Full Bleed wrote:aku wrote:that has more straight-forward comparisons between edition game mechanics.
Comparing fireballs or magic missile doesn't really make sense, imho, or any other "detail" if you don't look (or know) the big picture : the whole mechanics of the system.
As a previous player and DM of D&D (B/X/M), D&D3 and D&D4 (I skipped the whole AD&D era), some things I can mention as very good things in 4E (imho) :
- unified mechanics : no subsystem for combat, magic, unified defenses system
- simple and easy too learn rule basics
- self contained, player side, "subrules" : as a DM, you had to learn lots of things in 3E and players often rellied (spelling) on you to handle and know consequences and rules of their character's capabilities (spell etc.). In 4E, powers (on cards or not) and feats are simple too undestand, unifeid in mechanics so the player knows and tells how his character is performing things. Less work the DM. And the "mathmatics" for balancing difficulties is really good and simple. So again, less work the DM.
- power cards suck ? : no way. Having cards mean no need to flip constantly through rule books (as previous editions forced you to : a lot of spells were some kind of subset of special rules), with (again) self contained informations that keep the player "in charge" of his technical side of the game. It's clear, organized.
- "pulp" rate adventuring / ressources : yes, the characters start stronger than in previous editions and have more ability to heal, but that enables epic adventures, in a pulp style (badly hurt !?! Amolst dead !?! No ... next scene the hero comes back all fresh ! ) and leave the choice to players (considering their "ressources" : healing surges, daily powers etc) to go on through the dangers, or be more subtil etc.
- tactical combat : yes, combat is tactical in 4E and ressemble more of a skirmish mini game than a "roleplaying game". My players and I like it. But outside of combat ? It's roleplaying all the way ! No rules for "guiding" roleplaying. I like it.
- MMO-ish ? AS for what ? The "pulp side of it" ? (healing rate). I don't see why. Other RPGs before handled the healing in this fashion. Because of the "cooldown" of encounter and daily powers ? I found it a very easy way to know how and when your character's special capabilities will be available or not. What's the difference between daily "prayer"/"meditation" to "learn back your spells" ? Or "laying hand x times a day to heal" ? None, rule wise. And imho, it's far more easy to manage for players the 4E way (flip card etc. ).
Does this means I thing that 4E is better than 3E ?
No. I think they are different and I understand why some D&D fans could have been disappointed by some (radical) changes to their old ways.
As "grognards" from OD&D and D&D1 can be "horrified" by AD&D2 or 3E.
As I remember the horrible flamewar that erupts when 3E was just printed and some AD&D fans hated it for the same reasons : too many changes, loss of Thac0 etc ...
Do I like 4E better ?
Yes. It suits me fine. Even if I did some minor changes in the rules to suit me even more.
Apples and oranges.