Author Topic: 4e testimonials  (Read 3309 times)

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Treantmonklvl20

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4e testimonials
« on: June 08, 2008, 04:54:20 PM »
Hey Guys,

Everyone has an opinion on 4e.  I'm curious for first impressions based off of play experiences - specifically:

1) What was your impression of combat rounds - faster than 3.5?
2) How many rounds is combat taking?  (I'm told lots more than 3.5)
3) DM'ing: Harder than 3.5?
4) Overall impression of the new system...
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heffroncm

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008, 05:11:33 PM »
1) In 3.5, with a 5 player party, it would often be 30 minutes or more from the start of my turn to the start of my next turn.  In 4e, in our second encounter, I waited no more than 10 minutes between turns.  Now, this is at level 1, but is countered by the fact that we were brand new with the rules that day and had to look a few things up.

2) In 3.5, combat was often effectively over after the first round, even if it took 2 or 3 more to completely resolve everything.  In 4e, there was never a point in the combats that I felt like the fight was over except for mopping up.  Our first combat lasted 5 rounds, our second lasted 5 or 6 rounds.

3) Our DM reported that it was easy.  This man had not sat behind the DM's screen in 4 years, having thrown up his hands in frustration at 3.x.

4) I really like it.  It does what it does very well.

Banor

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 05:22:29 PM »
1)Rounds are clearly going faster. We've played a couple of one-shots games to test all the classes and it's quite nice. Can't exactly tell how long a round last but 10 minutes seem like a good estimate.
2)It is indeed MUCH longer than 3.5. First level fight can last 5+ rounds, before a clear winning side is starting to show up. In 3.5 I could tell how good/bad the encounter would be just by rolling init
3)DMing is quite fun, Monster "Recharge" system is quite intuitive and easy to understand. XP budget for encounters is a great improvement over the CR system (which, we all know, sucked bad). I haven't tried building my own monsters/templating but I was told that it's ok. Seem like the "class" template is a bit long to apply (probably not as long as building a full character in 3.5)
4)I'm impressed and had a blast so far with 4.0, looking foward playing my Warlord in our upcoming campaign (starting Friday :))

brislove

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2008, 07:41:53 PM »
1) they are faster. I ran through 4 combat encounters in ~2 hours with all new players (to 4e at least) at games day yesterday.
2) i didn't really count, but if I had to estimate, I would say 7-10ish at first level.
3) DMing is easier then 3.5 once you learn the differences it's really a breeze. I especially love the recharge mechanic with dragons. their breath weapon is good, so you want to use it, so you roll recharge at the start of the dragons turn, and use it. No tracking rounds till it comes back, you just use it when it recharges. all you have to do is roll a d6 at the start of the dragons turn.

4) 4e does action adventure well. I love the system. I'll still play 3.5 if thats whats getting run, but I won't DM 3.5 again. Movement matters for classes that aren't wizards, which is pretty cool. I like the monster abilities, it makes goblins/kobolds seem different. which they didn't really in 3.5 (imo).

I actually like building characters more in 4e. I like multi-classing better in 4e, I know a bunch of people hate it, but you can just find a synergy and play with it. Want to be a blaster wizard? go warlock/wizard and be full of win.

AlienFromBeyond

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 08:01:04 PM »
My impressions have been along the same lines as well. Much quicker individual rounds, though there are more of them. Things seemed easy enough for my DM, and overall I am enjoying 4e. I look forward to Martial Power, I want to see how WotC is going to approach expanding the system with new books.

Ieniemienie

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 08:04:58 PM »
1) What was your impression of combat rounds - faster than 3.5?
2 encounters took me 4 hours, because the party kept throwing low and 8 PC's died.. (3/5 in the first encounter, 5/5 in the second)

Quote
2) How many rounds is combat taking?  (I'm told lots more than 3.5)
Way too many... but that could relate to the many deaths of the characters

Quote
3) DM'ing: Harder than 3.5?
I was actually praised by a fellow player of my 3.5 group for being such a great DM  :)

Quote
4) Overall impression of the new system...
The monsters are freaking strong and the system has too many similarities to WoW.. and still I find myself kind of liking it. :o
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Commx

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2008, 10:05:53 PM »
1) Haven't actually played it with my party yet, but when testing it, stuff appeared to go quite a bit faster. Unfortunately I had the feeling this was because there were much less options to choose from.
2) A single Paladin against 4 Minions (Yes, the minions who die when they get hit even once...) lasted over a dozen rounds. Probably because the Paladin was very good at not hitting stuff.
3) Actually, they seem to have made this a lot easier. The random dungeon rules are now actually in the DMG, as well as proper ways to create random encounters, so if you have a lack of time there is no problem. Rules for monsters, challenges and traps seem to have all been simplified for both the DM and the players. As said before, the Xp budget system is especially nice.
4) Still not sure. So far it appears to be an improvement for the DM, but not exactly impressive from a player's perspective. That MMORPG issue has also remained. (One thing I am certainly going to remove or adjust in some way is the easy 'Raise Dead' ritual which gives you a Death Penalty.) I'll probably end up transferring the good stuff (ie. the stuff for the DM) to 3.5 and staying with that.

Alastar

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 11:49:47 PM »
1) Yes, definitively faster, althought it is very much due to the lack of options.
2) Around 5-6, wich is about the same as it did in 3.5, especially at level 1
3) Very easy, all you have to do is remember this: (Half character level+ related stat+profiency) and you can Dm almost any game.  This is not a good thing according to me.
4) I really don't like it.  Everything is so.... BASIC!  It plays WAY too much like an mmo, with the cooldowns, the easy raise dead, heck, even the armor types!  Fixed exp per monster, you have to get into EXACTLY 10 fights of your level to actually level (way too long if you ask me).  If I wanted to play an MMO, i would play one on my 2000$ comp, thank you very much.  Personnaly, i am DMing exactly ONE game of 4th ed, and it's because old friends asked me too.  I will be staying with 3.5 thank you very much.

MittenNinja

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2008, 08:25:29 PM »
1) Rounds moved around the table much faster, mainly due to the fact that everyone was trying to figure out the math involved with their attacks.
2) Combat tends to last longer in rounds, but actual time tends to be about the same or slightly shorter.
3) DMing is way easier, especially when running larger encounters.
4) Very streamlined, very fun, my group will be switching over by unanimous vote.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2008, 05:00:08 PM »
3) Very easy, all you have to do is remember this: (Half character level+ related stat+profiency) and you can Dm almost any game.  This is not a good thing according to me.
I have NO FUCKING IDEA[/size] how you can think "simpler for DM" is bad.

Sunic_Flames

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2008, 05:31:00 PM »
Oversimplification.
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Dan2

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2008, 06:16:59 PM »
It's a good thing in terms of ease for the DM and fun for the players...

Alastar is probably referring to the increased likelihood that a bad DM will pick up the game (due to its ease).

While I can understand his remark, I can't really agree with it...  I'm just about the only DM in my area, and I think that I'd be able to help anyone else who wanted to DM.  At the very least, I could point them to sources that would help them DM better...

Treantmonklvl20

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2008, 06:23:32 PM »
My group and I have yet to play.  Although we are all really excited to try it (though we are still halfway through a 3.5 campaign we all want to finish before going all out 4e, we'll certainly dip our toes before then - maybe this Friday.), there have been some concerns raised.

One of those concerns one of my friends had was,
Quote
Now for a GM, I am quite concerned.  A GM with 5-8 foes to micro manage now not only has to keep track of their HP, but also when they are bloodied, when to healing surge, how many healing surges each has, which of the foe's allies he will affect with benefits from other foes (like allowing free shifts or adding bonuses to hit), and the list goes on and on.

Which is why I specifically asked people how the DMing experience was.

So I'm quite glad to hear DM'ing has been easier so far.

Also - thanks everyone for their input so far - I'm checking this thread regularly - so keep it coming!!!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 06:25:14 PM by Treantmonklvl20 »
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MittenNinja

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2008, 06:35:21 PM »
One of those concerns one of my friends had was,
Quote
Now for a GM, I am quite concerned.  A GM with 5-8 foes to micro manage now not only has to keep track of their HP, but also when they are bloodied, when to healing surge, how many healing surges each has, which of the foe's allies he will affect with benefits from other foes (like allowing free shifts or adding bonuses to hit), and the list goes on and on.

I can address this one quite easily. Keeping track of HP is not any harder than before, plus, if you're using minions in the encounter you don't have to keep track of their HP cause after one hit they go down. I use an open word document (or wordpad/notepad) to track combat and keep track of enemy HP, initiative order, effects etc. If you have a laptop you can save a lot of hassle by just doing that. Before you had your players asking "so how hurt does he look?" and you'd have to guesstimate and fluff up a description. Now you can just say "He's bloodied" or, "Not bloodied yet, but one more hit will probably get him there." The misc effects and special abilities and such are the only thing that can be hectic at first. But once you get to know your monsters you just start to think with their abilities in mind. Take kobold dragonshields for example, they can shift 1 square as an immediate reaction to anyone shifting away from them or into an adjacent square. Without knowing that you'd run them like any other baddie, but once you think with that in mind it becomes natural.

Overall it may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get comfortable with the system it's ten times easier.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2008, 06:50:58 PM »
Oversimplification.
That's an opinion, and almost impossible to substantiate - because what, truly, is the threshold?

brislove

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2008, 08:19:44 PM »
Oversimplification.
That's an opinion, and almost impossible to substantiate - because what, truly, is the threshold?

how is the game overly simplified? It took days to read the books and remember the information, combat is simplified so that it goes faster, is easier to learn and works. If you can still kill things and take their stuff, and there are still rules for 90% of the actions that you perform in combat, how is it that different.

4e merged skills, 4e "dumbed" down skills as you just have trained or not trained. You either have learned how to do something or you haven't it's really that simple. Professions/crafting skills are gone, but Aside from making an imperial cruiser what was their use?

cdrcjsn

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2008, 10:42:55 PM »
All those people citing too simple or not enough options are either not realizing that they're playing 1st level characters (seriously, what could you do as a 1st level character in any previous edition that you can't in this one?) or have not yet truly grasped the subtleties of the character creation system.

So far, using just the basic rules, I've created Fighters ranging from high dex/light armor thieves guild bruiser to dragonborn huge Str power attacking monstrosity to human basic sword and board.  And I don't even normally play fighters!  Likewise I've created half a dozen paladin builds all of which are effective and are different from one another.

As of today, I've also DMed approximately 50 hours of 4e games so far and played way more and at various levels as well.

Bur regarding the OP's questions:
1) What was your impression of combat rounds - faster than 3.5?
   The rounds themselves go quicker, but there are usually 4-6 rounds unless you're fighting something that is significantly higher level than you (3+), in which case combat can take up to 10 or so rounds.  Otherwise, combats are slightly quicker than 3.5e but people don't have 30 minute waits before their turns come up again.  This holds true at 1st all the way to 18th level (highest level I played).

2) How many rounds is combat taking?  (I'm told lots more than 3.5)
   4-6 if fighting same level foes.  10+ if fighting significantly higher level foes (i.e. you're fighting XP budgets that is recommended for characters 3 levels higher than you are).

3) DM'ing: Harder than 3.5?
   So much easier.  In fact, last RPGA convention I attended, I actually asked to DM the 4e preview mods rather than the last interactive for my region...and I'm on the Triad! (for those that don't know the RPGA, that means I'm one of the guys responsible for organzing games for the several hundred people in my local area).  I tried DMing 3.5 after playing/judging 4e and it was painful, especially once you get in the level 10+ range. 

4) Overall impression of the new system...
  Great.  There are some warts (specific powers that were obviously not tested, but are easily house ruled) and the obvious typos.  But the underlying math is simple.  The rules are intuitive.  I'm fully convinced that this game will be bigger than previous editions.  Yes, it's easy to pick up, but true mastery of the rules is harder. And the really funny kicker is that rules mastery isn't an automatic win for you.  You still need a party despite how uber you can tweak your character.

Alastar

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2008, 01:10:16 AM »
The game is overly simplified in that every monster has 3-4 attacks that are not that varied from one another.  They all do XdY +stat damage or something else.  Gone is the time where creating some dangerous and fear inspiring monsters would require skills at interpreting, portraying and stating the monsters. 

Heck, you can<t even add class levels to most of the monsters anymore.  I knida liked the idea of a mindflayer wizard.... now... well.... it's not that special anymore.

Also, i understand how the encounters work, but i think it totally kills creativity.  I'll give an example.

I'm running a werewolfed themed first adventure, the heroes are fighting a lot of wolves at the moment.  Wolves are described as skirmishers.  Wanting to make the encounter interesting, i thought i would maybe put a lesser werewolf wizard in there to act as a ''controller''.  I look up the werewolf, it's level 8, and i looked EVERYWHERE to find how to add class levels to monsters, without finding it.  I also thought about minions, thinking i needed a toned down version of wolves for that.  I thought about dogs.  There are no dogs.... So i had to basically improvise my whole first adventure monsters because of the lack of a flexible and interpretable monster system.

MittenNinja

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2008, 01:15:37 AM »
Heck, you can<t even add class levels to most of the monsters anymore.  I knida liked the idea of a mindflayer wizard.... now... well.... it's not that special anymore...

...I'm running a werewolfed themed first adventure, the heroes are fighting a lot of wolves at the moment.  Wolves are described as skirmishers.  Wanting to make the encounter interesting, i thought i would maybe put a lesser werewolf wizard in there to act as a ''controller''.  I look up the werewolf, it's level 8, and i looked EVERYWHERE to find how to add class levels to monsters, without finding it.

DMG pg 182
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 01:17:38 AM by MittenNinja »

Zeke

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Re: 4e testimonials
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2008, 03:07:26 AM »
3) Very easy, all you have to do is remember this: (Half character level+ related stat+profiency) and you can Dm almost any game.  This is not a good thing according to me.
I have NO FUCKING IDEA[/size] how you can think "simpler for DM" is bad.


I basically agree. It is possible to be simplistic rather than simple. It doesn't seem to me that 4E does that.