Monday, 9 January 2012

A few thoughts on the 5E announcement and nerd rage.

So 5E has been announced today. What has got me writing (and I don't often do opinion pieces) is not so much the announcement as the community's reaction to it. 
Some folks are dismissive of it before they know anything about it. If it's WotC, it must be crap. 
Some folks are contemptuous that WotC is asking the community about what they want - these commentators reckon WotC ought to know what we want without asking. 
The worst excesses of edition wars and nerd rage is resurfacing. 
I want to keep an open mind about this. I don't know what the rules will be like, I don't know what the core classes and races will be, I don't know about the default setting. It could be good. It could be crap. 
If it looks good, I will begin to buy the books, starting with the Player's Handbook. I do not feel obliged to buy more books than I think I will enjoy. If the 5E PHB isn't what I want from a game system, then I'll simply turn my attentions to a game system I do enjoy. If I like the system, then the DMG and MM (or whatever equivalent there is) will be under consideration. 
If it looks crap, I will do what I did with 4E - simply bypass it and stick to the editions I know and like.
My concern is just how angry, defensive and divided the different D&D communities will get over this, usually blowing things out of proportion and claiming WotC is wrecking their game and angry that WotC didn't listen to THEM and THEIR ideas of what a game should be. 
I am not a businessman, so I'm not going to tell WotC how they ought to run their business. I will look at the products, and decide whether I want to spend my money on it. If WotC decides to drop the D&D brand altogether (very unlikely at least for next 5 years) there are other companies and the OSR blogs, small publishers and massive back-catalogue of D&D stuff on ebay. My gaming (and blogging) is sure to continue regardless of what WotC do, but it is entirely possible that their 5E will be part of it. 
Besides, I have not heard of any definite release date, so I won't be shelling out the cash for the new edition for a couple of months yet. When it arrives, then I'll look at it and decide. 
Edition wars aren't as bad as the London Blitz, but there is still the same advice: "Keep calm and carry on". 

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