Re: FR History
- I get what you are saying, but I disagree with you and find my
disagreement is based in historic models of PnP specifically D&D like
Living City. While changing D&D characters to a less linear
progressing model, change through talent trees, is similar to WOW, the
things that make WOW so utterly and completely different than D&D are
what makes video games different than PnP in general. Without
dropping into a discussion of mathematical probabilities and games in
general, I actually look at WOW as more of a board game than PnP.
In WOW, you find the dungeons are limited by the Defining protocols:
level limits, area definitions, clock based randomness. These are all
site based limits defined by original code that don't change much, you
visit the dungeon a couple of times to learn its tricks and eventually
you learn how to always succeed. The method to beat site based limits
haven't changed all that much. In Super Mario Brothers, you had to
flower up before you could kill certain monsters. In games like the
old D&D maze based RPG's you had to follow a certain progression both
up the level chart and down the tunnels before you could find and kill
the final boss, which required certain superweapons and powers. In
MMORPG's you generally follow a talent progression to achieve the
ultimate power or ultimate weapon. While like D&D you have to make
choices and decisions on how to use that power it generally follows
the same pattern. Eventually you find your enjoyment of the
experience wains. In order to keep you interested, Blizzard either
changes the code to make monsters more difficult, change the
progression requirements to achieve success, or they add additional
parts. Thus keeping you mesmerized.
For WOW they do all three, occassionally they run patches to fix
areas-which is speak in VG designers world that it either is buggy,
not interesting, or too difficult. Each modulation reflects original
code being changed by each successful coder. Except the problem with
most VG's is the game endings are usually less interesting than game
beginnings (we've all experienced this, I call it game fatigue),
interest wanes, partially because once you achieve ultimate weapons
your enjoyment peaks and there is not much left to do. In MMORPG's
they continue to produce modules, keeping attention at a certain
constant, while changing modules to make experiences different. But
the same basic quandary still exists. Once you reach an all powerful
state what do you do? For WOW they turned to PVP, as did many
previous incarnations of MMORPG's. Because they cannot predicate nor
create a program that matches human responsiveness for an opponent.
Since they can't, they rely on humans to do it for themselves. And
although some claim that WOW is difficult to master, my experience has
been that people who play get better and better at killing and
eventually use the same basic tactics to accomplish goals, and the
module writers write knowing this occurs.
In PnP there has been a steady increase in power gaming similar to the
gaming style found in MMORPG, finding the better weapon, and a
decrease in story gaming, or non-linear approach to problem solving.
So 3.5 has been all about damage dice. And my fear, especially after
looking at star wars saga edition, is they are going to try to
completely remove the non-linear gaming parts of D&D and replace it
with immovable, better-weapon-scenarios and part of that is the Talent
Consistent with VG's also is the lack of player impact on the actual
game. If you ever played Living City you recall that the players had
a huge impact on the scenarios and the city around the scenarios. As
the population of gamers has increased, the game has taken on this
Least common denominator standard, dumbing it down to the level so any
moron could build a fighter running around killing things without much
thought to it and players treat modules as giant mosh pits, or kill
zones without regard to story. Look at the Gen Con Open which has
generated negative rapport with older gamers, partially because it has
gone from being a PnP game that includes in character play, to a study
of battle-tactics and has pretty much devolved into a better looking
form of miniatures.
Even though LG had a lot of common mistakes that VG's tend to have,
(i.e. set-in-stone scenarios, certain unchangeable scenarios) it still
relied on character interaction and the GM was usually more than a
facilitator to get you to the next fight. The problem with electronic
interactive gaming is the seductive nature of having everyone else's
work, or even your old work at your fingertips, no longer having a
fresh idea. Especially as we approach LFR, which has a long creative
history, I am afraid to see D&D dumbed down to the point where it is
similar to WOW in that every scenario, every nook and Cranny of an
adventure are rooted out before you ever get to play and your survival
relies on two factors: you carry the biggest weapon, you follow the
game pattern created by the module writers and given bigger importance
because you now have even more "required" info at your fingertips.
I'm not saying this will happen, but I look at it this way. When I
first started playing, no one rolled 150 points of damage in a round
of combat unless they were using house rules. Now everyone tricks out
their character to get him to roll the highest damage numbers. Like
the player who figured out how using a mining cart lost him some
points, but what he'd gain was greater than any other weapon up to
200pts, and that became his weapon of choice. Then writers stopped
focusing on writing and they became more hyper aware of trying to
defeat players. When I saw the Saga edition feats they were all
combat oriented, with a few skill bonuses dashing my hopes that they
would spend more time on looking for non-combat feats.
I will grant one thing, class balance tends to be very good with a few
exceptions on WOW. But once you get the best beat stick...eh.
Don't get me wrong I'll play any VG any day, and you'll usually find
me among the better players, but given limitless time limitless
activity, limitless friends, I'd rather play D&D over WOW each time.
I like having a feeling that I am impacting the environment. , except
in a few shooters, I almost never impact the physical environment, and
really I have no impact on the social environment.
Sorry this is looking more like a rant every minute so I'll stop.
In the meantime, as we don't know how our characters stats will look
has anyone started to think of their characters story? or does anyone
even bother to create a back-story for their living characters? I'm
interested in knowing what people are thinking, especially people
whose characters will have had to live through the spellplague on some
level like Elves. Personally, and this is just me thinking, if I was
a GM of a table of all humans and an Elf, and the scenario had
something to do with histoic knowledge I'd give the elf a +2
circumstance bonus, but that's just me.
--- In LivingFR@yahoogroups.com, David Adams <u2552331@...> wrote:
> Baris wrote:
> > --- In LivingFR@yahoogroups.com, "Michael" <MrRoderick@> wrote:
> >> I find it interesting that you say you hope the Realms doesn't
> >> WOW.
> In my eyes, this is a GOOD thing. Allow me to explain...
> World of Warcraft (WoW) has a system which is good. It WORKS. I play
> WoW, I play LG, I'll play LFR. World of Warcraft has extremely fun,
> addictive (VERY ADDICTIVE!) gameplay which is simple to learn,
> to master. If anything, I'd like D&D to be more like it (just less item
> based, which is what 4th ed seems to be doing). I like Talents as they
> appear in WoW, and I *love* Talents the way they appear in the new Star
> Wars: Saga edition. Again, if 4th Ed is like this, I will be one
> I mean, the cracks in 3rd Ed are quite apparent. Magic is better at
> everything, arcane magic especially (except for healing which is
> exclusively divine). But from what we can see about 4th Ed, everything
> is more... balanced. 15th level wizards shouldn't be "Better Than
> Everyone At Everything"... and class balance is one of the strong
> of WoW. Characters of equal level and gear are equal in power
> irrespective of class; something which just cannot be said to be
> To be honest, I'm really looking forward to it. For the Horde?