D&D: A look at 4ths biggest complaints

This morning I got up totally prepared to do a rant on a campaign setting I love for D&D. Oh I still intend to post it but while sitting here this cold June morning, sucking on cough drops to keep me from tearing my own throat out due to the scratchiness there, I thought about the new edition and the common complaints I hear about it. We are going to look at the common complaints people have about the new edition and why they are wrong.

First, we have to accept there are still gamers that anything beyond basic D&D is evil and they play an edition so old I wasn’t yet born. Elves wasn’t a race option it was a class option. So I’m not talking to anyone so in love with their edition that any change is heresy. I can respect your dedication infact. I have a deep love for Alternity and to this day will start a long winded rant about the game and it getting canned. I’m with you I get it, and because of that I won’t bother trying to convince you.

Complaint one: This game isn’t anything like 3rd ed!

*claps* You are right. Now, go back in time when 3rd was released and you will notice MASSIVE changes from 2nd to 3rd. And I do mean massive! OMG thac0 is gone to start with. The changes were seriously huge. I remember goimg,”Hmmm They are messing with gold here, wtf??” That said I came to love 3rd. So when 4th came out I was like…oh sugar you have got to be kidding me again? But take a step back and really look at the bloat of books in 3rd, many of which just became an arms race so you had to get the next book to out power the book you have etc. It sucked, I hated it as a GM.

Really, I think instead of viewing 4th as updated 3rd, it is better to look at it as its own thing all together. Don’t compare, don’t look back. Accept that it is influenced by MMOs (because even the preview made it glaringly obvious it was) and that alone may help more people come into the game. More people in the game equals game survivability (a good thing).

Comment two: All the classes are just like sorcerer used to be!

I know…I thought the same thing. But let me tell you something there. First, Sorcerer way more sexy in this ed instead of being a gattling gun mage like last ed. Second, it is way more satisfying as a cleric to be able to still cast spells when my heals have run out than just being reduced to melee swings. Combats are way more dynamic now because the at will abilities are actually pretty useful… I hear way more “OMG what did you just do?” from players boggling and some awesome move pulled off by another player in combat. Combat is funner because of it.

Comment three: Lack of wizards being powerful.

Yes overall wizards do feel less powerful. *shrugs* I play in a game with a level 19 wizard and he feels less powerful than he would’ve last ed. Wizards still get more powerful as they level up (but yeah so does every class). They got rid of the world shaking power of the wizard at higher levels, parred down the spell selection, and moved a lot of spells over to rituals. The change over to rituals particularly causes ire.

Comment four: Combat moves too slow/too many counters.

Personally I think the combat takes the same amount of time. And yes,  there are WAY too many counters in the fracking game now. *nods* I can’t argue it, it is simply true. The higher you go in level the more your little mini will be standing on a stack of effects and having to track if they are saves ends, until next turn, or until end of the encounter. It adds a level of upkeep to the game I do not enjoy. I give you half of this one. *bows*

Comment five: Daily use limit on items.

Well *looks around* I’m gonna put this to you from the point of view of a dm and then explain it in WoW terms. First, the higher level you got and the more magic items you got the game used to get unbalanced and start to fall apart. I don’t know how many dms I’ve talked to at cons where we shared our tips on getting around this issue without taking crap away all together. The mechanic does the work for us. It is that simple. Second, this part will only make sense if you play wow, think of the items has having stats on them AND on use benefits. Most of your items are like that now, they just share insanely long cooldowns. 😉

In closing, the only thing that angers me when I hear people trash talking 4th is that by and large it comes from  people who haven’t even played the new edition. Give it a solid chance and THEN come to me with complaints. I recall a thread on LO I was involved with where the people bitching hadn’t played yet. So put your dice where your mouth is and give the game a solid chance all on its own. Don’t bring baggage to it. Just play it.

If you are wondering why the sudden D&D post? Why because I am planning on running Forgotten Realms soon! And besides I pointed I play on the about page 😉

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Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 9:09 am  Comments (2)  
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