you play (the setting and style of gameplay) and not the rules themselves; although only certian rules support simulation playing. Nothing directed toward you specifically, there was a discussion of this above.

The author of that article puts D&D in the gamist category, which it clearly is in all of its incarnations. Not to say it cannot also be simulationist but it strongly falls into the author's category of gamist, and most likely many other gamers ideas of D&D, especially 4e. That is why I separated the way you play the game being simulationist or not from the actual system itself. D&D can be gamist, simulationist, or narrativist depending on who runs it and how its ran.

I agree that 4e supports simulationist games much less so than 3.x.

I hate to be nit-picky seeing as how we agree...

But, the second half of that quote that I posted is critical in that it specifically states that "a game where the rules try to simulate the way that things work in that world, or at least the way that they could be thought of working." is simulationist.

Or put another way, the rules create the simulation. So, assuming that authors article is correct or a suitable source for us to base decisions on, the game system/rules can dictate how much simulation can be in a particular game. In this case 4e.

Which we both agree that 3.5 was more simulationist than 4e, but it is NOT solely the way you run the game. Because if it were, I would love 4e, which is not the case. I (just realizing this since this thread started) prefer my RPGs to be simulationist and that is the only concrete reason for my dislike of 4e.

As DM I kept trying to run my 4e games as simulationist as possible but kept running into a wall of clashes with the rules. Particularly passive checks, but that is for another thread.

Anywho, at least we agree right!?:biggrin:

tesral
01-22-2009, 10:09 PM
As DM I kept trying to run my 4e games as simulationist as possible but kept running into a wall of clashes with the rules. Particularly passive checks, but that is for another thread.


I have to question why you are playing D&D at all? There is nothing simulationist about the D&D combat system. It is very cinematic, very abstracted. I happen to like that about it truthfully. I still will not be playing Forry any time. However D&D combat has never approached anything close to reality in any fashion.

TheDarkestOfAngels
01-23-2009, 04:27 AM
I have to question why you are playing D&D at all? There is nothing simulationist about the D&D combat system. It is very cinematic, very abstracted. I happen to like that about it truthfully. I still will not be playing Forry any time. However D&D combat has never approached anything close to reality in any fashion.

Sure it has.
3rd and 3.5e came closer to simulationist in many ways than any edition before or since and it did it, in many ways, very well - better than many of its compeditors.
What 4e does is throw all that out the window - for better in some ways and worse in others.
Personally, I think the worse outweighs the better, but that's just me.

Meeki
01-23-2009, 07:53 AM
I hate to be nit-picky seeing as how we agree...

For SOME reason I don't think you HATE being nit-picky. :p

The use of "or" in that sentence means the second part is an alternative definition. To me I read the exact same definition in both halves of the sentence, which both point out it is "setting" and "world" dependent. It really supports needing both a setting and a rule set to have a simulationist game, as I said earlier. I meant to imply that you cannot have a simulationist game without a rule set to support it but you can play other types of games with a simulationist rule set.

Can we get back to the main topic please, this thread has been sufficiently derailed.

Lets discuss this idea that the game feels different when playing it than when it does just from reading the books. I think that we can all agree that there are aspects of MMO/Video Game-ness within 4e but do these characteristics make the actual playing of the game feel like an MMO or is it just a technique to lure the masses?

1958Fury
01-23-2009, 09:26 AM
Lets discuss this idea that the game feels different when playing it than when it does just from reading the books. I think that we can all agree that there are aspects of MMO/Video Game-ness within 4e but do these characteristics make the actual playing of the game feel like an MMO or is it just a technique to lure the masses?

Well, I've said it before, but when playing, the combat feels like a board game to me. I really can't say if that's a good or bad thing, as I prefer roleplay to combat in most games anyway. And the roleplay parts feel pretty much the same as any other RGP, since that's mostly narrative and largely affected by the skill of the DM.

Some claim that since there's more healing options, it makes you feel more immortal like in an MMO, but I don't see that while playing. For example, my friend is playing a Dragonborn Fighter. He has 31 HP. Once per battle he can use a healing surge to heal 10 HP. Well, the module designers know this, and therefore the battles are set up as if he had 41 HP in the first place, so it's really pretty much the same difference.

In some ways he's a little worse off than in previous editions, because he can only be healed 12 times a day, whether from potions or a cleric's Healing Word or what have you*, and most forms of healing can't heal more than your healing surge value. (* some exceptions apply, for example, a Paladin can use one of his own healing surges on another character... of course, he's only got so many as well.) The surge value is usually 1/4 your max HP, so you may be using 2 or 3 surges at a time. Of course, you get almost everything back with a full night's sleep, but I haven't had a chance to play a module that allowed us to sleep yet.

My point is, the fear of death is alive and well in 4e, and feels much different than the "If I don't make it, I'll just try again later" attitude in MMOs.

Meeki
01-23-2009, 10:33 AM
Interesting points, there is a stress on resource management in this edition. I like the different way of healing and find it unique to 4e.

The board game-ness seems to be due to the "limited" options of power choices and abstraction of movement; at least IMO. Of course, oddly enough, most characters now have more choices of things to do in combat rather than less... but they are done with strange names and odd powers.

I wonder what could be done to blend more of the old school feel into 4e...

Maybe we can make a thread about what people would like to see specifically changed about 4e to make it more "old school" or explore how the rules can be used to create that feeling.

MortonStromgal
01-23-2009, 10:39 AM
I will look this up when I get home, but that is a power and not the Divine Challenge ability. Divine Challenge certainly discourages the enemy from attacking someone else being that the monster takes damage if the target is not the paladin, but it certainly does not force the monster to attack. I wonder what power you may be thinking of and what level that is cause it sounds like something I might suggest to my paladin player.

I wish I could recall I know one game we were all 6th level and the other one we were all 18th level. For all I know though it was a GM/PC misunderstanding we were all new, it was just to test the system. It went down something like this

PC: I'm using X,
GM: Whats that do?
PC: You have to attack me
GM: Well I'm sure there is a save *flips through the phb a bit* *rolls a d20* ok he turns and attacks you.

tesral
01-23-2009, 10:45 AM
Sure it has.
3rd and 3.5e came closer to simulationist in many ways than any edition before or since and it did it, in many ways, very well - better than many of its compeditors.
What 4e does is throw all that out the window - for better in some ways and worse in others.
Personally, I think the worse outweighs the better, but that's just me.

That's rather like say "The Game of Life" is closer to really living that Parchesii. "Close" being a relative term and in this case anything but close. I play simulation wargames. The amount of detail required, and the resulting complexity make for a very slow game indeed. And we are taking something as simple as one airplane shooting another. If you get in the kind of complexity required to accurately simulate two Humans fighting the complexity goes up exponentially. One round would take you all night to run. Of course most fights wouldn't last more than one round. Dead and maimed characters would litter the countryside and so forth.

Hit points in D&D are anything but a simulation.

Armor Class for example, armor doesn't keep you from getting hit. It keeps you from taking damage from getting hit.

This is not to say that D&D combat doesn't work, it does. I play it every week. However it is not a simulation and doesn't pretend to be.

1958Fury
01-23-2009, 10:48 AM
GM: Well I'm sure there is a save *flips through the phb a bit* *rolls a d20* ok he turns and attacks you.

That sounds about right. There is no save because he doesn't have to attack you. However, it is in his best interest not to attack anyone else, so he probably will attack you.

T_Dawg135
01-23-2009, 02:38 PM
I never did get all the way to the end of the thread. There was simply to much annoying drivel to make it worth my time. The underlying problem seems to be that either nobody gets the question that started it all, or they just want to take this opportunity to bash 4E because they don't like the system. So here are a list of underlying facts that will help set the record straight for those of you who are actually open minded enough to consider them.

First and foremost, let me address the initial question that this post is based around. How is 4E like an MMO? That's fairly easy to answer. The player takes control of a fictional character and fights monsters and what not using spell, sword, and a host of other different things open to them. They travel through realms dreamed up by someone else, righting wrongs and destroying evil (or perhaps they cause the wrongs, and just are evil). In the end how 4E is like an MMO is unimportant; it doesn't make a bit of difference in the grand scheme of things. By this point, so many of the concepts used both in Table Top RPGs and MMOs have been borrowed and modified so many times it's nearly impossible to say who invented what, and it's completely irrelevant. Whether the chicken came before the egg, or it was the other way around, at the end of the day we have both chickens and eggs.

For all of those naysayers out there who have been bashing 4E just because it may not be their cup of tee, here are a few things you need to know. Dungeons and Dragons fourth edition is what you make it. If you don't like a rule, ignore it (something very unlike and MMO). If you feel that there aren't enough bow powers for your fighter, make some. The only limits on your creativity are the ones that you impose. Wizards of the Coast is not going to send a squad car over to have you arrested because you didn't follow every rule to the letter. It's your game, play it the way you want to.

If you're trying to follow the 4E rules to the letter then you have to remember that rules do indeed set limits (what else would be the point of rules). Every class is designed to fit into an archetype (defender, leader, etc.) because it makes playing the game easier; there is no confusion as to what your position in the party is supposed to be. If you don't like it, don't play by the rules, or change them to fit your style (it tells you how to modify game elements in the DMG, give it a read). Although the simplest tactic is probably the easiest. If you want to be a fighter who wields a bow, does lots of damage, and leaves the wizard to defend himself, then you don't want to be a fighter. Take a look at the ranger class; rangers wield bows, do lots of damage, and they aren't responsible for the wizard's well being. Does it matter if they use a different name now?

Speaking of names, does the fact that 4E refers to all abilities as powers make them spells? I don't see how. The fighter hits a guy with a sword, while the wizard throws balls of fire. Sure they're written the same way in the book (making it easier to understand) but that doesn't mean they do the same thing. Unless of course you look at it from the point of view that the wizard is doing the same thing as the fighter (hitting monsters) he just throws balls of fire while the fighter throws knives. If you're having trouble picturing the effect of some of the powers the way they're described in the book, make up you're own description to explain the game effect, and do it in a way that you understand.

Dungeons and Dragons 4E is not a simulation. Neither has any D&D game before it been one. D&D is a game that uses abstract rules to represent the way things might happen in a high fantasy setting. It's ridiculous to claim that a halfling can't push around an ogre in a world that has halflings and ogres. Complaining that a fighter shouldn't be able to do all of the things that 4E powers let you do while he's facing don't a great red wyrm is foolish. Until you show me videos of a halfling trying and failing to push around an ogre, or introduce me to a fighter who failed to pull off that dazzling move he read about in the PHB while fighting a dragon I'm going to continue to keep an open mind about what fantasy characters can and can't do.

At the end of the day some people are going to like 4E and others aren't, and that's just the way that it's going to be. 4E is a game where people pretend to be someone else for a couple of hours and have fun doing it. It's all about High Fantasy, meeting up with Elves and Dragons, doing seemingly supernatural things with mundane weapons, and wielding powerful forces of nature and magic like they were a child's playthings. If that's not the kind of game that you are looking for then maybe its time to find another game to play.

Webhead
01-23-2009, 03:14 PM
...aaaaand welcome to the boards, T_Dawg! :)

Meeki
01-23-2009, 04:08 PM
Block Text AHHHH!!!!

@tesral: Regarding armor not helping you not get hit: You obviously never wore armor made out of lava. Hitting that would be a death sentence, just like a tiny net is.

I would love to comment on TDawg's comments but the block text is too much for me at this very moment in time.

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-23-2009, 10:07 PM
4E is a game where people pretend to be someone else for a couple of hours and have fun doing it. It's all about High Fantasy, meeting up with Elves and Dragons, doing seemingly supernatural things with mundane weapons, and wielding powerful forces of nature and magic like they were a child's playthings. If that's not the kind of game that you are looking for then maybe its time to find another game to play.

While you make some good points for 4e and RPGing in general, the above bolded (by me for emphasis) is, I think, the core of the discussion.

4e appears (and I say appears because I have yet to be proven otherwise) to have been designed to portray a high fantasy world.

Whereas in 3.5 yes there is fantasy and you can play 3.5 as high fantasy, but it gives itself to being less high fantasy and simply fantasy.

The only real way I can describe it is in relation to the LotR movies. While some may argue that LotR is high fantasy, it had a feeling that was much more "lived in". That everyone was much more a part of that world including Gandalf the incredibly powerful wizard.

A difficult thing I had as a DM of a 4e game was dealing with the fact that these 2nd level characters who could do x, y, and z fancy named powers would interact with the everyday, day-to-day, "normal" world of D&D. Granted I was trying to instill a sense of rareness of adventurer types in my game world, and I feel it just didn't work because everything the PCs did seems super-fantastical or high fantasy. It kind of killed the verisimilitude.

My point is, 3.5 captured that feeling much more than 4e does. And as a DM who tried to give 4e a shot at it, I have to say it failed and/or I failed in utilizing 4e in a way to make it work. And I think you often find this sort of high fantasy feeling in more immediately tangible and rewarding games like MMOs. I'm not saying thats bad, I do love me some DDO, but for my games, I prefer something less high fantasy.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

For SOME reason I don't think you HATE being nit-picky. :p

Busted! I like being very concise or precise as to the meaning of words/phrases/sentences. Especially on the internet when things can be construed so many different ways.

anywho...


Lets discuss this idea that the game feels different when playing it than when it does just from reading the books. I think that we can all agree that there are aspects of MMO/Video Game-ness within 4e but do these characteristics make the actual playing of the game feel like an MMO or is it just a technique to lure the masses?

It is neither. I would have to say that it is really a matter of personal taste. I personally do not think that is plays like an MMO. Nor do I feel like it was a ploy to lure more people into tabletop RPGs. I honestly feel that the designers have created a ground breaking rpg. It is actually pretty astonishing to think about how involved in the RPG community the designers have been in making design decisions in recreating such an iconic RPG. 4e is a step forward in game design, one that has put WotC at the forefront of RPGs. (We can debate this in another thread if necessary.)

But in the end it is really a matter of what sort of game play one prefers over the other, and there is no right answer. Well there is one right answer for that individual, but I digress...

Valdar
01-25-2009, 06:30 PM
There is no save because he doesn't have to attack you.

That and, saving throws are now only for ongoing effects- there's no save of this kind (rolling when you get attacked) anywhere in the game anymore...

kirksmithicus
01-26-2009, 03:04 PM
Nothing like a good polarized discussion to draw in new people. :)

I know that I've never said something that I don't at all believe just because I know it'll get people all riled up and ornery. Nope never....

Etarnon
01-27-2009, 08:29 AM
For me, the MMO nature comes in with the healing surges.

Basically, healing all those hit points, it is healing the equivalent of multiple sword wounds, that would kill a normal level 1 person.

Yes, it can be said that the hit points themselves are even now moreso the effect of luck, nicks, and scratched, with the idea of second wind, etc, but I'm not buying it.

I have always preferred the low hit point game, simulationst style games, or games with low hit points, and lots of skills, and you tread carefully in combat...which is why level based games are way down on my favorites list.

I play them because more players than average play them also.

Webhead
01-27-2009, 09:55 AM
...I have always preferred...games with low hit points, and lots of skills, and you tread carefully in combat...which is why level based games are way down on my favorites list.

I agree with this in a general sense. My primary beef with "level-based" systems is the steady escalation of threat and ability to mitigate that threat in a sort of "arms race" between the PCs and their enemies.

I also tend to prefer systems where the heroes getter more capable (a la better skills, knowledge, wisdom, etc.) while not growing beyond common threats. A shotgun (or sword/phaser/cosmic eye-beam/etc) should be as big a danger to novice PCs as it is to veterans should they be unable to avoid a confrontation with one, which is what separates them from novices: knowing how to more effectively avoid/counter/neutralize such a threat.

MortonStromgal
01-27-2009, 11:08 AM
That and, saving throws are now only for ongoing effects- there's no save of this kind (rolling when you get attacked) anywhere in the game anymore...

You know I knew that and I didnt even think about that, that would explain why I can't find this crazy power! Mythbusted!

Skunkape
01-28-2009, 07:17 AM
I agree with this in a general sense. My primary beef with "level-based" systems is the steady escalation of threat and ability to mitigate that threat in a sort of "arms race" between the PCs and their enemies.

I also tend to prefer systems where the heroes getter more capable (a la better skills, knowledge, wisdom, etc.) while not growing beyond common threats. A shotgun (or sword/phaser/cosmic eye-beam/etc) should be as big a danger to novice PCs as it is to veterans should they be unable to avoid a confrontation with one, which is what separates them from novices: knowing how to more effectively avoid/counter/neutralize such a threat.

That's partly why I like other systems better than any version of DnD, but when I started organizing the group that I'm now a part of, the easiest way to get players was to run a DnD game. Course, now that I've suckered them in, err we've played together for a while, I've got them to try other game systems and once the current campaign is over, we'll be using something other than DnD.

Ok, back to the topic!:D

kirksmithicus
01-28-2009, 10:03 AM
I have always preferred the low hit point game, simulationst style games, or games with low hit points, and lots of skills, and you tread carefully in combat...which is why level based games are way down on my favorites list.

I play them because more players than average play them also.

Same here, what are some non-level based games that you play. I would like to check them out if I don't own them already. :D

The healing surge thing bothers me as well but I was thinking to drop the healing surges and divide HP into hit locations, it might help a little?

Inqe13
01-28-2009, 11:32 AM
I would say the easiest explantion is how all of your powers are on greater/lesser cooldowns.

Skunkape
01-29-2009, 08:01 AM
Same here, what are some non-level based games that you play. I would like to check them out if I don't own them already. :D

The healing surge thing bothers me as well but I was thinking to drop the healing surges and divide HP into hit locations, it might help a little?

A really great non-level based game is Basic Role-Playing or BRP as most folks that have seen it call it. It's the same system that they use for Call of Cthulhu and Rune Quest. Chaosium just released the latest version of the rules. What I really like about the system is the fact that you get the chance to improve based on the skills you use, not that you suddenly get an increase when you level.

Ok, back to the topic!:D

Valdar
01-30-2009, 12:08 PM
A few points on healing- not exactly on topic, but still:

In 3e, you could get a Wand of CLW and everyone would be healed after every battle. Now with limits on healing surges, you will run out of surges before you run out of ways to heal yourself. So in 4e you actually have a limit on your healing that didn't exist in 3e, and people are seeing this as easier healing? Wtf?

Disease, poison, and other affliction tracks will not go away after every battle. In fact, resting could make them worse, since you get a "tick" on every rest, which could be good or bad. Lasting wound tracks are already out there in playtest, and will probably be in DMG2.

Whatever your opinions of "Second Wind", in my experience, it doesn't get used very much. Maybe if we had a Dwarf in the party it would, but as it stands, giving up your standard action to heal your base surge value, when your Leader can give up a minor action and give you your base value plus a hefty bonus, is not tactically sound- fighters should fight, not lose their turn playing a gimp healer. Second Wind is there so that the party can get by without a Cleric/Warlord/Bard/Shaman if they need to- so that's a strike against a party needing every role. Leaders certainly make for a more balanced, powerful party (as they should), but if nobody wants to play one, you can still go adventuring, and will need to make up the deficiency in a different way.

Ironically, in my current game, the only character that uses Second Wind is the Bard, since she's already using her minor actions and healing powers to keep the Defenders going...
--- Merged from Double Post ---

A really great non-level based game is Basic Role-Playing or BRP as most folks that have seen it call it. It's the same system that they use for Call of Cthulhu and Rune Quest. Chaosium just released the latest version of the rules. What I really like about the system is the fact that you get the chance to improve based on the skills you use, not that you suddenly get an increase when you level.



I'm trying to get into a BRP game now, and looking forward to it. There is certainly a shortage of good DMs in this area for the number of people who want to play!

MortonStromgal
01-30-2009, 12:27 PM
In 3e, you could get a Wand of CLW and everyone would be healed after every battle. Now with limits on healing surges, you will run out of surges before you run out of ways to heal yourself. So in 4e you actually have a limit on your healing that didn't exist in 3e, and people are seeing this as easier healing? Wtf?

*snip*

I'm trying to get into a BRP game now, and looking forward to it. There is certainly a shortage of good DMs in this area for the number of people who want to play!


1) its a misconception I will grant you but there is something fundamentally different if you were running a low magic item game. DMs had more control making clerics waste their spells slots on healing by providing the amount of healing items they saw fit. Heck some DMs wouldn't even allow cure light wound potions or people to play clerics. Now even the theif can heal so that style of game is no longer supported.


BRP is pretty good I would highly suggest MRQ (you can get all the rules free on the SRD wiki http://mrqwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page) which is just a slight variation on BRP for Fantasy games. Its also pretty quick to convert 3.X monsters into BRP if you are ok with it not being exact.

Grimwell
02-01-2009, 11:16 AM
1) its a misconception I will grant you but there is something fundamentally different if you were running a low magic item game. DMs had more control making clerics waste their spells slots on healing by providing the amount of healing items they saw fit. Heck some DMs wouldn't even allow cure light wound potions or people to play clerics. Now even the theif can heal so that style of game is no longer supported.

While I will fully grant that you are correct in what you say, a low magic or restricted campaign is a deviance from the core rules for 3.X so it's a bad comparison to core rules 4.0. You would have to compare low magic 4.0 to low magic 3.x to really have it be a good data point, and it would be just as easy to restrict those powers and abilities in 4.0 to get rid of the healing too. Then you could compare and see how it shakes out. :biggrin:

Inquisitor Tremayne
02-01-2009, 04:04 PM
A party of 4 level 1 characters in 3.5 vs. a party of 5 characters in 4.0 with the core classes/roles covered, with starting gear only, and assuming each character is maximized to its fullest potential means that you are still probably going to have more healing in 4.0.

4.0 Because of the Clerics Healing Word power that as a minor action and can be used twice before needing a short rest to recover it. That is close to 4 - 6 healings per character assuming that each character has that many healing surges to use.

3.5 A Cleric is probably at the most going to have 3, possibly 4 Cure light wound spells to cast. That is assuming the Healing domain, and a very high Wisdom score to grant them 2 extra 1st level spells.

So yeah, the amount of healing in 4e is much greater. That is not factoring in second winds.

tesral
02-02-2009, 08:34 AM
While I will fully grant that you are correct in what you say, a low magic or restricted campaign is a deviance from the core rules for 3.X so it's a bad comparison to core rules 4.0. You would have to compare low magic 4.0 to low magic 3.x to really have it be a good data point, and it would be just as easy to restrict those powers and abilities in 4.0 to get rid of the healing too. Then you could compare and see how it shakes out. :biggrin:

I could not do Crusade of Conscience as a 4e game.

Grimwell
02-02-2009, 08:48 AM
I could not do Crusade of Conscience as a 4e game.

Is that the name of your current campaign?

tesral
02-02-2009, 08:53 AM
Is that the name of your current campaign?

The PbP yes.

MortonStromgal
02-02-2009, 11:27 AM
While I will fully grant that you are correct in what you say, a low magic or restricted campaign is a deviance from the core rules for 3.X so it's a bad comparison to core rules 4.0. You would have to compare low magic 4.0 to low magic 3.x to really have it be a good data point, and it would be just as easy to restrict those powers and abilities in 4.0 to get rid of the healing too. Then you could compare and see how it shakes out. :biggrin:

Your correct I should have said "no longer as strait forward for DMs to make those low fantasy games" You can still of course modify the rules to fit anything.

Webhead
02-02-2009, 12:17 PM
I just played my first session of 4e this past week and so can now speak (limitedly) to the playstyles I perceive.

It did not "feel like an MMO" or even quite "feel like a boardgame" any moreso than 3.X did. In fact, tactically speaking, a lot of what was present in 3.X is virtually indistinguishable from 4e. The major difference in 4e then is increased focus on mobility and increased focus on what I will call "tag-teaming" where many abilities serve to give your allies advantageous circumstances. Likewise, characters feel much less like "loners" who rush forward and make attack rolls until the enemy falls over and are clearly much more group-dependant. Our party had 2 healers and it became clear that had we even only 1 healer, we probably would not have survived the session.

Combat moved quickly and was exciting and imaginative thanks to a group that was interested in role play. Healing was not any more abundant than it was in previous editions and the generally higher hit points was somewhat offset by the generally greater damage that was being dealt by the enemies.

I'll say it again: I like minion/mook rules in just about every RPG I've seen them in. 4e is no different. Though I was a player and not the DM, I could really see how I would appreciate the ability to selectively make certain monsters into "minions" to keep the flow of the game faster and the bookkeeping easier without sacrificing enemy count (and, in fact, increasing enemy count) or unbalanced threat levels.

In short, I had fun with the game and look forward to continuing to play with the group.

What this experience with 4e did for me:

1) It established for me that 4e is not as different from 3.X as I thought it would be.

2) It established the understanding of how the game flows in terms of system which is quickly and efficiently.

3) It showed me how 4e attempts (and mostly succeeds) at reducing bookkeeping.

What this experience with 4e didn't do for me:

1) Make me hail 4e as the end-all, be-all of D&D and that I should embrace it over all others.

2) Profoundly change any of my assumptions or expectations about how D&D plays or operates on a conceptual level (Fighters fight, Rogues do rogue-y things, Clerics heal, arrows hurt, etc.).

3) Make me want to rush out, buy it and run a game. I am content to play but will probably not buy or run a 4e game any time soon.

4) Show me that 4e could intrinsically do anything that couldn't be done to greater or lesser effect in any other edition of D&D or in any other non-d20 game system for that matter.

It was a fun time and as long as it is fun, I will keep going back but I'm not any more "sold" on 4e today than I was last week or the week before that, etc.

Valdar
02-02-2009, 12:36 PM
A party of 4 level 1 characters in 3.5 vs. a party of 5 characters in 4.0 with the core classes/roles covered, with starting gear only, and assuming each character is maximized to its fullest potential means that you are still probably going to have more healing in 4.0.

Well, when you set up your argument with that number of qualifications, sure. You can't start with a Wand of CLW, but at 750 GP, you can get one very quickly- I've even seen a 3e party pool their treasure to get one as quickly as possible, which is to say, before 2nd level.

Regardless, Healing Surges are a limitation where there wasn't a limitation before- so saying that they make more healing available seems to be a misconception to me.

Grimwell
02-02-2009, 04:30 PM
Great summary Webhead. I think you were pretty fair for a first impression review. 4E is just another system in a long line of them. :)

Webhead
02-02-2009, 04:49 PM
Great summary Webhead. I think you were pretty fair for a first impression review. 4E is just another system in a long line of them. :)

Thank you and, indeed, that was my impression. It was "just another D&D" and has its strengths and weaknesses. It didn't do anything to get me any more attached to or distant from D&D as a game system or as a niche genre than I was previously, so it was just a matter of making the best of what was in front of me...which I did and had a good time (aka I still tend to prefer other settings/systems over D&D/d20 when possible).

MortonStromgal
02-02-2009, 05:07 PM
Nice summary webhead. Its nice to see a non-extreme review

Webhead
02-02-2009, 05:22 PM
Nice summary webhead. Its nice to see a non-extreme review

Thank you. I believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion but that the most meaningful opinions are those that recognize that other, even contradictory opinions might be equally valid.

The_Librarian_Battlerager
02-06-2009, 11:53 AM
I'm going to toss in my uneducated thoughts on this and why I think it has that MMO feeling all over it.

I can form whatever opinion I have about 4E and love it or hate it with every fiber of my being, but thats not going to change the presentation that other players give it. So far most players I've heard speaking about it have yet to expand upon what is presented to them in the book. Perhaps I'm limited by my exposure to these inexperienced players not capable of thinking outside of "If its not on my character sheet, I can't do it.". I for one have little time and interest in learning the new system so I can only go by hear-say as it is.

One of example, and here is only one for now, is the thought of a fighter having a once per encounter/day ability that lets them trip an opponent or other such movement controlling effects (Correct me if I'm wrong). Why is this usable only once per encounter/day? Is there a global cooldown like World of Warcraft? Gotta wait for the timer to reset? Does trying to trip the opponent tire the Fighter out? (if so... seriously?) Does the success or failure of this ability's attempt give the opponent a heads up on any other attempts to do it again? Can other opponents see this attempt and catch on to this trick and be immune to it as well for the rest of the encounter?

I can understand if there is a "magical" effect that may require energy to expend and thats it, gotta rest a bit before trying that again. But tripping someone? For me thats the clincher for things that say MMO to me, the things that don't make sense -like that-.

Again, this is only on hearsay from someone raving about it that I could only blink and ponder why it was so amazing. I could be wrong about the ability from the start. But if thats a true example, what else is in the game that has these majorly mechanical, unexplainable once per day/encounter abilities?



(oh and please dont' yell at me for trying to make 'sense' of a FANTASY game). ;)

Valdar
02-06-2009, 12:42 PM
Again, this is only on hearsay from someone raving about it that I could only blink and ponder why it was so amazing. I could be wrong about the ability from the start. But if thats a true example, what else is in the game that has these majorly mechanical, unexplainable once per day/encounter abilities?

(oh and please dont' yell at me for trying to make 'sense' of a FANTASY game). ;)

As mentioned before, D&D is not a simulationist game- it's never done it well, and 4e finally just gave up the ghost. Gamism first, narrative second, and simulationism not really at all.

Why can you only trip once an encounter?

--Gamism, because your ability to trip is a resource that you must make tactical decisions as to when to expend.

--Narrative, because this is a game about swords and sorcery, and a fantasy/medieval world in which one character is tripping people all the time sounds like bad anime ("And now, you face Garuka the Tripper! Prepare for your falling down!")- at-will tripping makes it a cliche.

--I suppose you could come up with a simulationist reason- personally, I'd see it as there being only certain opportunities in a battle to trip someone, and it's the player deciding when that opportunity comes up in the narrative, rather than the character deciding when to stick his foot out, but all simulationist explanations in D&D are ad-hoc, starting with explaining what hit-points actually represent. Real people can be killed at any time by a lucky shot from any opponent, however unskilled, but D&D doesn't do that at all, since that makes for anticlimactic stories.

Back to topic, does this make D&D an MMO, or is it a concept that was borrowed (back!) from MMOs? Or is this just what Vancian magic evolved into? In reading the game books, it may look like you're reading the manual for a computer game, but as has been mentioned, in play, the feel is completely different, starting with the fact that D&D is turn-based and MMOs are real-time.

tesral
02-06-2009, 10:19 PM
Back to topic, does this make D&D an MMO, or is it a concept that was borrowed (back!) from MMOs? Or is this just what Vancian magic evolved into? In reading the game books, it may look like you're reading the manual for a computer game, but as has been mentioned, in play, the feel is completely different, starting with the fact that D&D is turn-based and MMOs are real-time.

So what would a D&D MMO look like? Tell me Hasbro hasn't been looking at the profits that WoW pulls in with green eyes and the heart of a dragon.

Grimwell
02-06-2009, 11:09 PM
Dungeons & Dragons Online (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_&_Dragons_Online) was released in 2006. It is set in the Eberron setting (sp, it's Friday) and uses the 3.X rules.

It focuses on 'Action Combat' when you fight, it's not the standard MMO combat. I felt it had a lot of charm and really enjoyed it when I was playing, but the game did not do WoW like numbers. It did the kind of numbers most games do. You can play it today if you want, its still there doing just fine and is not being upgraded to 4E by anything I've seen.

The folks who developed it, Turbine Entertainment, have done their fair share of MMO's and really do a fine job in my opinion. So yeah, Wizards saw their chance and wanted some of the money (before WoW no less), but it's not king of the hill.

InMediaRes
03-18-2009, 02:16 PM
Conversation =verbal intercourse
Copulation=sexual intercourse

intercourse=intercourse
conversation=copulation??

NO.
Who cares? play whatever game you enjoy.

Kalanth
03-19-2009, 07:40 AM
Dungeons & Dragons Online (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_&_Dragons_Online) was released in 2006. It is set in the Eberron setting (sp, it's Friday) and uses the 3.X rules.

It focuses on 'Action Combat' when you fight, it's not the standard MMO combat. I felt it had a lot of charm and really enjoyed it when I was playing, but the game did not do WoW like numbers. It did the kind of numbers most games do. You can play it today if you want, its still there doing just fine and is not being upgraded to 4E by anything I've seen.

The folks who developed it, Turbine Entertainment, have done their fair share of MMO's and really do a fine job in my opinion. So yeah, Wizards saw their chance and wanted some of the money (before WoW no less), but it's not king of the hill.

WoW came out in 2004, but otherwise you are good to go here. I still actively play DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) and I would say at this point the game is more like a 3.6, 3.7 rendition (don't want to say 3.75 cause I don't know what Paizo has done to change the rules). Turbine has some "super secret plan" for DDO this year and is expanding the game again in the next few months, finally hitting level 20 three years after release but there is a RP world related reason for that. Because of how the combat flows and the game is more interactive I find it to be the best MMO on the market. It has it's shortcomings but I am a bit of a homer for that game so my opinion may be a tad biased.

If they turned 4th edition into a game at all I could only see turn based strategy games. The push, pull, end of turn, end of encounter rules may be to hard to emulate in the standard MMO style. I have a feeling that with this edition games like Neverwinter Nights would flourish and MMO's based on the rules would flounder.

Grimwell
03-19-2009, 11:13 PM
WoW came out in 2004, but otherwise you are good to go here.

Yes, I'm being cranky tonight, but I didn't say when WoW came out in my post. I said when DDO came out. Difference!

rikrok
03-28-2009, 05:27 PM
People are easy to call things this and that, but previous posts are right. This game is made by and made for power gamers firstly.

For example, let's take the trip example further. Why can someone only trip someone else once? Well, as 4e would put it "for mechanical purposes". Everything that 4e does is for mechanical purposes first. Which isn't bad, because you do have the source material at hand to alter the mechanics. Which is why 4e is way better than WoW in my opinion, if you are going to call 4e an MMO.

Valdar
03-29-2009, 08:09 PM
People are easy to call things this and that, but previous posts are right. This game is made by and made for power gamers firstly.

For example, let's take the trip example further. Why can someone only trip someone else once? Well, as 4e would put it "for mechanical purposes". Everything that 4e does is for mechanical purposes first. Which isn't bad, because you do have the source material at hand to alter the mechanics. Which is why 4e is way better than WoW in my opinion, if you are going to call 4e an MMO.

How does your example back up your initial statement? Your example says a lot about 4e's gamism (which I agree with), but doesn't say much about it being for powergamers. From Wikipedia, "powergaming" is minimizing your character-interaction ability to maximize your character's power. You can still do this in 4e, but to a much lesser degree than in previous editions of the game.

I guess this depends on your personal definition of "powergaming" though.

rikrok
03-30-2009, 12:48 PM
Power Gaming, to me, is a gaming that does not immerse into story, character or setting development or mood. Which is another way of explaining "Gamism".