Wizards Watch: DnD Next Round-up…

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Right now, the main DnD Next activity is centred around the new ‘hub‘ that’s been created on the Wizards website. All the Legends and Lore columns are accessed here, as well as a number of blog posts by the design team. These columns all have one thing in common – a poll at the end, where interested people can vote on some question raised in the poll.

I’m not sure this is working! There is a lot of noise being generated, both in the comments on the blog, or in the wider blogosphere, that the polls are not very well thought out (“how can we vote on how many hit points a fighter should have at first level if we don’t know average damage…”), or that the blogs are biased in some way versus 4E or any particular edition.

In my opinion, one issue is that snippets of information (and lets be honest, none of this is real information, its just trying to seek feedback) are being released, which in turn generates lots of discussion (and angst…) because there isn’t enough context available within which to evaluate the blog posts. I understand WOTC want to generate interest, and not go silent, but my friends, the problem is with the D&D internet community is that discussion in a near vacuum generates as much vitriol as it does constructive ideas… and that’s not necessarily a good thing for D&D Next!

For my part, I haven’t been reading too much into these blogs and polls, as I think they are more about keeping engagement and feedback going than any real decision making. I certainly haven’t got the anti-4E vibe that a number of people are highlighting, although its clear that if you’re firmly of the belief that 4E was a flexible well-balanced game (as I am), then D&D Next is definitely going to have some things to get used to …

In some ways, I think WOTC would have been better to go a bit silent at this point, and concentrate on getting out the first playtest material. I assume this will largely be the stripped down core (Basic D&D?), but it will be enough to give a solid framework on which to gather further feedback.

As usual, open mind firmly engaged …


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