The message you selected is no longer available for viewing.

More proof that Mike Mearls doesn't even know what he's talking about

#1MrGreenonionPosted 4/30/2012 9:02:45 AM
http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20120430

Today's article about Fighter design goals really highlights the cognitive dissonance of what they want to do with Next. Mearls says they want Fighters to be mundane rather than magical, but also to be able to accomplish amazing feats like Beowulf and other warriors of legend. But this is what 4E Fighters did, and all the grogs complained about WEEABOO FIGHTAN MAJICKS. Based on the audience they're targeting, they cannot succeed. Either Fighters will be less capable than a Beowulf type, or their audience won't find them sufficiently mundane.

Dooming oneself to failure with a faulty premise seems to be a hallmark of D&DNext!
---
SuperNiceDog didn't have to reconcile his name...
But Dauntless Hunter is now MrGreenonion
#2Baruch_SPosted 4/30/2012 10:54:24 AM
I love how he understates the Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards problem when he says that the fighter has suffered a bit in comparison to spellcasters. It's more accurate to say a thrown rock is slightly less powerful than a nuclear missile because at least neither one of those can alter the very fabric of reality on a whim.

Anyway, that article is somewhat encouraging if the system actually supports them. The ideas aren't bad, but we will need to see the system to determine if being the best at fighting is remotely comparable to being the best as spellcasting. If the things the classes at are pretty much equally useful, then we might see another balanced system.

My biggest concern is that, while they're paying some lip service to 4e (and avoiding any overt mention of 4e like the plague) by saying the Fighter shouldn't be a boring and useless shmuck, they're likely building a regressive, retro-inspired system that cannot support balanced classes. They talk like they want the Fighter to be good at something, but they haven't shown that the something he'll be good at will actually be relevant. They haven't convinced me that they won't go the 3.5 route of rendering non-casters obsolete by giving spellcasters utility spells that do everything other classes are supposed to be able to do anyway. Being the best in a fight is only good if the ability to fight isn't outshone or rendered completely irrelevant by overpowered, world-bending magic.

4e balanced martial and arcane characters by putting everyone on the same power system, but that doesn't seem to be an option this time around since they can only talk about how awesome 1e and 3e were. Wizards will almost certainly be playing a different game with different rules (return of Vancian magic, anyone?), and they'll probably be most powerful overall even if the Fighter is technically better at fighting.
---
I once dug a pit and filled it with clouds...or was it clowns.... come to think of it, it began to smell... must have been clowns...
White FC 0260 9873 0859
#3LobsterDandyPosted 4/30/2012 12:02:31 PM
Haven't fighters always been technically better at fighting? I mean, by the metric of "how easily can one dude hit another dude with a stick" the fighter always was better than the wizard if you stripped them both naked and gave them each a stick and told them to whiffle away. It's not really impressive to make the fighter better at fighting than the wizard.

What you have to do is make the wizard fight too, or change the definition of fight so that it includes the jerks in robes who are flying around with their genitals exposed telling everyone else to suck on deez spell components while casting spells that straight up kill people. (you can't see it but the wizard has Vancian Life tattooed on his stomach and on his fingers he's got SAVE and DIE tattooed on his finger bones and he would subscribe to an OG lifestyle [original gygax])
---
I believe in Artemis Hound & John Magnum
The heroes 215 deserve.
#4n00bdragonPosted 4/30/2012 1:10:28 PM
The goals are decent, I actually applaud Mike Mearls for recognizing that there is in fact a problem that needs to be addressed and that it should be addressed by making the fighter cooler than he has been.

THAT SAID... he goes into no specifics of how the fighter will be cooler other than giving a bunch of references to classic fantasy and saying "The fighter will be able to shrug things off and keep going". How Mearls? Will his hitpoints exceed the threshold for many negative effects a la that article you had a while ago? Will he get special abilities that allow him to ignore status effects? Will he get free magic items as class features?

"The fighterís many hit points and high AC renders many monstersí attacks powerless."

"Too often in D&D, the high-level fighter is the flunky to a high-level wizard. Itís all too easy for combinations of spells to make the wizard a far more potent enemy or character, especially if a wizard can unleash his or her spells in rapid succession. A wizard might annihilate a small army of orcs with a volley of fireballs and cones of cold."


These two lines are what bother me the most and it shows an inherent misunderstanding of the problems that previous editions had. Again, I applaud Mearls for noticing there IS a problem but I am sad he apparently cannot figure out what it really is. The issue is and has always been that AC and hit points don't matter in the larger scheme of things. The fighter is playing a different (and objectively worse) game than everyone else. If I can make you useless for over 9000 years by pointing a finger at whatever saving throw is powered by your dump stat (I get to pick because lolmagic) I win. I don't care about AC or hit points. On the other hand the fighter is FORCED to play with people's AC and hit points. The only way he can defeat someone is by overcoming their AC and then smashing through all their HP. He has no choice.

You can see how this is point is lost utterly on Mearls who thinks wizards dominate because of AoE damage spells. Even back in 2e though when damage spells were GOOD blaster wizards were still BAD because there were better more direct ways to eliminate threats without resorting to hit points. I'm not saying blaster wizards aren't better than fighters. They totally are because fighters are just that awful and the disparity should be fixed. But it's like rotating the tires on your car when the transmission is missing.

But what the hell. Grognards never look under the hood.
---
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
John Adams (1735 - 1826)
#5John_MagnumPosted 4/30/2012 1:26:40 PM
Yup. And the Fighter isn't actually allowed to be the best at "Piling on tons of damage with mundane means", because even in that obscenely limited category the Rogue and Barbarian are better. If your schtick is just "Do craploads of damage" that's already pretty weak sauce; when your schtick is that and multiple other classes are way better at it AND have additional schticks besides, that's just terrible.

It's also dumb to crank a Fighter's HP and AC and expect that to turn him into a defender unless the DM deliberately sandbags. Monsters with even the tiniest spark of tactical capability will target the opponent with the highest threat-to-toughness ratio unless there's some overriding reason. You can't make the Fighter mega tough AND THEN ALSO give him the highest threat-to-toughness ratio in the game, because then he's tougher than everyone AND more threatening than everyone and that's just categorically bad class design. So you need to give the Fighter some way to force enemies to attack him disproportionately often, some reason to make them waste attacks on the dude with high AC and HP but no meaningful offensive capabilities instead of rushing past him and gangbanging the dude who's a real threat. AOOs and marks do not cut the mustard unless, as I said, the DM deliberately sandbags or only ever plays monsters with absolutely zero capacity for tactical acumen.
---
John Magnum
The Next Liefeld
#6Solid JakePosted 4/30/2012 2:40:35 PM
This would have been a great article if it had ended with "Oh wait, 4e already fixed literally every single one of those problems, so the 4e-style Fighter is here to stay. Suck it, grogs."
---
"My first girlfriend turned into the moon."
"That's rough, buddy."
#7Baruch_SPosted 4/30/2012 4:37:54 PM
This would have been a great article if it had ended with "Oh wait, 4e already fixed literally every single one of those problems, so the 4e-style Fighter is here to stay. Suck it, grogs."

Yeah, that would have been great, except that Mearls can never admit that 4e did something right. 4e was a terrible indiscretion that almost killed D&D, and it must never be spoken of again. And besides, I'm sure that he'd say 4e fixed things the wrong way since it made Wizards play the same game as everyone else.

And, of course, Mearls can't actually put the Fighter on par with the Wizard without ruining what D&D should be. Decent Fighters are a 4e exclusive, and D&D Next can only use stuff from the true D&D editions aka 1e and 3e. My guess is that he's talking up the Fighter's ability to fight, but the Wizard will still be the 3e god who renders all other irrelevant.
---
I once dug a pit and filled it with clouds...or was it clowns.... come to think of it, it began to smell... must have been clowns...
White FC 0260 9873 0859
#8Fenris_LathiinPosted 4/30/2012 5:34:18 PM
[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]
#9n00bdragonPosted 4/30/2012 7:15:26 PM
Are we going back to balancing out of combat ability with in combat ability?

Didn't you read his article about the three pillars? This is a well established <u>pillar</u> of 5e design. Exploration, socialization, and combat. Since every D&D game naturally contains these things in equal amounts it's perfectly balanced to make a character good at one and bad at the others... unless they have magic because magic is good at everything but only for a limited time, then the party will just keep adventuring while its best member is useless despite all common sense. It's called BALANCE. Maybe you heard of it?
---
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
John Adams (1735 - 1826)
#10Baruch_SPosted 4/30/2012 7:47:15 PM
What the hell does "best at combat" even mean?

No no no, Fighters aren't best at combat; they're best at fighting. Presumably, "fighting" means hitting stuff with some variation of a pointy stick while not getting killed by hostile pointy sticks. It's still very possible that the other classes will outshine the Fighter in actual combat by being able to kill or otherwise incapacitate monsters more effectively. The Fighter just happens to be best at hitting with and being hit by sharp objects.

And I guess I'm not sure why we can't do 4e's system where all characters had utility in and out of combat. Oh yeah, it's 4e; WotC evidently isn't allowed to say anything positive about a balanced and successful (at least pre-Mearls) system. In real D&D Bards can only be good at talking, and Fighters can only be good at fighting. Having an eloquent Fighter or a combat-capable Bard would just be blasphemous. Wizards, on the other hand, get to do everything because magic!
---
I once dug a pit and filled it with clouds...or was it clowns.... come to think of it, it began to smell... must have been clowns...
White FC 0260 9873 0859