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D&D 4th Edition - Learning from MMOs

Posted Jun 20, 2008 by Jon Wood

D&D 4th Edition - Learning from MMOs

Dungeons & Dragons is considered by many to be the forefather of the modern-day MMO. With the recent release of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, we are seeing evidence that new Dungeons and Dragons design is being informed by MMOs. In this article, Managing Editor Jon Wood discusses some of the specific elements of the new edition that draw in elements of our genre of video game.

There is little doubt that Dungeons and Dragons (and other early pen and paper games) helped to pave the way for the MMORPG genre. So much so that when co-creator Gary Gygax passed away, many MMORPGers mourned the loss.

It has always been easy to look at MMOs (and all RPGs, really) and find the influences that pen and paper game like Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) have had on them, but the most recent edition of the popular tabletop game turns all of that on its ear. It seems that the student had become the teacher, the circle of life is complete, and a number of other clichés that I could use to say that the recently released 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons looks less like the template for MMORPGs and more like a product of them.

Whether Wizards of the Coast (the current developers of Dungeons and Dragons) designed this new edition of the game to be more appealing to the MMORPG gamer crowd or whether it is simply being informed by a popular game type difficult to say, but there are a number of parallels that should be explored:

Read the article here.


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