User:Ghostwheel/Why 4e is Poorly Executed
While D&D 4th edition had many good design goals, I feel as though the authors shot themselves in the foot either by not implementing mechanics that backed up those design goals, or implementing features that went completely contrary to their design goals. Here are some examples of those mechanics that were implemented badly, and cause 4e to be a poor game overall.
- Abilities feel very standardized from what I've played (I've only been in 4-5 games thus far, though one or two only lasted a few sessions), so people feel very similar.
- Battles feel like they last too long. Battles in my opinion should last 4-8 rounds, it feels like they last 10-20 rounds in 4e which can easily lead to boredom.
- Battles seem to follow the same template almost every time. First few rounds you use encounter powers, after that you spam your at-wills until the end of the battle, which gets boring. Sure, you get a few dailies to break up the monotony, but for the most part there are few of them and they're quickly gone.
- Tied to the last one, it's impossible to regain powers with actions (or some other way) to create tactical options with more depth.
- Most monsters have primarily melee abilities (or very close-ranged abilities) which makes archery often overpowered in its ability to kite enemies. I believe a Distance Longbow has a range of 40 squares, and a ranger who's able to move away every round can kill many of their enemies with little fear of retaliation. This is exacerbated if you find some way to move more quickly, or are mounted.
- The RNG is still based around a d20, so even if you get an advantage like moving just into position to get combat advantage, for many characters it doesn't make a difference.
- Damage-wise, some characters feel much more powerful than others, even when they're supposed to A. fill the same role, and B. the less-damaging characters lack anything extra (like a status effect) to make them better.
- Newbie traps still exist, things that look cool but are in fact a waste of resources which newbies take and don't make them any better.
- There are many monsters that don't have a specific defense which is low enough to make much of a difference on a d20 RNG.
- Customizability of classes and multiclassing is constrained and lacks interesting features of mixing classes.
- Scaling ability scores to the point where defenses can fall off the RNG on one side or another.
- Lack of resource management which creates a lack of options in risk vs. reward
- There being enough small bonuses that you can rack up in various ways that lead to falling off the RNG.
- Races still shoehorn classes into them if you want to be viable.
- The 15-minute workday still being present in 2 aspects - daily powers, and healing surges. Once someone begins to run out of either, they call a halt to rest.
- Paragon classes and epic destinies feel forced for the most part, since for almost all classes' archetypes (jobs) there is a One True paragon class and epic destiny that is objectively better than any other, and taking another for flavor or the like feels like shooting oneself in the foot.
- The system favors all melee or all ranged parties. For one, if all people are in melee they can share hits taken, while if there are only one or two meleers among a party they must take the full brunt of the blows while ranged characters are doing things at a ridiculous range. On the other hand, many abilities that bolster and help melee folks (such as warlord abilities) don't benefit ranged attackers which reduces their effectiveness in a mixed party.
- Surge-less healing and its effectiveness in general can make encounters ridiculously easy.