The whole gaming net is buzzing. Even mainstream media ran articles. So, while we like to focus on board games, we figured we should chime in, too, even if a little late.
Wizards of the Coast announced Monday, January 9, that they will be developing the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. No big surprise there, but they also announced they will be making various aspects of the new edition available online for open playtesting so that players will have a voice in how the game develops. It has taken a few days to digest this information and decide just how to feel about it. Let’s go through the thought process for a moment.
On the subject of a 5th edition there will likely be four vocal schools of thought:
One-“Thank the Gaming Gods!!!” This will be comprised mostly of people who started playing D&D with any edition before 4e. The vast majority of this group thought that 4th edition was a travesty and have high hopes that WotC (a company that they trust) will correct this horrible misstep.
Two-“Oh God, not again!!!” The other half of the old school D&Der’s. They also hated 4e, and believe that WotC (a company that ruined the hobby for them) will continue to make things worse.
Three-“Why mess with a good thing?” These are the people who started playing D&D with 4th edition and love it! They know the old-timers complain about 4e, but they think it’s a blast and that WotC (a company that got it right) should just leave well enough alone.
Four-“Wizards of the Coast suck!!!” This will be the most vocal group of all. These are the “wet-blankets.” Even if WotC manages to pull off a miracle and pleases every single role-playing gamer on the planet (can’t be done), these people will still feel the need to crap on 5e just on general principle. The people from this school will say absolutely nothing of value, and rarely believe in what they are vomiting onto the internet, so they can be safely ignored.
Keep in mind that these will not be the only schools of thought, just the predictably most vocal ones.
The announced open playtesting is likely a reaction to the negative response received on 4th edition and the fact that Paizo’s Pathfinder has replaced Dungeons & Dragons as the #1 role-playing game. They are obviously wanting to please their customers and get them invested in the product so they are more likely to remain loyal players. This is sound business and on the surface seems like a reasonable solution to their problems. The main concern with this approach would be all the haters. WotC has stated that while they are looking for player’s suggestions, the final say of how the game turns out will strictly be Wizards’. But they are still going to be sifting through a bunch of hateful responses. And, because of the other three vocal schools of thought the constructive suggestions will quite often conflict! Taking all of this into consideration, our opinion on the announcement of a 5th edition of D&D is:
Here at The Dice Guys we like to remain open-minded (when it comes to games), and we like to give every game a chance to impress us. So, until we see how things start to work themselves out we will just sit back and hope for the best.