Thursday, May 31, 2012

Read This...

I've been advocating WotC adopt this position forever, but never put it down in so thoughtful a way. You need to read this...all of it.


  1. Thanks for pointing this out. It was a great read.

  2. "Planned obsolescence", that's going to enter the ye old lexicon. We need to be more pissed off about that. Too much of gaming has become an obvious racket.

  3. Mike Mearls sometimes shows up in the ye old blog-o-sphere. I would like it if he acknowledged that he read this.

  4. It really feels like D&D has gone from a game made by gamers, to a game made by marketers. As soon as I heard "D&D Next" I said that was thought up by some marketing douchebag.

    The problem with marketers, in my experience, is that they feel their job encompasses everything, and they should have a say in everything. As a graphic designer I've gone head to head with marketers on a regular basis, and they usually get the final say, no matter the destruction it causes.

  5. Good read! This would be beneficial to WotC circa 1997. Although screwing with the timeline like that might prevent the OGL, OSR, Pathfinder, and a bunch of other stuff people enjoy today. NO BARROWMAZE!!

    I'm still kicking myself in the pants for not starting the girls on Labyrinth Lord from the start, but there are worse things in the world.

    It's more of a creeping embarrassment, if anything.


    I would like it if [Mike Mearls] acknowledged that he read this.

    For what purpose?

    Well, I might enjoy that too, but for different reasons.

    Complete Tangent

    My friend had this dream once in Jr. High.

    You know when parents say, "If you would have told me, I would have . . ." Well, in the dream he had the ability to look into an alternate universe and show his parents how they reacted the same even if he had told them.

    I always thought that story was amusing.

    What if I had that ability? Let's travel back in time and tell Mike Mearls per anons suggestion.

    Here is his response:

    “Look, no one at Wizards ever woke up one day and said ‘Let’s get rid of all of our fans and replace them.’ That was never the intent.” - Mike Mearls

    Pretty cool power, eh?


    He said that in this universe.

    1. @myself

      You should cite the source!

      14 Sep 2010

    2. I'm not sure what your point is... I'm pretty sure that alienating customers is not what they want to do (even if that was a result).

      As for him reading that post... meh. It makes a lot of assumptions on things that anyone outside the company can not know. Real sales figures, losses vs. gains, costs... I mean, you can't even judge the outcry reliably just by looking around the internet. "Vocal" internet users are the minority (regardless of the side they are on) of the of the customer base. How large is the OSR as compared to the overall player base? What is the ratio of complaints to the people who don't care one way or the other? And on top of all of that, people are much more likely to go out of their way (such as signing up on forums and blogs) to complain as opposed to say they are satisfied.

      I mean, yes she is well written, and may even have the credentials she purports to have. But she isn't an objective observer, and she (probably, unless she is an insider which would open up an entire other bees nest) doesn't have the data to base her recommendations on.

    3. @Anony
      I'm not sure what your point is... I'm pretty sure that alienating customers is not what they want to do (even if that was a result).

      I agree. No company sets out to fail.

      Mike, when speaking for WotC, gets defensive. A lot. Not just in that 2010 escapist article.

      The UAD&D article discusses a part of this. The paragraph of having "your head up your ass."

      The point is pretty clear. If my point not clear, because it's garbled in a silly dream reference and time travel I can spell it out for you.

      It would not make a difference if Mike read the article.

      I personally do not see how numbers and figures need to be in hand to come to the conclusion, "Ah, yes. Pathfinder, the OSR, and these other groups DO exists, because of WotC."

      It doesn’t sound like a big deal, consensus building for the sake of consensus, but when it’s called by its third name people realize it’s a big deal.

      I can not speak for Greg, but I get the impression based on some of his words that he would give WotC a chance if they figured out how to correct their mistakes. I'm not sure if an apology is part of that, but correcting their business model is part of what he really would like to see happen.

      For me, the damage of 14 years is already done.

      If you want to write off her very insightful article, because she did not produce her "degrees . . . resume . . .recommendations" she gives you an out:

      You don’t have any reason to believe [she is qualified to make these comments]

      And on top of all of that, people are much more likely to go out of their way (such as signing up on forums and blogs) to complain as opposed to say they are satisfied.

      Most complaints I've read in regards to WotC are from people who genuinely care about the path of destruction that WotC has left.

      That kind of brand loyalty is stuff you can’t buy . . .

  6. @anon,

    Objectivity is a social construct and doesn't exist. Given the track record, which is really all one has to rely on, I think the author is spot on.

  7. "For me, the damage of 14 years is already done."

    I think, really, this is the crux of the thing. For me, 3e and 4e were both generally positive experiences, and I don't feel WotC did any damage to my relationship with them. Not even Essentials and 5e's "soonness" really bothers me in particular.

    "If you want to write off her very insightful article,"

    I'm not writing it off, at least not totally, and certainly not for the lack of credentials. Mostly, I comment on them because she does, and I feel it's largely superfluous because it's an unproven thing... I don't feel it lends more credence to her words than just presenting them.

    My dismissal (such as it is) is much more based on the lack of firm figures to base her recommendations on. It's situation for which I (nor you nor her) know for sure. We don't know sales figures, complaints vs. overall population, costs vs. benefits... and while no, you do not need these to say "The OSR exists, Pathfinder exists (and is doing well) and WotC was the catalyst." but you need them to make the sorts of recommendations regarding future development, implementation of internal POD, Putting all the products into PDFs that make sense for POD, and all the other things she was saying.

    I'm not against them doing stuff like PoD and evergreening their older stuff... I just don't want them to stop innovating and evolving, as while I may not like everything they do, I've liked a lot of it.

  8. Thing is though, nobody has the figures but WotC. So calling somebody out (pro or con) for WotC is a rebuttal that qualifies as paper-thin.