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Reader Comments (4)

Posted: Jun 6th 2008 8:31AM (Unverified) said

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I have seen the books. Here's my personal assessment.

The game, as presented in the new books, is no longer D&D. Instead, it is a computer game that they hired writers for instead of programmers. Monsters of any given "level" come in three varieties: normal (i.e. weak), henchmen, and solos (i.e. bosses). Trying to upgrade a monster to a higher level produces poor results, particularly compared to those same monsters being advanced inside the Monster Manual. Critical hits have been removed, standard character classes and races were removed, and saving throws have become ridiculously easy to pass.

In short, this is no longer D&D. Perhaps, if it were marketed as a Beginner's Series, I could stomach it a tad better (as the D&D Challenger Series was compared to the simultaneous-released AD&D 2nd Edition), but instead they've marketed this as the next big thing.

The reasoning behind some of the changes is clear. They've reused monsters and simplified rules, to make the creation of their "virtual tabletop" (that you pay a monthly subscription for, natch) easier. So, instead of a new, improved D&D, you instead have a simple MMO (dare I say Korean quality?) that has more frequent expansions, and that the actual story and questing has instead been passed off to the userbase, instead of crafted in-house.

This is clearly the new direction that Wizards, under the auspices of Hasbro, is taking, and is clearly meant to capitalize on the increasing MMO market (which, ironically, is actually smaller than the market for 3.5). On the plus side, that does mean that Massively can cover it... if someone wants to pay a cool ninety plus a monthly fee just to make the quests for the game company. :P

Posted: Jun 6th 2008 12:53PM (Unverified) said

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For anyone not liking the look of Wizards new 4th edition (like myself, a gamer of 15+ years), I suggest you go over to paizo.com and look at their alpha version of their new pathfinder system, it is an update of the 3.5 rules that still feels like D&D and looks great.

To Avernus with 4rth Edition

Posted: Jun 6th 2008 2:23PM (Unverified) said

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I am going to defend 4th edition a bit here, just so anyone reading the comments can have two views to work off of for making their own assessment of whether or not to research it more.

4th edition, when taken by itself is a highly complex game, that is easy to get into. Take the board game Othello for example, its easy to learn but will discourage you to no end if you want to be good at it. There are plenty of Race/Class combinations, and they all work.

The game itself is fairly well balanced, with a few things that could use changes. The combat system is very streamlined and and in-depth, which allows the players to focus more on the actual role-playing aspect of the game. Or if they are more into combat, allows them to think of better tactical operations, rather than asking, "In the rules, can I do this?"

You will run into a lot of problems in the game if you are coming from previous editions. You will be thinking, "Why isn't this included," or "In 3.5 I could do this, now I can't. This is stupid." I think if people can see 4th edition on its own feet, they will see a well balanced game that allows a lot of wiggle room to make combat and non-combat experiences much more enriching.

Of course if you don't like it, then there is always the 3.5 other editions you can fall back on. Which really makes Dungeons and Dragons stand out.

Posted: Jun 6th 2008 6:16PM (Unverified) said

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This is actually why people don't like it. Coming from previous editions of the rules, you're going into an entirely different game. Meaning, it's NOT D&D.
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