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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Is the Emperor Wearing Pants? What's REALLY Going on with the Release of 5e?



There is more left unsaid than said right now with the impending release of 5e. If WotC were graded on a scale of 1-10 on it's use of social media, it would be risking a negative rating.

"Mystery" Mike Mearls and his tweets are more about what isn't included than what is.

The Pundit's social media posts are all about what he knows and can't talk about, but trust him, it is great. You know what? As a paid consultant of WotC - I don't trust your opinion. I'll trust your facts when you present them, but as you can't, you have nothing.

My biggest question isn't "how can you create PCs to use with the Starter Set when the Starter Set doesn't include PC gen rules, but still, you can do it - Mike says so" but more "If there is a step between the Starter Set and the 3 Core Books AND it's an integral part of the release (enough that The Pundit says it's all rainbows and unicorns and shit) why mention it if it can't be talked about?"

Social media is aimed at current roleplayers, not newbs or boardgamers one is looking to convert. Why fuck with us? It may gain WotC publicity, but the sour taste is going to turn many away.

Really, does anyone at WotC even understand social media, because it's obvious Mike doesn't...

Maybe we'll need to open up the scrying pool in the privy to figure this shit out.

25 comments:

  1. I'm not on the ledge yet. Ambivalent.

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  2. At some point don't you want to tell your potential customers just what it is you plan to sell them? If Mike Mearls can't tell us, shouldn't the marketing people be rushing to get out of the package of what they CAN tell us?

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  3. http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/LX4nzQ6IXNY/hqdefault.jpg

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  4. Who the hell needs a step between a starter box and a book release? Seriously. We went from BECMI Red Box to AD&D 2E PHB in one smooth movement and no fuss. This post millennial hand-holding people seem to need is a bit pathetic.

    As is the impatient and impertinent attitude being expressed by "the community" on-line.

    TL;DR Boo Hoo you have to wait. Get over it (this is not aimed at anyone specifically).

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    1. "Who the hell needs a step between a starter box and a book release?"

      WOTC accountants.

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  5. ...or, Erik, consider this: Mearls and crew DO know how to use social media, and they're generating MORE buzz by being cryptic and cagey and contradictory! If that's the case...those sly devils! For instance, look at your own blog posts over the last day or so: A LOT about the mysteries being weaved by old Mikey. Hmmm, could his ploy be working??

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    1. Ohhh.. it's working all right. Making me even less interested. They should just be up front about it or keep quiet. If it is only to generate buzz, they may have a good deal of backlash to deal with afterwards.

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    2. Everything Mike Mearls has been involved in leads me to believe that he's a complete idiot. Example: horribly botching the math on the skill challenges in 4th edition, necessitating an almost-immediate errata, then botching that errata so badly it had to be given an errata of its own less than a month later. He appears to be an utter fool (and a sloppy, shoddy designer) rather than a secret genius. But I'll concede that you might be correct about his cunning plan, on the theory that - just as a stopped clock is right twice a day - Mike Mearls might have accidentally stumbled into competence on this one rare occasion. Miracles can happen!

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  6. A year from now, nobody will care that it took a few months and WotC kept some cards close to their vest longer than we might have liked. All that will matter is whether it's a good set of rules or not. And from all appearances from the public playtest documents, I think it will be. Final judgement reserved until I have the books in hand, of course.

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  7. Best Case Scenario a 32 page $2.99 softcover (Free as a PDF) that covers character creation for levels 1-5. You can buy 5 copies for less than a quality pizza and hand them out to everyone at the table.

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  8. More likely, there's an online character generator ($9.95 / month) but it isn't ready yet. Same issue as 4e. They don't want to announce it until it works right, which may or may not be before the starter set is released.

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  9. Agreed with some others, it SOUNDS like this "Starter Set" is aimed at introducing non-RPG gamers to the WOTC style of RPG gaming (I can't even call it D&D any more, the only hold they have on that name is a copyright). It doesn't sound like its aimed at current gamers, and any current gamers who buy it are likely in for a disappointment. And as far as not knowing yet where "DMs and players go next," aren't we a little short on time for ANYTHING to be not known?

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    1. The name D&D is a trademark. Can't copyright names.

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    2. OK, trademark. In any case, no one else but them can use it without suffering legal consequences. So we get things like "Pathfinder" and "Swords and Wizardry" and "Dungeon Crawl Classics" instead.

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  10. Equally likely: it's an OGL with an online SRD, but they can't quite announce it yet becase legal is still hashing out the language.

    The problem, of course, with cryptic stuff Mike says is that when it turns out not to be these things we imagine the creeping disappointment could be more damaging from a marketing/sales perspective than transparancy up front. At least, that's how I feel.

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  11. I'm actually more curious about that question re: "rules for creating adventures." Any of you ever need rules for creating adventures? Am I not allowed to create certain adventures? Is there a limit on how many trolls I can use? Hilarious.

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    1. Isn't that the whole point of "challenge ratings" in WOTC D&D? The DM is required to use monsters of the "appropriate" challenge rating, or else his whiny entitled players get to throw a hissy fit?

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  12. These tweets are starting to sound like spin for a mistake that's about to happen.

    http://www.jdh417.blogspot.com/2009/04/gift-why-paizo-should-give-pathfinder.html

    In sum, I asked Paizo to make up a stripped down version of Pathfinder and give it away. They did me one better and gave away the whole rules set.

    http://paizo.com/prd/

    In addition, they did make up a basic set. (Now that it's been a couple of years, they should consider making the rules books free pdfs.)

    I can't image WOTC doing this, not without a subscription fee. If they did, this would be the last published version of D&D by them. At best, maybe there's a web character generator that will make basic characters for free. Why even bother with a physical product for some set up like this, except as sucker bait?

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    1. You realize Paizo didn't do this out of the goodness of their heart, but because they had no choice, right? It was required by the OGL. And they didn't even initially do it - someone else did it, and they had to do damage control by doing it themselves rather than all that web traffic for their books going to someone else's website. It's hilarious that people think Paizo did you a solid by putting their stuff online for free...you know, given they had no choice at all and were forced to do it.

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  13. Yeah, I am suspecting it will be a (subscription-based) character builder and the like.

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  14. While I like character builders and have fond memories of writing one in TRS-80 Color Computer Basic for AD&D1, having played 5/Next I am not sure it even needs one.

    It's not like 4e where everything was so interdependent on level granting powers.
    Sure they could build one just like I did back in the days where it had to span multiple 5.25 floppies but like me they really don't need one.

    I am going to buy this starter set. I am going to buy another one for my kids and maybe I'll even pick one up for some friends. At worst I paid $20 bucks and got another set of dice.

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    1. Enjoy your dead trees.. I have plenty of dice. :-)

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