Vous Parlez D&D

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Vous Parlez D&D

Postby Raptor » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:55 pm

http://leftoversoup.com/archive.php?num=8

This inevitably brings up the issue of D&D editions. I'd like a civil discussion here, but the mere mention of you-know-what seems to make some folks foam at the mouth.

So! Opinions on 4th Edition? Let the flamewar begin. :p
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby Chaos_Descending » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:04 pm

Over the years I found myself frustrated at imbalances in 3.5 that were never fixed. Then I played Pathfinder, and all is better.
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby Tailsteak » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:58 pm

Without giving away too much, I can say that later episodes of Leftover Soup will delve into the fundamental differences between 3.5 and 4e.
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby Raptor » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:58 pm

Cool, good to know.

Just for the record, I like both 3.5 and 4e. And Pathfinder, while I've never played it, seems quite nice too.
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby darton21 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:34 am

Honestly never played enough of either, but it makes me kind of sad that the classes are more similar and balanced in 4e. Unbalancedness is the spice of life! It makes it believable. Err, more believable.
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby Felblood » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:28 pm

I love to DM 4.0, because it takes like 1/10 the prep time, but I don't actually like to play it.

The classes are all bland and same-ey in combat, and combat is the only thing that really goes on. However, there are a lot of cool monsters, with cool abilities, that you can pull out pre-statted. The monsters are consistently more interesting than the PCs, unless you are fighting boring monsters.

I find that giving experienced players higher level monsters than is recommended, and a hefty supply of bonus XP greatly extends the lifespan of a 4.0 game, but it still never seems to keep players interested.

I think the blandness of the player characters really hurts the players' ability to invest in the world, and am hoping that the essentials line will bring back life to player abilities, without costing me an arm and a leg.
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby kais » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:51 pm

My usually 3.5 group recently converted to pathfinder (after a rough patch were we tried GURPS and Game of Thrones in quick succession)

I really like pathfinder, while our campaigns never get above level 7 (so i have never seen the apparent high level imbalance of 3.5 first hand), pathfinder seems to make a real effort to make all the classes role-filling while not dominating.

I have never tried 4th E, though i would like to. it seems however that public opinion is against it.
--knowledge is power, guard it well.
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby Felblood » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:25 pm

4E DnD is really good if you're running one shot scenarios, since it's really easy to learn exactly what your new character can do, but it doesn't seem to hold people's interest over a full campaign, the way 3.5 could.

I think a lot of the problem is that the fluff is much more setting specific in 4E, and custom races and deities are a lot harder to implement. You seem to always end up playing in a generic Greyhawk knockoff world. However, the game itself has to stand up on it's own, and I don't really think it does.

Fights make much better use of strangely shaped rooms, but they seem to need strangely shaped rooms to have any sort of life. Overland encounters are even more tedious than the ones you know, so any excuse to jump into a dungeon is heartily welcomed.

Balance wise, the game is actually worse. Many classes are underpowered from level 1, and never see any payoff. Expansion pack classes are often considerably stronger, but better balanced against each other, raising the investment needed to get a group off the ground.

The weird thing is, the system that robs the classes of life is the system introduced to curb the rampant imbalances in 3.5 The Class Role system is an absolute nightmare, in it's implementation. It's like some sort of Heinlein novel, in how a once beautiful dream has turned into something stupid, oppressive and wrong.

There are only four "real" classes, called roles, and each class is expected to fit into one of them: Striker(DPS, and off Tank), defender(Tank and off DPS), (crowd) Controller(AoE, unless status effects, unless movement powers, and usually also DPS) and leader(healer, unless movement powers, unless both, unless status effects, often also a tank). Each Role has several different classes inside of it and some of them are much better than others.

As you can see these roles aren't very well defined, and some classes can steal thunder from people from other roles. Indeed, some controllers are better at single target DPS than a mid-tier striker, and some defenders have better AoE damage than a controller, while maintaining better than average durability and aggro management powers for their own role.

The power card system (which I liked at first, but have fallen out of love with hard) makes it hard to compare apples to apples with DPS, so it's understandable that some low durability/high DPS roles might not have a 1-1 tradeoff, but some of this stuff is simply inexcusable. Avengers (and to a lesser degree Monks) are particularly weak, exchanging both DPS and durability for the ability to get into melee with an opponent, who will simply destroy them in light of their weakness. The Druid got divided into three different classes, and each of them packs enough punch for two in the right hands (Generalists like Druids and Bards are mortal enemies to a class role system).

Like I said, I'm hoping the Essentials line (basically 4.5 but calling it that would start riots) clears up the crappy class system, so we can really play with this thing.
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Re: Vous Parlez D&D

Postby Egneil » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:53 pm

I feel that 3.5 is more about having a story, thus allowing for more long term investment. Now I haven't played fourth ed but my brother owns the books, and from what little I've seen it looks like the complaints are not unfounded. But it doesn't seem too bad, of course I'll have to read each book from front to back before I'll pass judgment myself.
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