Posted by : David Guyll September 21, 2011

While I agree with the bullet list on the first half of the article, the part that really caught my eye was the bit where Mearls not only passes the column off to Monte Cook, but also states that he has been brought onto R&D. While I am familiar with Arcana Unearthed, I had a much greater exposure to Planescape, which I was not even aware he was part of (hey, it has been awhile since I checked the books). Really the part where I both stopped caring and was glad to see him go, was when he openly stated that he deliberately designed "trap" options in 3rd Edition to promote system mastery.


Thankfully someone found a new article where he admits that that way of thinking was not good, and I guess since then he has moved past "ivory tower" design (his words), so hopefully this means that he will not--or will not be able to--drag the game back into the past. At this point I am about where I was back when 4th Edition was announced; I hope that the game will be fun, but am unsure without seeing what Wizards of the Coast's plan on the whole is for the game, as well as how much clout Monte carries to the table. It could be possible that even if he wants to go back to an edition with save-or-die effects and where spellcasters are pointlessly overpowered, that he will be "vetoed" by the majority rule.

I guess that despite the sinking feeling of uncertainty I am glad that there are still some book releases left to go with an already extensive library: if 4th Edition moves in a direction that I do not like or if 5th Edition comes out and it sucks, then I will still have decades of comfortable gaming ahead of me. Of course, maybe his ideas coupled with more modernized game design will yield positive results? I wish that Mearls would come out and clarify some nagging details and/or be more transparent, but until then this is yet another "wait and see" instance.

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Rest assured, WotC will do their best to scuttle 4th edition before 5th edition comes out. Remember all the crap that came out at the end of the 3rd edition lifecycle?

    Personally, I'm not really convinced they're going to go towards 5th edition. I think they want a bite of the MMORPG market, or perhaps the "facebook game" market, and their current moves are positioning them in that direction.

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