Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:37 am

Unbeliever wrote:As others above have noted, I will never understand why 3E did not receive and benefit from extensive input from this community.


Because 4th Ed D&D & D&D Next exist as a cautionary tale to remind us what happens when we "ask the community for input." :lol:
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby digitalangel » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:42 am

saint_matthew wrote:
Unbeliever wrote:As others above have noted, I will never understand why 3E did not receive and benefit from extensive input from this community.


Because 4th Ed D&D & D&D Next exist as a cautionary tale to remind us what happens when we "ask the community for input." :lol:

I would argue that those are examples of listening to the community without balancing it with common sense. Listening to the community is a good thing, trying to do everything the community wants and forgetting common sense in the process leads to D&D4.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:52 am

digitalangel wrote:I would argue that those are examples of listening to the community without balancing it with common sense.


LOL, have you met "the community?" Even among the M&M wannabe "game mechanics" we've got rules views so extreme that after you finish fishing out the crazy, you'd have been better off not soliciting advice at all... Especially given the tendency of our wannabe rules mechanics obsession with the concept of balance beyond all common
sense. :lol:

Between competing views & goals its usually best not to solicit advice from the peanut gallery, no matter how well intentioned. :D
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby FuzzyBoots » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:42 am

Eyeh, but here, it's not a matter of them not paying attention to "us". It's them not paying attention to themselves. I know that Steve had somewhat moved on to Icons and other projects by that time, but this seems the equivalent of an engineer at a car company pointing out all of the issues with safety features in a car and how they could be fixed with no cost, then having the car company release yet another car that locks up steering when you hit the brakes too hard and has fuel tanks that catch fire during side-impacts.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Unbeliever » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:57 am

There's a difference between collective wisdom and design by committee. The blithe point Saith_Matthew makes amounts to "never bother playtesting, design everything in a vacuum." Not to mention some bizarre lionization of game designers.

And, the so-called "horror stories" are misleading. 4E was designed with a monomaniacal focus on one acknowledged D&D issue (interclass game balance), and threw out any number of babies with the bathwater. It also pointedly neglected many things players said, viz. the appeal of Tome of Battle and Star Wars Saga Edition, which were forerunners to a version of 4E that was ultimately scrapped. Pathfinder solicited mountains of feedback, and then summarily ignored it. And, I can't even fathom the design approach, or lack thereof, in D&D Next.

But, this boils down to a spectacularly uncontroversial point: if you have accreted collective wisdom and insight over the course of years in any endeavor, you should take advantage of it. Otherwise you end up with cutting torches that can't actually cut anything.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Doresh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:42 am

+1 to that. There's using player input to fix problems with your game, and then there's just making the same mistakes all over again.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Stigger » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:45 pm

By and large, I love 3e, though admittedly I don't have any practical experience with 2e. That said, the rulebooks I've picked up for 2e since discovering M&M don't particularly make me want to use it as a rulesystem. Largely I tend to agree with saint_matthew and the sentiment behind Monolith's comments. Certainly 3e isn't without flaws, but overall the flexibility and customization options are the best I've found yet, in any game system, without the onerous burden of having to dig through a mountain of books to find references to something I noted on a character sheet. Thus far I haven't found a character concept I couldn't build to my satisfaction within the ruleset, something I continually found a problem with in every other game system I've tried so far. To my preferred method of gaming, it's about as close to perfect (for my needs) as any game system I've been able to imagine ever finding. YMMV of course, and I expect that it will, pretty greatly.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby saint_matthew » Thu May 01, 2014 1:35 am

Unbeliever wrote:There's a difference between collective wisdom and design by committee. The blithe point Saith_Matthew makes amounts to "never bother playtesting, design everything in a vacuum." Not to mention some bizarre lionization of game designers.


Actually no. See playtesting isn't asking for advice. Play testing is testing what you've already designed to see what does and does not work.... The difference between asking for advice & play testing is the difference between asking what you think should be in an exam & me making you take the exam. :lol:

Unbeliever wrote:And, the so-called "horror stories" are misleading. 4E was designed with a monomaniacal focus on one acknowledged D&D issue (interclass game balance), and threw out any number of babies with the bathwater


LOL, you mean like the people on this very forum board who were saying things like "make all skills into effect because balance"?

There is no game so good that players don't think they could do better & when they try it in there own home game it usually has unintended & humorous results. :lol:
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Monolith » Thu May 01, 2014 7:05 am

No matter what, Saint, I think 3e could have benefited from a broader group of playtesters. Someone to pop up and tell Steve he said x in the orq 3 years ago. Pre 3e this forum was full of very knowledgeable game vets that don't even come around any more. Paragon, Unkind, Elric, Mamba, and so on; plus the few who are still here like you and Fuzzy. These people should've been given a chance to playtest and offer some feedback. If nothing else there'd be a lot more clarity in 3e.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Superfreak » Thu May 01, 2014 8:20 am

It seemed to me like the M&M team had listened to this community in making changes fro, 2e to 3e. They didn't come out and say it directly, but it was pretty obvious to me that they were both engaged in and reading many of the conversations on these message boards and using thoughts, feedback, ideas, etc to help frame up what would change and what would remain the same. Not on everything mind you, because there were likely other drivers at work, like things that likely appeared to gel with other aspects of the changes from 1e to 2e that worked, so they figured they would work to continue them into 3e, the need to make it different enough to be considered a new game for the dcu license while remaining similar enough to keep core fans, the superlink strategy, the need to course correct some things like using naming conventions from hero system or other games they had become aware of (I.e. don't call it "slick" anymore), etc.

So I think the green ronin crowd has been listening and was listening to us and that we did influence the design through our interactions with them and each other. It just wasn't as obviously stated as letting polling of the masses occur with regular deisgn updates that dnd next tried to do.
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Monolith » Thu May 01, 2014 8:53 am

Sorry, Superfreak, but I don't remember anyone from Green Ronin being engaged with us about feedback or asking for opinions about anything. 3e and DCA were announced to us in May of 2010 and the book came out in August of 2010. It was already written and in layout before we even knew they were doing a 3rd edition or that they even had the DC license. We got to look at some previews, and they changed the Green Lantern powers based on some feedback about mistakes in it, but that was really about it.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Unbeliever » Thu May 01, 2014 8:55 am

saint_matthew wrote:
Unbeliever wrote:There's a difference between collective wisdom and design by committee. The blithe point Saith_Matthew makes amounts to "never bother playtesting, design everything in a vacuum." Not to mention some bizarre lionization of game designers.


Actually no. See playtesting isn't asking for advice. Play testing is testing what you've already designed to see what does and does not work.... The difference between asking for advice & play testing is the difference between asking what you think should be in an exam & me making you take the exam. :lol:

I will comfortably contend that the gap between myself and Steve Kenson (not to mention people who play a lot more M&M than I do) is a lot less than the gulf between me and my students.


P.S.: I happily defer to people with more recollection and info about the M&M product development cycle than I do. I do seem to recall being kind of surprised that there wasn't a real aggressive tapping of the community's insights and resources. However varied they may be (which I take to be Saint_Matthew's main point). It just seemed, out of character, I guess, for GR.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Superfreak » Thu May 01, 2014 10:34 am

Monolith, as I clearly said, they didn't come out and let us know they were doing a third editionand ask for feedback but they nonetheless were interacting and watching us in ways where our feedback on 1e 2e and what we do in our games, the questions we were struggling with, etc influenced 3e. If one paid close attention to the board discussions and put two and two together, you can see the influences the community had and make good educated guesses about what drove other changes.

You can get community feedback by engaging with the community and reading their discussions and questions without telling them you are doing so. Happens all the time in most companies. I also bet discussions at conventions, playing the game with friends and employees. Etc also were sources of feedback even if no one said "we are doing this to develop a new edition." I doubt they could have said anything about the new edition given the dcu license.
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Monolith » Thu May 01, 2014 10:58 am

I guess we just have different memories then because I don't remember any community outcry on the forum for the game to add a fighting ability, or for it to divide dex into dex and agility, or for defense to be divided into dodge and parry. I don't remember a lot of people asking for the same type of resolution chart that DC Heroes had or for powers like obscure to be removed; or for all the non-damaging powers to be rolled into affliction. I'm a couple of thousands posts into the game and I don't remember any of that being asked for on the forum. And that's even before we bet into even more obscure issues like how throwing works, and so on.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby FuzzyBoots » Thu May 01, 2014 10:58 am

Superfreak wrote:Monolith, as I clearly said, they didn't come out and let us know they were doing a third editionand ask for feedback but they nonetheless were interacting and watching us in ways where our feedback on 1e 2e and what we do in our games, the questions we were struggling with, etc influenced 3e. If one paid close attention to the board discussions and put two and two together, you can see the influences the community had and make good educated guesses about what drove other changes.

Eyeh, I guess I'd just argue that this falls under what belief you have in Intelligent Design, so to speak. You look at the results and see a guiding hand based on them listening to us. Others of us look at what happened with 3E and see a lack of following their own advice when it came to the confusing bits. And I suppose that, like Intelligent Design, a lot of it has to do with one's view of a benevolent Creator in the process (yes, the metaphor is a bit strained here given Intelligent Design is a matter of "Does the Creator exist?" rather than "Is He listening?", but you know what I mean). Looking at flaws such as the lack of addressing of the ambiguities that they'd already discover, you kind of have to fall into one of four camps:
1) They completely forgot to address these issues, just outright decided to ignore their own experience, the "Imperfect Creator" scenario.
2) There are hidden costs in modifying a few sentences to address the ambiguities that they're not sharing with us, the "Inscrutable Creator" scenario.
3) They decided that the best choice was to avoid clarifying the areas where people got confused because a sense of mystery is good, the "Trickster Creator" scenario.
4) They decided that they really didn't want us to have these clarifications because they're just mean like that, the "Malevolent Creator" scenario.

Personally, I'd go for number 1, but that's because I figure that the people of Green Ronin are mortal, but generally good people. :)

Ultimately, the choice between 2E and 3E is like choosing between using Windows 7 or Windows 8. There are people completely happy with how it was before. There are people who have to compulsively upgrade. And in the end, there will probably be a necessary switch due to lack of support. Most people just grumble at the unnecessary changes, figure they can't do anything about it, and try to figure out the lesser of two evils.


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