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Subject: 2nd edition v 3rd edition rss

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Michael Kavanagh
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When I found out Arkham Horror was being relaunched in 3rd edition my first thought was "Great now I can pick up the 2nd ed expansions cheap" naive I know. But after investigating AH 3rd ed, I am quite happy to stick with my 2nd ed, which was the game that got me into the hobby properly. So my question is this does a newer version of a game, always make a game better? For example Brass certainly looks nicer than the original, but is the gameplay better?
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Eric Engelmann
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mick mangle wrote:
When I found out Arkham Horror was being relaunched in 3rd edition my first thought was "Great now I can pick up the 2nd ed expansions cheap" naive I know. But after investigating AH 3rd ed, I am quite happy to stick with my 2nd ed, which was the game that got me into the hobby properly. So my question is this does a newer version of a game, always make a game better? For example Brass certainly looks nicer than the original, but is the gameplay better?


In the case of Brass, the new version is better designed (fixed some screwy rules that wasted explanation time and sucked fun out of the game). Some newer editions of games are dramatically worse than the previous ones, mostly because of component quality downgrades. 10 Days in the USA and Acquire are two well-known examples.
 
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William Chew
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New editions don't always make the game better. They do often simplify things that makes it more appealing to mass audiences though. For example I hate Descent 2nd edition. It is so streamlined compared to 1st edition I find it disgustingly boring. It also is way shorter which appeals to more people. I much prefer 4-6 hour dungeon crawls because that is why I got Descent. Coming from a D&D and RPG background our sessions were always at least 4 hours so doing a board game for that long was no big deal. At least this is the way fantasy flight does editions. Same name and theme almost completely new game.

Brass is a little different, because the rules are pretty much unchanged. A lot of games just got new art and components with a new edition with minimal rules changes. It really depends on how the company does their new editions or if a game changes publishers. That often triggers a new edition with updated art and rules tweaks.
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Thanee
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mick mangle wrote:
So my question is this does a newer version of a game always make a game better?


The obvious answer is: No.

It's a case-by-case thing and also a matter of what you prefer.

It's also a question of the target audience, which might not be the same as with the original.

Also, some games are just refined a little (Brass) or even more than a little (Through the Ages) whereas other games are complete re-designs (Descent or Sid Meier's Civilization).

Descent 1st vs. 2nd is a good example. The game is different. Is it better or worse? That depends on what you want. Descent 1st is deeper and more involved, but has a long playing time. Descent 2nd is more streamlined with a shorter playing time. The one is better for some and the other is better for others.

Or Sid Meier's Civilization vs. Civilization: A New Dawn. Again, the newer version is more streamlined, while the older version is just more epic. Some will like that, some won't.

I'm sure there are people who like Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization better than Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, even though I would certainly say that the new version is a clear improvement over the older one.

Bye
Thanee
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Pete
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In general, I find that new editions of games make them more "fun" by removing quality gameplay. Often this is either by making the game shorter or by adding new features, usually to the detriment of the game. Eye-candy is added too, because today's gamer seems to be heavily focused on aesthetics.

This is invariably leads to a bunch of talking head reviewers gushing about how much better the new version is, pumping up the hype. Two years later, the new version tends to be on clearance racks, and five years later everyone who's still playing realizes the old version was better.

Pete (sums up his experience with "new editions")
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plezercruz wrote:
In general, I find that new editions of games make them more "fun" by removing quality gameplay. Often this is either by making the game shorter or by adding new features, usually to the detriment of the game. Eye-candy is added too, because today's gamer seems to be heavily focused on aesthetics.

This is invariably leads to a bunch of talking head reviewers gushing about how much better the new version is, pumping up the hype. Two years later, the new version tends to be on clearance racks, and five years later everyone who's still playing realizes the old version was better.

Pete (sums up his experience with "new editions")

Hmm, examples? I am curious.
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mortego
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I present to you: D&D v3.5 --> D&D v4.0
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Tyler G
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
I present to you: D&D v3.5 --> D&D v4.0


I personally love 4th edition, but because it was so different from 3.5 it was almost universally reviled. If 4th edition was instead called "D&D Tactics" or something I think it would have benefited the game more, but then you risk dividing the playerbase (which Pathfinder already kind of did).

I'd personally still play 4th edition over 3.5, 5, or Pathfinder any day.

As to the discussion of the topic in general, I would say Arkham Horror 3rd edition is definitely NOT and upgrade over 2e, while the Arkham Horror Card Game > 2e (IMO). In addition, Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is definitely an improvement over the 1st. Sticking with the FFG editions theme, 4th edition of Twilight Imperium does quite a lot to streamline and improve over its predecessor but I know many people who still play 3rd edition thanks to expansions or liking some of 3rd edition's rules more.

In short: everything is subjective, especially including edition preferences.
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Talmanes wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
In general, I find that new editions of games make them more "fun" by removing quality gameplay. Often this is either by making the game shorter or by adding new features, usually to the detriment of the game. Eye-candy is added too, because today's gamer seems to be heavily focused on aesthetics.

This is invariably leads to a bunch of talking head reviewers gushing about how much better the new version is, pumping up the hype. Two years later, the new version tends to be on clearance racks, and five years later everyone who's still playing realizes the old version was better.

Pete (sums up his experience with "new editions")

Hmm, examples? I am curious.
OK

Condottiere is the poster child. A bunch of new rules added to make it more "fun" and just ruining the game.

RoboRally. So much awful. Not even the same game really.

Serenissima (second edition). Exercise in pretty pictures update. Not as good as the original.

London (Second Edition) recently. Wrecked the game trying to shorten/simplify it.

Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition) removed a key element (the BANGBANGBANG cards) to nerf it up and make it so people didn't get their feelings hurt.

There's a lot of them. It's an endless parade.

Pete (could offer a few examples where the new version was worse in his opinion but people still seem to like it)
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Tyrburn wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
I present to you: D&D v3.5 --> D&D v4.0


I personally love 4th edition, but because it was so different from 3.5 it was almost universally reviled. If 4th edition was instead called "D&D Tactics" or something I think it would have benefited the game more, but then you risk dividing the playerbase (which Pathfinder already kind of did).

I'd personally still play 4th edition over 3.5, 5, or Pathfinder any day.

As to the discussion of the topic in general, I would say Arkham Horror 3rd edition is definitely NOT and upgrade over 2e, while the Arkham Horror Card Game > 2e (IMO). In addition, Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is definitely an improvement over the 1st. Sticking with the FFG editions theme, 4th edition of Twilight Imperium does quite a lot to streamline and improve over its predecessor but I know many people who still play 3rd edition thanks to expansions or liking some of 3rd edition's rules more.

In short: everything is subjective, especially including edition preferences.
4th edition wasn't a failure just because it jettisoned so much of what was D&D, it was also a failure because its central objective was to make all character classes effectively the same, and that's contrary to what people want, which is a de facto division of labor requiring a well rounded party.

It's one thing to make different rules surrounding how a "cleric" does its thing. It's a whole other thing to make it functionally about the same as a "wizard."

Pete (thinks D&D4 might have done OK as a completely different game system, but was wrecked by the name-slap)
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Alazṓn Theatre
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Talmanes wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
In general, I find that new editions of games make them more "fun" by removing quality gameplay. Often this is either by making the game shorter or by adding new features, usually to the detriment of the game. Eye-candy is added too, because today's gamer seems to be heavily focused on aesthetics.

This is invariably leads to a bunch of talking head reviewers gushing about how much better the new version is, pumping up the hype. Two years later, the new version tends to be on clearance racks, and five years later everyone who's still playing realizes the old version was better.

Pete (sums up his experience with "new editions")

Hmm, examples? I am curious.


I would say:

Arkham Horror - Agree with above post
A Study in Emerald vs A Study in Emerald (second edition)
Endeavor vs Endeavor: Age of Sail (aesthetics and tightness of play)
CO₂ vs. CO₂: Second Chance - I would never give up the beauty of the first version
and finally
Endure the Stars vs Endure the Stars v1.5 - because the first version at least exists in my lifetime.


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killerjoe1962 wrote:
I present to you: D&D v3.5 --> D&D v4.0

3.5 is still my favorite edition, though I see the merits of 5th.
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plezercruz wrote:
Tyrburn wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
I present to you: D&D v3.5 --> D&D v4.0


I personally love 4th edition, but because it was so different from 3.5 it was almost universally reviled. If 4th edition was instead called "D&D Tactics" or something I think it would have benefited the game more, but then you risk dividing the playerbase (which Pathfinder already kind of did).

I'd personally still play 4th edition over 3.5, 5, or Pathfinder any day.

As to the discussion of the topic in general, I would say Arkham Horror 3rd edition is definitely NOT and upgrade over 2e, while the Arkham Horror Card Game > 2e (IMO). In addition, Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is definitely an improvement over the 1st. Sticking with the FFG editions theme, 4th edition of Twilight Imperium does quite a lot to streamline and improve over its predecessor but I know many people who still play 3rd edition thanks to expansions or liking some of 3rd edition's rules more.

In short: everything is subjective, especially including edition preferences.
4th edition wasn't a failure just because it jettisoned so much of what was D&D, it was also a failure because it's central objective was to make all character classes effectively the same, and that's contrary to what people want, which is a de facto division of labor requiring a well rounded party.

Pete (thinks D&D4 might have done OK as a completely different game system, but was wrecked by the name-slap)


That is one of the problems of toeing the line between a more balanced game and a highly differentiated character classes. 3.5's biggest problem is its absolutely unbalanced classes and fighters being completely useless once any caster (especially Wizards, Druids, and Clerics) hits level 3 or higher. While in 4th edition everyone had very similar looking powers thanks to the utilitarian formatting and it seemed that classes looked very similar on paper, in practice you still need a variety of class types (defender, leader, striker) to make a well-balanced party.

I still applaud 4th edition for trying something so different, even if it was poorly received.
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Pete
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Tyrburn wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
Tyrburn wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
I present to you: D&D v3.5 --> D&D v4.0


I personally love 4th edition, but because it was so different from 3.5 it was almost universally reviled. If 4th edition was instead called "D&D Tactics" or something I think it would have benefited the game more, but then you risk dividing the playerbase (which Pathfinder already kind of did).

I'd personally still play 4th edition over 3.5, 5, or Pathfinder any day.

As to the discussion of the topic in general, I would say Arkham Horror 3rd edition is definitely NOT and upgrade over 2e, while the Arkham Horror Card Game > 2e (IMO). In addition, Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is definitely an improvement over the 1st. Sticking with the FFG editions theme, 4th edition of Twilight Imperium does quite a lot to streamline and improve over its predecessor but I know many people who still play 3rd edition thanks to expansions or liking some of 3rd edition's rules more.

In short: everything is subjective, especially including edition preferences.
4th edition wasn't a failure just because it jettisoned so much of what was D&D, it was also a failure because it's central objective was to make all character classes effectively the same, and that's contrary to what people want, which is a de facto division of labor requiring a well rounded party.

Pete (thinks D&D4 might have done OK as a completely different game system, but was wrecked by the name-slap)


That is one of the problems of toeing the line between a more balanced game and a highly differentiated character classes. 3.5's biggest problem is its absolutely unbalanced classes and fighters being completely useless once any caster (especially Wizards, Druids, and Clerics) hits level 3 or higher. While in 4th edition everyone had very similar looking powers thanks to the utilitarian formatting and it seemed that classes looked very similar on paper, in practice you still need a variety of class types (defender, leader, striker) to make a well-balanced party.

I still applaud 4th edition for trying something so different, even if it was poorly received.
Same here. When I first saw D&D4.0 my first thought was, "They really should have made this the City of Heroes roleplaying game.

Pete (would have played the hell out of that back then)
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Peter S.
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plezercruz wrote:
Tyrburn wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
I present to you: D&D v3.5 --> D&D v4.0


I personally love 4th edition, but because it was so different from 3.5 it was almost universally reviled. If 4th edition was instead called "D&D Tactics" or something I think it would have benefited the game more, but then you risk dividing the playerbase (which Pathfinder already kind of did).

I'd personally still play 4th edition over 3.5, 5, or Pathfinder any day.

As to the discussion of the topic in general, I would say Arkham Horror 3rd edition is definitely NOT and upgrade over 2e, while the Arkham Horror Card Game > 2e (IMO). In addition, Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is definitely an improvement over the 1st. Sticking with the FFG editions theme, 4th edition of Twilight Imperium does quite a lot to streamline and improve over its predecessor but I know many people who still play 3rd edition thanks to expansions or liking some of 3rd edition's rules more.

In short: everything is subjective, especially including edition preferences.
4th edition wasn't a failure just because it jettisoned so much of what was D&D, it was also a failure because its central objective was to make all character classes effectively the same, and that's contrary to what people want, which is a de facto division of labor requiring a well rounded party.

It's one thing to make different rules surrounding how a "cleric" does its thing. It's a whole other thing to make it functionally about the same as a "wizard."

Pete (thinks D&D4 might have done OK as a completely different game system, but was wrecked by the name-slap)

I think there's a lot more nuance to 4e than most give it credit for.

First, full disclosure, I love(d) it for what it is: D&D Tactics. It was designed as a deliberate return to battlemap miniatures gaming from whence D&D originally sprung, and it succeeds handily at being a great "tactics" game in the vein of several console series (Tactics Ogre, FFT and later Disgaea and its ilk). Huge fun to just play out battles, and in practice the classes felt sufficiently distinct for this approach. (Note that it was released parallel to an overlapping straight-up Warhammer / WarMachine etc. style D&D minis game that used effectively the same battle rules, which never quite took off.)

Second, another big goal of 4e was to draw new people into the hobby by being more approachable and more immediately fun, even if it meant alienating existing players. I can see the design elements of this: needing someone to DM is intimidating, setting up some kobolds for the heroes to knock down significantly less so. From what I can tell, a lot of new folks were brought in by the edition (balanced, of course, by others keeping with 3e by way of Pathfinder, not unlike 1/2e and Hackmaster save for Pathfinder getting much more popular).

In terms of class design goals, there were two big issues it sought to address: "Someone has to be the healer" and "linear warriors vs. quadratic wizards". In both cases... ehhh, I get what they were going for and why, and while I wouldn't call it a failure necessarily I also wouldn't call it a success.

Healing Surges seemed borrowed directly from HP + LP systems from some JRPGs. I appreciate each player getting a Second Wind when they need it (spreading out the responsibility for each character avoiding death), and I get how a total cap on healing both prevents the issue of the healer's remaining juice being the main determiner of keep going vs. rest and allows healing potions to be cheaper, further assisting parties without a dedicated healer. But, it didn't make the game simpler, easier or more fun to play - suddenly everyone's tracking a third commodity and coming up with weird, counterintuitive strategies based on it.

But, for all that weirdness a healer-less party was suddenly much more viable - contrast with Pathfinder where there's an enormous gulf between a party with Channel Energy for healing and one without. (Also, as an aside, I found Leader classes to be a fun take on a support role that hasn't been seen since.)

In LW. v. QW., I agree that they took class compression too far.
Something had to be done, as melee both being less useful, having less interesting decisions to make, having less (often literally nothing) to look forward to in terms of new abilities to try out in a fight was a huge problem in 3e and remained one in 3.5 (and even still in Pathfinder). But they absolutely oversteered, and the element of "Whew, thank goodness we have you in our party" was gone - just about any set of folks would work about as good for just about any encounter. Good from the perspective of letting individual folks play whatever they want (no conversations of "Tsk, well, I get you want to play a rogue, but just heads-up you're gonna be frustratingly ineffective", none of "Yeah, the Druid can basically do everything your Barbarian does and more, not sure what to tell you", and none of "Well someone has to be an X, which one of you is giving up your character concept?"), bad from the perspective of giving players moments where they feel individually powerful, important, or valuable. It's tough to overstate how huge of a loss this is: I remain convinced that the best way to play 4e is as a two player hero squad vs. monster squad game, which is unfortunate.

To segue into the RP side, I do think 4e catches more flak than it deserves for the disconnect between combat and non-combat systems, but only because that rift is really already there in 3e, a never-the-twain-shall-meet between rules about what you can do in a fight and rules for everything else. 4e made it more apparent (and made the situation worse rather than better by more openly dumping responsibility for narrative RP moments directly in the players's laps), but for me it's a frustration going back to 3e at least (and continuing into Pathfinder - honestly, if you can RP in these systems, you can RP in 4e, while still agreeing that 4e RP does belong in the fail column for lack of needed attention and support).

That is, I do think 4e hit several of its intended targets, and was fun to play as a tactical miniatures game. I wouldn't bin it all as a failure even if some of its component design decisions in hindsight failed to pan out (or had unintended consequences of their own).

TL;DR, I have Opinions on 4e.

Postscript: huge fan of 5e now, not even looking back. I think it legit solves a lot of what 4e attempted to solve (not to mention "borrowing" and improving on Pathfinder's fixes relative to 3.5e, and updating/rescuing a lot of old and good 1e / 2e concepts).
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Back on topic...here are some reprints people just love that I don't:

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization was unforgiving. That made it awesome. The 2nd edition made it much harder to get your ass totally kicked by military. Totally lame. The consensus seems to be that 2nd edition is better. I don't agree.

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is cool and all, but if I'm going to whip out my cell phone or tablet, maybe I'll just play on that. I liked the cardboard aspect of the 1st edition.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark. This is not so much a condemnation of the 2nd edition as a tip of the hat to the first, which was quite a good game in its own right. Today I'd rather play Descent 1st edition than 2nd, and if I'm playing 2nd edition, I'll just play Imperial Assault.

Evo. What a disaster?! There's a lot to complain about the new version but the key thing that sticks out at me is that they tried to remove some of the randomness from the climate track by using chits instead of dice, then somehow made it far less predictable, destroying the central mechanism of the game!

Cloud 9 was a simple probabilistic romp, with a bit of bluffing. Rethemed as Celestia, the "designers" turned into a totally random luckfest.

Pete (doesn't understand why people like these games better after they were wrecked, but people do)



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plezercruz wrote:


Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is cool and all, but if I'm going to whip out my cell phone or tablet, maybe I'll just play on that. I liked the cardboard aspect of the 1st edition.




I couldn't agree more. The closest I'll let electronics get to my gaming experience is a start player app. I guess the light bulb above my head is ok, too. cool
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imtav wrote:
plezercruz wrote:


Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is cool and all, but if I'm going to whip out my cell phone or tablet, maybe I'll just play on that. I liked the cardboard aspect of the 1st edition.




I couldn't agree more. The closest I'll let electronics get to my gaming experience is a start player app. I guess the light bulb above my head is ok, too. cool
I'm not even really against electronics or anything. They don't really bother me in Alchemists. Some of my favorite childhood games, like Lost Treasure, featured an electronic device. If my group picks up Gloomhaven again, I'll definitely use the companion app.

Pete (just doesn't think it's a plus to replace a player with an app, like in MoM2)
 
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My example for a game destroyed by a new edition has got to be Car Wars (fifth edition). In the prior versions, half of the fun was building a car to your own specs, before pitting it against the other players' creations. The fifth edition removed that creative half in favor of players choosing a ready-made vehicle from *surprise* separately-purchased car catalogs. All they really had to do to keep the game popular in a new edition at that point (IMHO) was sell it with higher-quality components (instead of thin cardstock) and clean up/repackage the rules. But alas.

The sixth edition Car Wars is currently being developed, so I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that 5th edition didn't kill it outright, and that it only took 17 years to recover from.

As an aside, I love playing a cleric in D&D! They are ready for anything! Heal, destroy undead, wear heavy armor, second-highest in hit points, and loads of useful magic. Well, they used to be that way - I haven't played since 3.5 edition...
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Well as others have stated... it's always going to be a subjective argument as to whether or not a newer edition of a game is better than a previous edition.

In general though... when you look at the stats on BGG... most (but not all) newer editions and/or redesigns of games get a higher average rating in comparison to older editions.


Some examples of top ranked games...

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization > Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization

Gaia Project > Terra Mystica

Viticulture Essential Edition > Viticulture

Brass: Birmingham > Brass: Lancashire

Agricola (Revised Edition) > Agricola

Star Realms: Frontiers > Star Realms: Colony Wars > Star Realms

Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary > Ticket to Ride

Puerto Rico Deluxe (includes two expansions) > Puerto Rico

Endeavor: Age of Sail > Endeavor

Mysterium > Tajemnicze Domostwo

Star Wars: Imperial Assault > Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) > Descent: Journeys in the Dark

BattleLore (Second Edition) > BattleLore

Galaxy Trucker: Anniversary Edition > Galaxy Trucker

Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America > Power Grid

The Resistance: Avalon > The Resistance

Thunderstone Quest > Thunderstone Advance > Thunderstone

Aeon's End: War Eternal > Aeon's End

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition > Mansions of Madness

Clank! In! Space! > Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (Second Edition) > A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

San Juan (second edition) > San Juan

Dominion (Second Edition) > Dominion

Empires: Age of Discovery > Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery

Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set > Summoner Wars: Master Set

Century: Golem Edition > Century: Spice Road

Imperial 2030 > Imperial

Saint Petersburg (second edition) > Saint Petersburg

Time's Up! Title Recall! > Time's Up!

Notre Dame: 10th Anniversary > Notre Dame

War of the Ring (Second Edition) > War of the Ring (First Edition) (but in this case the War of the Ring Collector's Edition is higher rated than both)

Carcassonne Big Box editions > Carcassonne

In the Year of the Dragon: 10th Anniversary > In the Year of the Dragon

London (second edition) > London (first edition)

Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) > Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)

51st State: Master Set > 51st State

Zombicide: Green Horde > Zombicide: Black Plague > Zombicide Season 3: Rue Morgue > Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak > Zombicide

Wallenstein (second edition)> Wallenstein (first edition)

Fury of Dracula (third/fourth edition) > Fury of Dracula (Second Edition)

Arkham Horror (Third Edition)> Arkham Horror



It certainly does seem true that in the vast majority of cases... newer editions seem to be more highly rated than earlier editions/versions.


Of course there's several factors that may also be at play there including the fact that early raters of the newer versions tend to rate games slightly higher because there is some self-selection bias going on as people familiar with (and that like the older versions) are likely to account for an above average number of the early purchasers of the new versions which likely accounts for the higher ratings of the newer versions.

People who didn't like the older versions... likely aren't going to jump onboard the new versions either because the games still aren't likely to be something they would like because even with possible "improvements" in the gameplay, the games are often fundamentally the same.
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Adam Tucker
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plezercruz wrote:
4th edition wasn't a failure just because it jettisoned so much of what was D&D, it was also a failure because its central objective was to make all character classes effectively the same, and that's contrary to what people want, which is a de facto division of labor requiring a well rounded party.

It's one thing to make different rules surrounding how a "cleric" does its thing. It's a whole other thing to make it functionally about the same as a "wizard."

Pete (thinks D&D4 might have done OK as a completely different game system, but was wrecked by the name-slap)
It didn't try to "make all character classes effectively the same", it just tried to keep the power levels fairly even across levels. Yes, it's attempt included class archetypes (defender, leader, striker) into which every class fit, but the classes (and their sub-types, and paragon paths) accomplished those things differently.

It's also weird that you picked two classes in 4e that not only didn't even play close to similarly, but aren't even the same archetype.

ErsatzDragon wrote:
In LW. v. QW., I agree that they took class compression too far.
Something had to be done, as melee both being less useful, having less interesting decisions to make, having less (often literally nothing) to look forward to in terms of new abilities to try out in a fight was a huge problem in 3e and remained one in 3.5 (and even still in Pathfinder). But they absolutely oversteered, and the element of "Whew, thank goodness we have you in our party" was gone - just about any set of folks would work about as good for just about any encounter. Good from the perspective of letting individual folks play whatever they want (no conversations of "Tsk, well, I get you want to play a rogue, but just heads-up you're gonna be frustratingly ineffective", none of "Yeah, the Druid can basically do everything your Barbarian does and more, not sure what to tell you", and none of "Well someone has to be an X, which one of you is giving up your character concept?"), bad from the perspective of giving players moments where they feel individually powerful, important, or valuable. It's tough to overstate how huge of a loss this is: I remain convinced that the best way to play 4e is as a two player hero squad vs. monster squad game, which is unfortunate.
I disagree with quite a bit of this here. Daily powers tended to be quite unique to the classes, and their well timed use tended to be quite memorable (and each class had some that were unique and interesting).
Also, Defender, Melee striker, Ranged striker, Leader or Defender, Defender, Striker, Striker (but not both melee), Leader seemed optimal party compositions (other compositions were manageable -including two hero compositions - but it seemed like it took more work on the part of the DM to create interesting challenges, or take challenges from published adventures and make them workable for two hero compositions).

ErsatzDragon wrote:
To segue into the RP side, I do think 4e catches more flak than it deserves for the disconnect between combat and non-combat systems, but only because that rift is really already there in 3e, a never-the-twain-shall-meet between rules about what you can do in a fight and rules for everything else.
I think I agree here.
ErsatzDragon wrote:
4e made it more apparent (and made the situation worse rather than better by more openly dumping responsibility for narrative RP moments directly in the players's laps),
You or someone else is really going to have to help me out by showing how explicitly different or worse 4e is here (not just as compared to 3e, but 2e, AD&D, and Basic as well), because I really don't see it.
ErsatzDragon wrote:
but for me it's a frustration going back to 3e at least (and continuing into Pathfinder - honestly, if you can RP in these systems, you can RP in 4e, while still agreeing that 4e RP does belong in the fail column for lack of needed attention and support).
I'm a bit unclear as to what you mean by "you can RP in 4e, while still agreeing that 4e RP does belong in the fail column for lack of needed attention and support"; particularly the part I italicized. I don't suppose you could point to other systems to demonstrate how 4e falls short in RP attention and support.
Or are you just referring to the fact that 4e was pronounced a failure relatively quickly, attempted to course correct (and made things worse) with Essentials, and then was quickly dropped so there wasn't much support for the system in general.

I think some of the official campaigns/adventures may have been a bit worse with regards to how they instructed/advised RP, but I didn't see too much to compare. I'm not sure that that would be a fault of the system per se, though.

ErsatzDragon wrote:
That is, I do think 4e hit several of its intended targets, and was fun to play as a tactical miniatures game. I wouldn't bin it all as a failure even if some of its component design decisions in hindsight failed to pan out (or had unintended consequences of their own).
It had a bunch more problems (which usually aren't pointed to by it's detractors), though I'm not sure how many of those problems (or similar) don't also show up in other systems:
Combat length (specifically with regards to scaling by level):
+ don't really have to worry about 1st level characters getting one-shotted (aside from poor adventure/encounter design)
- not scaled properly so (an already relatively long) combat length tends to keep increasing with player level

Monster Roles:
+ easier to generate encounters with mix of enemies
- roles not well balanced (Soldier very over powered as compared to other roles, especially Brute, which the game says you can use interchangeably with Soldier)

Scaling:
+ design team tried to make it easier for them to keep the game balanced across character levels (which to a limited extent, they did)
- in order for characters to meet the game's concept of scaling, they must take certain feats by specific levels limiting player agency and build diversity

Support:
- lack of player buy-in meant this was always going to be doomed
- how they went about it was still wrong, new classes were released with 1/2 or even 1/3 of the options/content that earlier classes had already received
- Essentials seemed to attempt to appeal to players that had given up on the system, thus alienating those that had stuck with it that far

ErsatzDragon wrote:
Postscript: huge fan of 5e now, not even looking back. I think it legit solves a lot of what 4e attempted to solve (not to mention "borrowing" and improving on Pathfinder's fixes relative to 3.5e, and updating/rescuing a lot of old and good 1e / 2e concepts).
I haven't looked at 5e much after the initial release. Mostly what I was initially struck by was the lack of build diversity; basically it seemed like a character picks their path at level 3 and then there are pretty much no more interesting decisions when leveling up ever. Characters seemed completely cookie-cutter.


plezercruz wrote:
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is cool and all, but if I'm going to whip out my cell phone or tablet, maybe I'll just play on that. I liked the cardboard aspect of the 1st edition.
People complain about this a lot, but it's weird to pick on MoM 2e for this which has one of the best app integrations out there. Other games that are considering using app integration should look at this to see a lot of how to do this well.
It's even more weird to complain about the app for this, when one of the most obvious shortfalls of MoM 2e is something MoM 1e did relatively well. In MoM 1e each scenario/board layout had three different overall mysteries/possible ultimate antagonists that would be decide by the GM choices during setup, and discovered by the players as they play through the scenario. MoM 2e mostly just has slightly different board configurations/item locations/etc., despite the fact that something like what MoM 1e should be even easier to implement with the app. (caveat: apparently some of the later scenarios from expansions are better about this)

plezercruz wrote:
Descent: Journeys in the Dark. This is not so much a condemnation of the 2nd edition as a tip of the hat to the first, which was quite a good game in its own right. Today I'd rather play Descent 1st edition than 2nd, and if I'm playing 2nd edition, I'll just play Imperial Assault.
While Descent 1e has issues, Descent 2e mostly doesn't help with those issues and frequently makes them worse. Descent 2e definitely had it's design more focused on campaign play, so I can see preferring it for that - but I still think the campaign design has problems (just maybe not as many as Descent: The Road to Legend).
Descent 2e has an app for purely cooperative play, but that implementation still has a bunch of issues.
With as much consternation was raised over a couple very specific edge cases for the line of sight rules in Descent 1e, they really should have come up with better line of sight rules for Descent 2e. Seriously, if ever a game has Line of Sight rules that tell players that a target prevents line of sight to itself (like Descent 2e does), play with the LoS rules from any other game (SW:IA, Descent 1e, Sword & Sorcery, pick anything else).

plezercruz wrote:
imtav wrote:
plezercruz wrote:


Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is cool and all, but if I'm going to whip out my cell phone or tablet, maybe I'll just play on that. I liked the cardboard aspect of the 1st edition.




I couldn't agree more. The closest I'll let electronics get to my gaming experience is a start player app. I guess the light bulb above my head is ok, too. cool
I'm not even really against electronics or anything. They don't really bother me in Alchemists.
The app also does it's job really well in that game, it's just a shame the rest of the game isn't better.
plezercruz wrote:
Some of my favorite childhood games, like Lost Treasure, featured an electronic device. If my group picks up Gloomhaven again, I'll definitely use the companion app.

Pete (just doesn't think it's a plus to replace a player with an app, like in MoM2)
Why?
The lopsided setup (where the GM player in MoM 1e would have spend like an extra half-hour on setup as compared to all the other players - who also couldn't help the GM player much in terms of setup) was one of the main things people disliked about MoM 1e.
People also complained about the tendency for 1 player (usually the owner of the game) to pretty much always have to play the GM player, because they knew the game the best (and/or they could set the game up before the other players arrived).
The app does quite well at addressing both those issues by off-loading that role to the app.

nexttothemoon wrote:
Arkham Horror (Third Edition)> Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror BGG rank: 266 Geek Rating: 7.116
Arkham Horror (Third Edition) BGG rank: 604 Geek Rating: 6.762


nexttothemoon wrote:
It certainly does seem true that in the vast majority of cases... newer editions seem to be more highly rated than earlier editions/versions.


Of course there's several factors that may also be at play there including the fact that early raters of the newer versions tend to rate games slightly higher because there is some self-selection bias going on as people familiar with (and that like the older versions) are likely to account for an above average number of the early purchasers of the new versions which likely accounts for the higher ratings of the newer versions.

People who didn't like the older versions... likely aren't going to jump onboard the new versions either because the games still aren't likely to be something they would like because even with possible "improvements" in the gameplay, the games are often fundamentally the same.
In addition to recency bias, and the self-selection bias that you mention, some people that didn't like older versions will try newer versions because the proclaimed "improvements" specifically claim to address problems those players had with the game. Those players will tend to rate the game as high if not higher than the original.
 
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chris thatcher
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Quote:
Arkham Horror (Third Edition)> Arkham Horror


Lol no.
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Tariff wrote:
Quote:
Arkham Horror (Third Edition)> Arkham Horror


Lol no.

Pretty sure he only meant that it has a substantially higher user rating.
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Greg Darcy
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Quote:
So my question is this does a newer version of a game, always make a game better?


Always? No!
I give you Monopoly and its myriad of versions that are mostly just a reskin of the same game.
Or Arboretum. Another reskin. Which you will like better depends on your sense of aesthetics. The game is the same. Though there was a rules revision in an early reprint that improved the game.

Sometimes? Yes!
I give you Viticulture Vs V:Essential Edition

 
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Pete
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Tariff wrote:
Quote:
Arkham Horror (Third Edition)> Arkham Horror


Lol no.
You should have just quoted the whole post.

Pete (takes exception to over half of those)
 
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