Friday, August 8, 2008

Revision and New Editions

If you are a gamer I'm pretty sure you know about D&D 4e by now, unless you live under a rock. You are probably also well aware of the bad feelings that have been brought about by this new edition in the gaming community, again unless you haven't come out from under your rock in the past year or so. Gamers have been calling Shenanigans on WotC since before the new editions was even officially announced and though some of us became converts there is still a great deal of anti-4e sentiment floating around. Though I was guilty of the same thing at one point, I have to admit that my change of heart came as a direct result of talking with other gamers. Many of these other gamers played D&D, but the conversations I had with them, mostly online, were not about the grand daddy of gaming, they were about other systems.

Even though D&D is my game of choice I do play other systems on occassion, so I check those boards from time to time and have to admit that the die hard fans of other systems kind of made us D&D fans look bad. You see D&D isn't the only game system that has a revision and/or a new edition for fans to deal with. Hero System, Hackmaster and Legend of the Five Rings have newer versions to be released in the future, or currently on shelves as well.

The guys over at Hero System are currently working on their 6th edition... 6TH!!! I never even got the ins and outs of 5e down pat and then I find they have a new one in the works. Then over at the L5R boards I find that there is a 3.5 version on shelves this summer. Hackmaster is rumored to have 5e in the works and supposedly changing the campaign world as well. The difference between the D&D boards and these other boards is that the fans were behind the changes. Oh sure there was the occasional post bemoaning the new edition, but the majority was pretty positive, many were even excited.

What kind of Bizarro world had I fallen into? What kind of gamers are actually happy that their beloved rules were being revised, revamped or changed in any way shape or form? Realistic gamers whose love for the game, not the rules, keep bringing them back for each new edition, that's who. They view the changes as I eventually came to view 4e, a chance to take something great and make it better. No matter which game you enjoy there is always something that can be improved upon, otherwise there would be no need for house rules. After seeing how these other gamers reacted I began to rethink my position on 4e and decided to give it a chance. Now I am one of the people who admits I actually like 4e.

Don't get me wrong I still feel that WotC did and are still doing a very poor job of promoting and making 4e all it can be, but I actually do like the system. I am still annoyed at the way they openly lied to gamers, I dislike how they've dropped the ball with the online content, and I still want my print version of both Dungeon and Dragon Magazine, but the actual game itself is good. There may be things I miss from 3e, but there are a lot more that I like in 4e.

So maybe it is time we take a cue from our gaming brethren and lighten up. Don't let nostalgia and paranoia get in the way of enjoying D&D. Quit the moaning and groaning, it won't change anything. If you don't want to play 4e, then keep playing the edition that makes you happy. See this for what it is meant to be, a natural evolution of our favorite game. Wotc isn't trying to screw us all over, they are simply trying to keep D&D in step with the times, and keep the company alive by making money. Their job isn't just to keep us older gamers happy, but to make the game interesting for the next generation of gamers, of which there are too few.


Anonymous said...

The funny thing about change is that some people will resist it as a defense mechanism, a way to give themselves time to adjust to new stuff. The funny thing about RPGs is that there are enough standards out there that there really isn't any reason to need "official" rules, unless you're looking for something new. So, here we are complaining about a new edition of RPG rules. Rules we actually want because if we were really happy with the old rules, we'd still be playing Chainmail. You're right. Time to get over it, and check out the new rules, freshen you play style, and come up with house rules to fix the new bits that are broken.

Geek Gazette said...

Nice to see someone agrees with me. Thanks for posting.