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The horror of Yukon

4e vs. 3.xe argument

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This is starting to really irritate the crap out of me. I was reading someone's blog (sorry if I can't remember your name) who was asking what is up with DnD vs. DnD.

This rant is not an argument for 4e or against 3.x DnD. This is a rant on peoples argument for 3.x. As a PhD candidate, we are trained to hold our arguments, and provide logic for our viewpoints. So serious mistakes in logic and weak arguments really piss me off.

I may be misinformed, and will probably be called on it as a results, but the main argument I see is 3.x is better because of the non-combat aspects. Although this may be true, DnD in general has a mediocre non-combat aspect compared to other systems out there. It's not bad, but it ain't that great.

Again, I am not well-informed, I have only played non DnD systems a couple of times. But my minimal experience with other systems tells me, the non-combat aspect of DnD isn't as good as those other systems.

It's like saying the burgers at burger king are better than the burgers at mcdonald's. Although that may be true, as far as burgers go, neither are amazing.

If you want to argue GURPS has better non-combat mechanics than 4e DnD, you would most likely win. But it doesn't seem like a huge selling point for 3.5e DnD.

"Want a burger, buy Whoppers because they are better than big macs." ??WHAT??? NO! If I want a good burger, I am going to fricking red robin or ruby tuesdays.

If was an avid GURPS player and was deciding on what edition of DnD to play and had to base it off of the arguments presented, I wouldn't even play, because GURPS has a better non-combat system.

Aside from how little that contributes to the validity of your argument, if you like the 3.x non-combat system so much better thane 4e, don't frickin play 4e. Simple. Why are you so ready to start an argument or "prove" you are right and your system is the best?

Many have said WOTC has put a lot of focus on combat in 4e. I think one would be in a losing battle to say the combat aspect of 3.x is better than 4e. Why not take the best of two worlds? Why not replace the 4e skill system/non-combat aspect with your precious 3.x skill system/non-combat mechanics?

Seriously, why not? As you have said, that aspect doesn't have a huge impact in 4e, so why not replace it with something you like and think works. I tried to figure that out, but came up empty.

First I thought, maybe they are lazy. But how much time does a GM/DM spend on a game. According to Farcaster's poll, there is not too many out there that spend absolutely no time on the game outside of playing it with their players.

If that is not your "thing", there are plenty on this site who love messing with mechanics. I love working with mechanics, and I know kirksmithicus does too. Do our ideas always work, no, but that's what playtesting is for. Point is, I am sure if you asked the right people, you could get the proper input.

And it can't be lack of intelligence or creativity. 3.x DnD is kind of complicated, and if you can fully understand it, you can't be that stupid. As for creativity, you come up with crazy worlds, personalities for hundreds of NPCs, intricate plot lines, but can't figure out how to bring the skill/non-combat mechanics of 3.x into 4e. I don't buy it.

I can only attribute it to fear of something new/unknown.

Maybe more on that later, but must move on to main argument point number 2. WOTC wants to make more money/has to stop publishing 3.5 material.

They are a company, they need to make money. Should square-soft stop making sequels to final-fantasy? I think people would riot. To get people to buy more stuff, they need more new stuff to offer.

As for publishing more on 3.5, how much more crap do you need? There is only so many condiments you can put on a hamburger before it becomes ridiculous. How much would a new supplement really add to your current game (assuming you allowed the content anyway). There is a lot of 3.5 content out there, a lot of nooks and crannies are covered.

Then the final big one, MMOs. Now I have never played one nor will I ever play one. Again I go back to, if you don't like it, don't play it. Also, MMOs are just like D&D, so why is this a problem?

If it is style of play, then [players] don't play the game like that. How you play your character is up to you, not the system. Same goes for DMs, you are in charge of how the game plays, don't play it like an MMO.

I vaguely remember someone saying the concept of roles is borrowed from MMO's and that's why people think this. Is that a problem? Also, there was always the implicit roles in 3.x of healer, fighter, skillful guy, and magic guy. Now they have made it explicit, so what. Except now, you don't NEED to have a healer, it is just nice to have. But I am not here to argue for 4e, just ranting about peoples perception of 3.x superiority and how 4e sucks.

I will have a blog (later not today, need to work), about my arguments for 4e (cause I like to exercise my logic and argue).

But those are my rebuttals towards the 3.x argument.

And I am serious about replacing the 4e skills with 3.5 skills. It wouldn't be that hard to outright replace it, and I don't think it would break the balance of the game.

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Updated 04-21-2009 at 08:03 PM by yukonhorror

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my argument for 4e

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  1. amardolem's Avatar
    I did not read the origanal "DnD vs DnD" post but, I think this has merit, if it comes off (admittedly) like a big rant. I think the main argument or basis why there are many people who feel like 4e is either MMOish (use power, kill creature, level up, repeat-for every class) or dumbed down was; the majority hadn't fully explored the 3.5, ie. it hadn't lost it's feeling of shiny newness, and were still buying stuff for it when they were abandoned in favor of a new system that seems to mimic the aforementioned MMo's or collectible card games. That said, I think there were a number of flaws in 3.5(as with any system) that rose to the top as the years/games rolled on. I think the main backlash aganist the 4th edition is that it not only fixed what people perceived as "already broken" but many things that people didn't think were broken, and in most cases loved...these people were never likely to go out and get GURPS or HERO or REIGN or any number of alternate systems.....Hasbro/WOTC has greater distribution prowess than those and 10 more combined. they are in every bookstore, comic store, and flgs...the owners will tell you that's what SELLS. Thus when someone comes up with a 3.x trying to solve some of the problems of 3.5 while not completely changing the way everything is done (combat, skills, whatever) I propose that while not in the interest of a large multinational corporation (as you said: How many more books could WotC sell without completely breaking their own system?) A retake on the rules-and let's be frank here-we're talking about Paizo's Pathfinder-has a great deal of merit. I for one have played both and for whatever reason, I feel that Paizo's Pathfinder(Beta test) works better than 4e. I like playing games like this, if I have the choice: Pathfinder, if not (as many may not due to market forces and market share) I would play 4e, and I do on occassion.
  2. kirksmithicus's Avatar
    I think you make some good points. (and I'm not just sucking up because you mentioned my name as an example of a chronic armchair mechanic).

    I've never played 3.x anything. I would be interested in getting a copy of the rules if I could find them for cheap enough. I've watched games of 3.x being played at the local game store though, and honestly the two games do not come off all that different in my opinion. The core mechanics are about the same, 4e of course has exploits whereas in 3.x you swing and hit, or use spells etc. What puts me off about 3.x now, is the same thing that put me off the game when it first came out. The rabid Defender of the Faith fans (mostly IRL, not in the forums). Who are condescending and insulting with their 3.x is the end-all-be-all of RPG's and the 'if you like / play anything else your just a moron' attitude. Maybe 3.x is better, maybe not, but the chances of me ever playing a 3.x game diminishes with each passing day, thanks to them.

    I think the main backlash against the 4th edition is that it not only fixed what people perceived as "already broken" but many things that people didn't think were broken, and in most cases loved
    See they slaughtered to many Sacred Cows in their attempt to be innovative and streamline the system. I just happen to think they killed the wrong ones. Though I admit if they got rid of the things I don't like, the backlash would have been worse.

    A a side note, I hope the Pathfinder release does well. I think if any game has a chance of diminishing Wizard's rule of the market it could be this game. Maybe not having a monopoly on the industry, will lead to more affordable prices, better game materials and greater things than either 3.x or 4e.
  3. yukonhorror's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kirksmithicus
    I've never played 3.x anything. I would be interested in getting a copy of the rules if I could find them for cheap enough. I've watched games of 3.x being played at the local game store though, and honestly the two games do not come off all that different in my opinion. The core mechanics are about the same, 4e of course has exploits whereas in 3.x you swing and hit, or use spells etc. What puts me off about 3.x now, is the same thing that put me off the game when it first came out. The rabid Defender of the Faith fans (mostly IRL, not in the forums). Who are condescending and insulting with their 3.x is the end-all-be-all of RPG's and the 'if you like / play anything else your just a moron' attitude. Maybe 3.x is better, maybe not, but the chances of me ever playing a 3.x game diminishes with each passing day, thanks to them.
    3.5 is a good system. But like any system, it has its faults and its strengths. I think the 3.5 fans argue for the wrong strengths.

    The exploits/powers aspect of 4e is definitely something cool. Spellcasters constantly got more spells and more options, while fighters only got new feats that might improve or modify their main atk, but no variety. Always, hit hit hit. The precursor to 4e mechanics (Tome of Battle) tries to amend this, which is why I am not surprised I like this supplement a lot.

    Off topic, the topic is not why 4e is better than 3.x or in reverse. The point is, if the 3.x people want to convince people the old system is better, they need to rethink their arguments.
  4. amardolem's Avatar
    I like playing 3.x, I'm not arguing the point....my point was my opinion as to why there is such a seeming "edition war" in the first place. I've played virtually every incarnation of D&D (cept the little white books) I find the Pathfinder take very smooth, flavorful and fun. I have a 7th level wizard in a 4e game, and while I enjoy games of any make or model, I find 4e less fun in general. no harm no foul

    kirksmithicus: you can get virtually all (except generating the initial ability stats) the 3.5 rules for free here: http://www.d20srd.org/ and Pathfinder Beta test rules here: (free also) http://paizo.com/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG

    how's that for cheap!
  5. Etarnon's Avatar
    There's an edition war because WOTC wanted one, and encourages it.

    ...as long as you are on the side they are currently selling.
  6. yukonhorror's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Etarnon
    There's an edition war because WOTC wanted one, and encourages it.

    ...as long as you are on the side they are currently selling.

    How do you substantiate that?
  7. kirksmithicus's Avatar
    Thanks for the link, I've been reading the SRD a little in my spare time. One of the things that strikes me is that character creation seems a little more rigid in 3.x than in 4e.
  8. yukonhorror's Avatar
    its funny that you say that, because a lot of people say it is very free-form.

    YOU might actually like 3.5, because the @-wills are all basic atks. Of course, there isn't any encounter powers, but...

    In tome of battle, the classes are the precursor to the encounter power/stances of 4e.
  9. Arch Lich Thoth-Amon's Avatar
    You make alot of great points, yukonhorror, and therefore are a great mouthpiece for others with similar views. I find your arguments compelling, engaging, and, as always, interesting.

    Most of the arguments i have either read or heard in the past fail miserably, because in most of those cases, its not the edition at all, its the GM that should be given the pass or fail grade.

    Now i've played 4E, and found it to be just another edition, no better or worse than the rest. It's just different. My reasons for not buying all the material isnt due to the edition, but rather, my negative feelings with WotC/Hasbro. Seems this company just never learns from its mistakes, or worse, is too arrogant to admit to their marketing mistakes.

    Thoth's rant is complete.

    Game on!
    Updated 04-07-2009 at 11:27 AM by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon