*shrug* Because I'm not fighting an edition war.
Originally Posted by Saph
(remainder spoiler'd for length)
I play many, many games. I can point to every game I own and name the design flaws it has (at least, the ones I've found so far), and I can discuss the successful elements as well. D&D was not my first game.
However, I meet all sorts of players (in person or online) who somehow equate their fond memories with the systemic integrity of 3.x., as though a criticism of 3.x is somehow a criticism of them or an attempt to retroactively take away their fun.
I really am happy for those folks who don't encounter 3.x's flaws, but their success doesn't make those flaws go away. I'm not attacking D&D3.Saph. I can't take your game away from you. I'm not even going to try. I wouldn't want to. That's yours, and power to you. Have fun in the way best suited to your group and your needs.
And that's what it really comes down to. Meeting needs and wants. Throughout my gaming experiences (both as a personal hobby and as a professional "get paid real money-dollars" career), I've met all sorts of folks who never really understood that you could, in fact, evaluate a system. You could, in fact, evaluate your needs. And you could, in fact, realize that maybe the system and your needs didn't match. And that that was perfectly fine.
I love Exalted. There are people I will not play Exalted with. It's the wrong fit. That doesn't mean I don't want to play something else with them or Exalted with someone else. It doesn't mean I had any less fun with the people I did play it with. And the knowledge that high-end Exalted possesses mechanical flaws doesn't bother us, because it's never been a problem -- but I'm not going to deny the existence of real flaws, and I'm not going to be mad that those are deal breakers for someone else. But I sure am glad I know about them, just in case.
I've also met a great number of folks who were frustrated by a system and couldn't figure out why, because they didn't know what to look for or how to even begin looking or even that they should have been looking. Sometimes, it's good to help folks understand that.
But in a discussion about D&D5e, comparisons to previous editions are a thing that is going to happen. Having a rational discussion about the realities of those systems can be a positive thing. Evaluating positives and negatives of previous systems in an open format is a good thing if 5e really is going to involve player feedback (...it's a big if, but hey, we're all into the fantasy vibe, eh?). Even if 5e isn't going to be influenced by player feedback, people talking about the intricacies of how we play games and how games influence us is a positive thing. It helps us better understand our games. It helps us better express what we want from them. It helps us be better customers, and someday, better game designers of our own. Over the years, I've gained a great deal of my understanding from listening to and talking with other players. So if someone else hears what I have to say and learns something from it, then it's worth saying. And if I listen to what someone else has to say and learn something from it, hey, that's a win in my book.
Do I believe that 4e is a fundamentally better game system than 3.x? Yes. Every time I tried to play 3.x, I ended up unhappy because of the mechanics. I make no secret of that. But rather than just saying, "3.x sucks!" I try to understand why, exactly, I dislike specific mechanics, and what those mechanics were attempting to accomplish. I want to learn what other people like about the mechanics that I dislike, and why. I love game design and all sorts of related subjects. A greater understanding has helped me enjoy my hobby all the more.
Do I believe that no one can have fun with 3.x? Good Lord, no I do not. If you enjoy it, go enjoy it. I'm not going to stop you.
Short version: I enjoy games and I enjoy learning about games. I'm not out to fight anyone. I am out to learn. If others learn from me, that's fine by me. If others feel like I'm attacking their fun, believe me, I'm not. I just want to know why you're having fun and I want to do so in a clear and honest way.
Also, Oracle_Hunter? You're a tough act to follow. Very nice post.