Friday, July 9, 2010

Wizards DnD Updates & Magic MIssile Changes

Wizards has released another set of updates and corrections (here). Most of the changes pertain the newly released PHB3 and the new races included therein. The usual set of wording tweaks and clarifications that have necessary with earlier releases continues to need to be applied here as well.

There is one other change though that is causing quite a bit of controversy (see here). Let's use a picture to illustrate:

The Magic Missile on the left was cut/pasted out of Jenneth's character sheet from last week, the one on the right is cut/pasted out of Jenneth's character sheet from this week (i.e., post the July 6th CB update). Apparently Magic Missile is now an automatic hit, albeit for less damage. For those of you that remember our Magic: The Gathering days, think if this as being able to effectively "Tim" somebody each turn. I suppose it is good if Jenneth needed to absolutely take out a minion, but that would also mean that she might otherwise be being something else of more value to the party, so maybe it's a wash.

The controversy apparently splits about 50-50, so not everybody thinks this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is certainly is a noticeable thing. Is there a Wizard that doesn't have Magic Missile in their repertoire? Changing the wording in some random power that only a few people would ever see would never draw this kind of response.


  1. Interesting. If it wasn't for the existence of Minions in 4E, I'd say it's a tempest in a teapot, but having the ability to automatically kill off one minion per round would certainly have changed a number of our group's encounters (and with the reduction in damage, killing minions is about all it's good for).

    On a different level, I don't like the idea of the rules being in a constant state of flux. Maybe I've just become an old fuddy-duddy (maybe?), but we played D&D for almost 30 years with the same set of rules (well, OK, 25 years since AD&D came out) and that didn't make the game "stale" or "static". Character Builder is a really nice tool, but the fact that I can't create a character without 50 MB worth of software to manage all the different combinations and permutations suggests that the game is just too damn complex. I keep coming back to the conclusion that WoC is stuck in the MMO paradigm, that they want a table-top version of a computer game.

  2. Now that our characters are > 2nd level Minions don't do much. I am using them less as I adjust the Monsters/XP levels up for our larger sized group though.

    I am certain that if the same web/mail/DDI technology existed 30 years ago the same problem would have existed as well. At some point you playtest things, but at some point you have to commit - "ready, shoot, aim" is what it is called in project management school.

    Once mistakes are found, once wording discrepancies are encountered, once the inevitable broken strategies are uncovered, what should they do? There is something to be said for the policy of putting it out there for all to see and then using the technology available to them to make the corrections. But yes, it does make then look out of control sometimes.

  3. There is also an update to the Rogue Tumble Utility power. Now Oester can shift up to his speed not just half his speed. More fun getting combat advantage!!