Continued from my earlier post.

Originally, I wanted to go question-by-question through this transcript of a WotC panel from D&D Experience 2012 and poke holes in the responses of the designers over at Wizards of the Coast, but after reading through most of it, I don’t think I can do it. Not because these guys have an airtight concept, but because they have nothing to say.

I really want to thank EN World for their coverage, and this transcript has proved highly informative. The designers behind the “world’s most popular roleplaying game,” or whatever the corporate slogan for Dungeons & Dragons is now, have been playing the game for far too long. They have jobs. And suits. They’re comfortable.

Maybe they don’t literally have suits. Maybe their jobs are actually still on the chopping block. The point is, Dungeons & Dragons has actually reached the point of Magic: the Gathering in that the designers will claim to change things, and maybe they’ll make some of the changes. But they’re going to keep publishing. And keep competing.

Paizo and Pathfinder are not going to usurp the coveted spot of Dungeons & Dragons. Or maybe they will, and they in turn will be gobbled up by a corporate body. The point isn’t really the game anymore. With the talk about competing factions of gamers foaming at the mouth, there’s no opportunity for bringing them back together.

Nobody wants that. Not you, and definitely not the suits. Conflict breeds interest, and interest generates revenue more reliably than quality does. Quality is volatile. We live in a strange, strange world. Anyway, this means I’m throwing in the towel. Right now.

This won’t be my last post about Fifth Edition, because I will no doubt be taking many a potshot at the game for years to come, and will continue to do so long after the launch of Sixth Edition. No, instead I’m going to stop talking about it like it’s a serious thing. No, Fifth Edition doesn’t matter. It isn’t out yet, it isn’t relevant to the discussion.

I prefer to talk about games that are already out. Like a games historian. I beat the crap out of the games that have come before, the ones that people try to put on a pedestal when they’re disillusioned with the games of today. No sparky, the honest truth is the games have never been good. They just haven’t all been terrible.

Joining my conversation isn’t about loving the good old games, it’s about putting things into perspective. People try to do the best they can, and things don’t always work out. We try to learn from our mistakes, and do better the next time. Some people don’t try to learn from their mistakes, and just reiterate them forever.

We’d like for people to do better, and sometimes they do. Sometimes. Not optimism, not pessimism. It’s about pragmatism. It’s about what’s measurably useful.

Pragmatism, people. Forget about Fifth Edition and enjoy your games.