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Slashdot's Rob Rozeboom Interviews D&D Designer Mike Mearls - Part 2 (video)

Roblimo posted about a year and a half ago | from the all-my-imaginary-friends-are-giant-lizards-that-breath-fire dept.

Games 43

On July 18 we ran Part One of a video conversation (really audio with slides) between Slashdot editor Rob "samzenpus" Rozeboom and Mike Mearls, Senior Manager for the Dungeons and Dragons Design Team. This is the rest of that interview.

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43 comments

Ugh, more off-topic video junk (-1, Offtopic)

g051051 (71145) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796041)

Here we go again...a completely off-topic post, with video, cluttering up the front page because it's a pet project of the editors. Hasen't the Slashdot readership made it clear about this? If you must waste your time making bad videos, at least have the decency to keep them in the "Video" ghetto where they belong, and where the readers (and it's "readers", not "watchers") can safely ignore them. How long will your little vanity project keep going on, distracting you from doing your real job, and dragging Slashdot into the sewer?

Re:Ugh, more off-topic video junk (3, Insightful)

syockit (1480393) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796101)

Why won't an interview with the designer of a game, that many nerds play, be worthy of Slashdot, which touts to be "news for nerds"?

Re:Ugh, more off-topic video junk (2)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796137)

It's not the content, it is the manner in which it is presented.

Re:Ugh, more off-topic video junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796199)

The parent poster said 'completely off-topic post' which doesn't really apply here. It's not kittens licking unicorns or a debate about fiscal widgets. It's D&D.

 

Re:Ugh, more off-topic video junk (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797473)

It's not the content, it is the manner in which it is presented.

Ewwww technology!!! *shakes fist*

Re:Ugh, more off-topic video junk (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796183)

I'm thinking they are trying to get into the content creating business when what people come here for is news aggregating.

I guess they are hoping to be able to sell the content they create which is funny when their own customer base doesn't want to view it.

A suggestion (0)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796111)

Create a transcription before posting the stories because a large percentage of your audience will not sit though a video when they can read the entire story in around 45 seconds.

Your "editors" are worse at being "reporters" than they are at editing.

Re:A suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796229)

This. Not worth my time to watch a video. I also hate the videos on CNN.

Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (4, Insightful)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796239)

"Hi, I'm Mike Mearls. I work for a company that created an incredibly lame and atrocious game called "Magic: The Gathering". A game, brilliantly designed so that you're chances of winning increase by purchasing more product from our company. But I digress...

Back in the 90's my company went out and "saved" TSR, the venerable and rickety enterprise which brought the world Dungeons and Dragons, the popular role playing game. TSR had floundered under idiotic management for years, and WoTC swooped in to take the name, revive the brand and make the game better for all.

What happened however was that the game that WoTC created had very, very little in common with the original TSR version, and along with subsequent iterations, it was all designed to generate perpetual revenue by using the same methods employed in that other, atrocious, WoTC POS card game, "Magic".

WoTC version of D&D was a godsend to the type of player who can't lose, which fit in perfectly in an America where everyone is a winner and all go home with a trophy...

WoTC new iteration of D&D attempts to patch over issues with our last release, however it is all really just another money grab, a way to get more pasty high school nerds to spend what little money they have on overpriced books, supplements, etc; This is the strategy WoTC has maintained and will continue with. So don't be fooled by imitations, only WoTC offers a true consumer experience at the expense of playability and enjoyment.

Enjoy!"

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796277)

A game, brilliantly designed so that you're chances of winning increase by purchasing more product from our company

WoTC version of D&D was a godsend to the type of player who can't lose, which fit in perfectly in an America where everyone is a winner and all go home with a trophy...

Neither of these is true.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (1)

nschubach (922175) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796539)

Oh come on... Magic is built around obtaining rare cards from booster packs. We all know this. Maybe if you don't ever play with anyone using cards out of your base starter pack.. sure.

Pre D&D 3 (I'll admit, in 3-3.5 stories had some tough spots) you had to mostly rely on the DM letting things slide. Good or bad, the new D&D are easier to get into and play for longer because they've been simplified to the point where anyone that's picked up a computer RPG or an MMO can at least play it and understand it without dying too hard.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796687)

Oh come on... Magic is built around obtaining rare cards from booster packs. We all know this. Maybe if you don't ever play with anyone using cards out of your base starter pack.. sure.

No, Magic is built around combos and system mastery. A good player with a starter deck can easily thump an inexperienced player with a deck full of rares. Buying more cards can give you more options for building a deck, but it doesn't translate into a higher chance of winning any given game.

Pre D&D 3 (I'll admit, in 3-3.5 stories had some tough spots) you had to mostly rely on the DM letting things slide. Good or bad, the new D&D are easier to get into and play for longer because they've been simplified to the point where anyone that's picked up a computer RPG or an MMO can at least play it and understand it without dying too hard.

They've been streamlined, yes, but that's not the same as simplified. The modern rulesets are easier to grasp because they're more consistent and make more sense. Complexity, on the other hand, has increased in several areas due to the increased focus on customizability (less so in 4th Ed compared to 3rd, but still far more than pre-3rd).

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (0, Troll)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797051)

Nothing better than the fetid reek of WoTC apologists to brighten my mood!

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797175)

Nothing like empty name-calling to admit that you have unconditionally surrendered all points of the discussion.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (1)

nschubach (922175) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797203)

My biggest gripes with the new rules are the classes and spell casting. Before, you could make spell casting warriors, but now the classes and spells they get are all pre-defined (ie: you won't get the spells to pick from)

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (1)

aaron552 (1621603) | about a year and a half ago | (#40801435)

If you're talking about 4e, you clearly haven't even looked at it. There is a system in 4e for obtaining abilities from other classes (like your arcane-spell-casting warrior), although it's rarely worth the effort. Also, there are multiple choices of abilities for each class, not to mention Paragon Paths which are similar to 3e's Prestige Classes.

If you're talking about NEXT, well, the playtests have (AFAIK) only included prebuilt characters, so of course there's not going to be any choice of abilities.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#40802187)

I wonder why he hasn't looked at 4e...maybe because buying the same rulebooks over and over again because they changed the phrasing on Hold Person is kind of...ooops, sounds like MtG or something.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796797)

because they've been simplified to the point where anyone that's picked up a computer RPG or an MMO can at least play it and understand it without dying too hard.

Exactly...

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797201)

Oh come on... Magic is built around obtaining rare cards from booster packs. We all know this. Maybe if you don't ever play with anyone using cards out of your base starter pack.. sure.

I haven't played M:TG since highschool, where what you say was true. But it seems these days, people plan their decks by looking up cards on the net, then go out and buy the singles they want to construct the deck; no luck involved. In fact, these days people just wait until some people on the internet crunch the numbers, assemble the "best" decks, and then fork out money for decks other people constructed.

It seems rather...boring.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797573)

It makes sense if you're not into the deck-building aspect of the game, and just prefer to play. I've never played very much, but when I did I would just borrow decks from my friends who were more into that part of it. I would choose them according to themes they were built around (hey, there's these critters called "slivers" that give each other cool abilities, that sounds neat) or interesting mechanics and combos (okay, here's one where you put down this enchantment that damages your opponents when they discard and then play lots of spells that force them to discard). But I had no interest in building decks myself.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (3, Insightful)

Sunnan (466558) | about a year and a half ago | (#40799697)

Except WotC did save D&D... by coming up with the OGL license, which enabled the entire OSR/retroclone movement.

Re:Deep in the WoTC Bunker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40804483)

What happened however was that the game that WoTC created ... was all designed to generate perpetual revenue by using the same methods employed in that other, atrocious, WoTC POS card game, "Magic". ...
WoTC new iteration of D&D attempts to patch over issues with our last release, however it is all really just another money grab, a way to get more pasty high school nerds to spend what little money they have on overpriced books, supplements, etc.

Newsflash: Company decides to focus on producing products to sell. "Customers" decry them as sell-outs.

You have some seriously rose-tinted glasses about T$R if you're ranting about WotC as some sort of supplement factory and holding up TSR as some sort of paragon of generosity and self-contained product lines. Have you forgotten the sprawl of settings? The rehashing of rules from one book in another? The wastefully organized boxed sets? D&D has never been what some people pretend it was.

he's not a designer (2)

apcullen (2504324) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796305)

Senior Manager for the Dungeons and Dragons Design Team

Why not sit down with a bunch of actual designers instead of interviewing the manager?

Re:he's not a designer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40799511)

Because Monte Cook quit halfway through the design process for undisclosed reasons.

Re:he's not a designer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40799561)

He used to be lead designer (and before that, lead developer) until he was promoted into his current position. He then hired Monte Cook to be lead designer, who eventually quit for undisclosed reasons, and now he seems to have taken over some of the lead designer responsibilities again.

Why not get your facts straight before making unfounded assertions?

(Also, part of his job as manager is to give interviews so his team can get on with, you know, designing stuff.)

FARK.TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796369)

And the sweat off a dead mans balls.

All the cool kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40796469)

... are playing Pathfinder [paizo.com] now.

If Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is published under the Open Game License, then it'll be worth a look.
Otherwise, I won't waste my time or money.

Re:All the cool kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797809)

You're half right. All the cool kids used to play D&D, and now they just play it with its new spelling, P-a-t-h-f-i-n-d-e-r.

I don't know what your second sentence says. As soon as I realized you were starting to refer to a WOTC product, my eyes started to bleed, and I went blind.

This is Slashdot (2)

heptapod (243146) | about a year and a half ago | (#40796661)

People like to read articles on Slashdot, not watch non-pornographic videos.

At least post a fucking transcript.

We still play 1sd ed rules... (1)

Grog6 (85859) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797109)

Why fuck up a good thing? :)

RIP, EGG.

Re:We still play 1sd ed rules... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40818239)

Noob. We still play OD&D/Chainmail rules. :)

Gary Gygax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797365)

Interview Gary Gygax, not this corporate drone.

Re:Gary Gygax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797711)

Why?

Also, how?

Re:Gary Gygax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40797827)

Also, how?

Speak with Dead [d20pfsrd.com] should do the trick.
I'm an Atheist, so I don't know any 5th level Clerics personally. Maybe you can help with that part?

Re:Gary Gygax (2)

GloomE (695185) | about a year and a half ago | (#40797825)

I can see the interview now.
Interviewer: So what's in store for future D&D players?
Gary: BRAINS!
Interviewer: ARGH!

First p0st!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40798325)

With the work, or you. The tireless the reaper In a Accounts for Less [nero-online.org] best. I2ndividuals

yes wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40799467)

buy the cheapest diablo 3 gold,you can go to the site :http://www.oscargamer.com/Show_game.asp?gameid=130 .

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