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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 11:25AM semajin said

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Here, here! The new notation on many of the abilities and spells, which includes both the original die layout, and a new garishly colored damage translation is far from a bad thing. Although it caters to a certain type of player, largely those who don't care enough to try and interpret the range of dice rolls, it's never truly a bad thing to be given another way to look at the game. I'd take it even a step further, with spell information having the ability to take into account the many augmentations to damage that a player can acquire, such as items with Spell Potency, Feats, etc.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:57PM (Unverified) said

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Eh, more info is good, sure, but it seems like, from a company that sets up a "floaty names" keyboard toggle as part of the default command layout, there'd have been some thought given to making the dice vs. range a toggled option somewhere.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 12:08PM (Unverified) said

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This is what happens when you have a game that FTP. What you do get is a lot of twitch finger kiddies who have been two-button spamming through X-box games without actually having to think tactics and the mechanics behind them.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 12:22PM Tanek said

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Which is part of the point. When they come to the game and are not familiar with the style of play, you have two choices. You can shun them and make them want to leave, or you can welcome them and try to help them learn about the game.

Granted, not everyone will want to learn or accept advice. If that happens, move on. As the article says, though, if you take the same negative attitude toward all new players, the community as a whole is harmed because you'll be missing out on some great people who just needed a bit of assistance and the reputation of the community could suffer.

Drive them all back to the other games and before long you won't have any new players coming in and future games will all match the kind of play you shunned because those new players are the new market.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 3:23PM Daemodand said

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Say what you will about F2P, but DDO being F2P doesn't just bring in XBox kiddies, it also brings in people like me, who've been playing D&D since the early '80s (my fondest memories are of DMing the entire Dragonlance series. Fun times!) Tried the game when it first came out and didn't like it, but the F2P brought me back for a second look and so far it looks like they've made a lot of improvements.

And dice notation is second nature to me. ;)
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 5:03PM (Unverified) said

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@Hyp
Allowing yourself to fall into the lazy thinking of stereotypes is not at all like being unwilling to adapt to, or learn, new tactics or game mechanics.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 12:46PM Daverator said

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I prefer the old notation for a purely mechanical reason.

2d6 is more accurate than 2-12. 2-12 would imply that all numbers within that range are equal possibilities. Where 2d6 informs you that middle numbers will have a higher chance than the extremes.

2d6 has a 8.3% chance to be 2, or 12
2-12 if literal would mean you have a 10% chance of 2 or 12

Its not gigantic, but its obscuring information from the players.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 2:01PM Ardwulf said

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Agreed... BUT. AD&D 1st edition listed damage in exactly the way DDO does it now. A weapon's damage might be listed as 4-14, for example, and it was up to you to figure out that it meant 2d6+1. Obscurantist to be sure, but there you have it. As a fan of both DDO and the tabletop game, I think it's an insignificant issue.

The lack of the Bohemian Ear-Spoon in the game... now that I'm outraged by, and may ragequit over.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 3:27PM Daemodand said

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Bell curves FTW!
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:52PM (Unverified) said

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@ardwulf
That's true, AD&D 1st Ed did it that way, but 1st also had attack matrices and a host of other bad ideas that were homebrewed away with such frequency and intensity that TSR's reps at cons started thinking "hey, maybe we need a major revision."

Not to mention: DDO is based on the 3rd Edition, and, in my opinion, is at its best when it faithfully brings to life the feel of D&D3E.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 6:01PM Heraclea said

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Exactly. For 2d6 there is only one way to make 2, one way to make 12, but three ways to make 7.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 12:46PM Anatidae said

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Of course 2-8 is different than 2d4. When I see 2d4, I know what the bell curve will look like.

For instance, 10d4 vs 2d20. I could say 4-40 vs 2-40. If you only look at the range, you might think 4-20 is better. Maybe - maybe not...

Only, on the 2d20 there is far less of a bell curve than the 10d4. Both dice rolls are going to have a tendency to come up with the number 20 as the most common value, however the 2d20 has a much higher chance of rolling the more extreme numbers - the 2 or the 40 - in particular.

If your character was relying on hitting a critical total value, the 2d20 would be a better bet. While the 10d4 will give you a more reliable damage output of around a value of 20. Sure, you might still get 40, but not as likely.

Of course, in some die roll cases you might get something special for every critical roll on each dice. This isn't used as often, but it might exist here and there. Then, on each d4 roll, you have a 1in4 chance of having a critical success (or failure!).


Point being - ranges don't mean nearly enough.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 1:23PM (Unverified) said

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"Incoherent nerdrage accomplishes nothing and really only reflects poorly on the person having the tantrum." HAH!! Absolutely love it! So true!

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 3:23PM (Unverified) said

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Sometimes I really hate elitism in every kind and flavor. But most of the time it just makes me laugh. And I'm very experienced D&D player, active since the times of Ad&d 2ed.
I could be elitist. I could hate and call people stupid and other names. But that would be even more stupid and childish. There's no issue here, if you don't need to find any for some other personal reasons.

Check it out, you angered ones. And maybe it's wise to try and get some healthy distance?
http://bi.gazeta.pl/im/3/8115/z8115293O.jpg

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:48PM (Unverified) said

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I'm pretty sure issuing a blanket dismissal of the concerns of everyone you disagree with is a form of elitism.

I'm also pretty sure posting a comic mocking the hardcore gamer's insistance on a challenge is an inappropriate response to an article about building bridges instead of "going with your gut" and pushing people away.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:28PM Xarnlen said

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@ardwulf

>A weapon's damage might be listed as 4-14, for example, and it >was up to you to figure out that it meant 2d6+1.

That's 2d6+2, 2d6+1 is 3-13

@Brian!
>For instance, 10d4 vs 2d20. I could say 4-40 vs 2-40. If you >only look at the range, you might think 4-20 is better. Maybe - >maybe not...

10d4 is 10-40 not 2-40, your rolling 10 4 sided dice so minimum is going to be 10

2d20 is correct, 2-40

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:43PM (Unverified) said

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ardwulf might have meant 2d6+2, and Brian! might have meant 4d10.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2010 4:40PM (Unverified) said

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I can't spam the website www.d20srd.org at the newbies fast enough. Most don't care, most won't read it, but some do. Having the core d20 rules online for free is an amazing resource that can't be publicized enough.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 5:14PM Nibbana said

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When I first started, we played Basic D&D. That's two steps below Advanced, which was a bit too complicated for 10 year-olds. When we opened that Basic box, we were so excited that we just started playing before really reading the rules. I remember our DM making up the game as he went along because we didn't know how to USE the dice to play.

That was a looooong time ago and many orcs and kobolds have lost their lives and limbs since then. But when I started playing DDO, I was just thrilled to see the dice rolls. That really brought me back and made me feel at home, even though I was back to playing D&D without knowing the rules.

I played PnP a couple of weeks ago with my brother and his friends, and my brother still had our original orange dice (kept by my brother and his friends ONLY in Crown Royal cloth bags, of course). The d20 was just about perfectly round, and did not stop rolling if you threw it down on top of the Players Handbook.

I suspect that those who favor the 4-14 vs 2d6+1 have not held real D&D dice in their hands, and I propose that they take their raging geek selves out to their local gaming store (or app store) and buy some dice. Then they might ask their uncle to get them a bottle of Crown Royal (still comes in the perfect bag!), and have a toast with their new little friends.

Posted: Jul 9th 2010 5:29PM Xarnlen said

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@datashade

That is why the nomenclature was created so that there were no ambiguities.

eg.

2d12, 2-24

1d20+1d4, 2-24

Now my math is pretty rusty, but those rolls are not math wise the same in their curve.

so using the 2-24 instead of the actual 2d12 or 1d20+1d4 is not always clear.

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