• @[email protected]
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    3 months ago

    Everything people are scared Tencent might do to D&D has already been done by Hasbro: the MMORPG conversion (4th edition), canning all the staff (happens every few years, and to Magic too), adding DLC (just take a look at the current official app), walling off the garden (three tries on that one: once with 4th, once recently with the OGL stuff, and once with the limitations on animations in map applications), even the movie.

    D&D the rules system has been a corpse for years, that the designers managed to make 5th into a passable game is a miracle. Play Pathfinder, Blades in the Dark, Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds, Fate, Vampire, GURPS, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Dread, Worlds Without Number, Mothership, Numenera, Mork Borg, Everyone is John, any of the dozen variations on those games, or one of the hundreds of other options not yet listed. They pretty much all run as well if not better than D&D.

    • @[email protected]
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      12 months ago

      That’s a ton of names dropped. I wonder what is the best way to have a brief understanding of each one.

      • @[email protected]
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        2 months ago

        Yeah, to be honest my point is there are many good games out there. That said…

        • Pathfinder: Fantasy in the classic D&D style, branched off after 3.5ed. Three action economy is gooooood once you’re used to it. Lots of dice.
        • Blades in the Dark: Steampunk horror fantasy. The most beautifully designed system I’ve played. Dice pool game that’s easy to pick up and master, flavor for days, fantastic narrative control for the players and GM, easy to run. Even people who will never play Blades need to read the book, it has several concepts that can change how any GM or DM runs their games.
        • Call of Cthulhu: d100 horror game about staring into the face of a cold, uncaring universe. The cashmere scarf of tabletop RPGs, just oozes luxury. The way the math on skills works is so perfectly suited to CoC’s style of horror it’s uncanny. Delta Green is a great variant if you want to an SCP or X-Files game.
        • Savage Worlds: Action Movie! The Game. Universal system, can be used for most any genre. When it was written it was considered pretty fast to play, now it’s about average. Swingy combat. I use it when I run a system not covered by other games, for me mostly 1920-1950s era detective stories. The surface level rules are intuitive, but the GM needs better system knowledge.
        • Fate: Very high concept storytelling game. Players and GMs both have the ability to influence the narrative of the scene. The game I had the hardest time learning, not because of the game itself is hard but because I had to change the way I think about TTRPGs.
        • Vampire: Vampires in the modern world. Dice pool system. I like the newest edition a lot, I think it’s pretty elegant. Can get weird.
        • GURPS: The ultimate multipurpose game. Build any character in any setting. ANY setting. Building characters is a horrible slog, but the rules are… surprisingly simple in practice, at the discretion of the GM. A lot of work in prep, but when it’s right, it’s very right. The Film Reroll podcast plays through movies using it, highly recommend listening to a movie run by Paulo (Home Alone, maybe) to get an idea of the system.
        • Shadow of the Demon Lord: Grimdark or horror fantasy. d20 system, very easy for D&D players to learn.
        • Dread: Extreme rules light horror game. Tasks are resolved with a Jenga tower. The GM creates a horror scenario. Anytime the GM wants to increase the tension or the players are in danger trying to do something, a player pulls a block (or two, or three). When the tower falls the player who knocked it over dies. Players can sacrifice their life to accomplish a heroic action by knocking over the tower intentionally. That’s all the rules.
        • Worlds Without Number: Fantasy. Sort of another branch off AD&D. A nicely designed mix of Old School Renaissance and some modern conveniences. Very, very good worldbuilding tools. Free, to some extent.
        • Mothership: d100 sci-fi horror system, more barebones than CoC. Very easy to pick up and build characters fast, which is good, 'cause they’re going to die.
        • Numenera: Weird sort of futuristic/fantasy setting. One of the easiest systems I’ve ever run, super easy to adjust on the fly. Maybe a little too complicated to explain in a few sentences.
        • Mork Borg: Old school, original D&D turned emo. Can be played straight or as satire.
        • Everyone is John: A comedy game, very rules light, where the players take turns controlling the same character, John. They try to accomplish hilarious tasks. Gets weird. My John flew the USS Enterprise-D into a sun once. Free.

        For people who want high fantasy but not D&D, I’d recommend Pathfinder 2e. For people who want something a little more dangerous and stripped down and are coming from D&D, Worlds Without Number. For anyone I recommend Call of Cthulhu and Dread. Everyone should read Blades in the Dark, even if they don’t want to play in the setting.

        Also, from the other comments below: Traveller: Space Adventures! The Game. The rumor is Firefly was based on Joss Whedon’s Traveller game, and that’s how Traveller plays. Amazing character creation system that lets players control some of their background, but mirrors real life in that not everything goes as planned. The setting is very, very deep. I admit I would probably play Scum and Villainy (Blades in the Dark in Space) or Stars Without Number (the predecessor to WWN) instead, but it’s up there. The One Ring Roleplaying Game: Very much a system to play stories not just in Middle Earth but in the style of LotR. I have not played this and have no intent to do so, but it’s clever in its own little hobbit hole way. I have read it. Cool dice.

        I haven’t read Shadowdark or Pugmire. Shadowdark looks, for my purposes, similar to Worlds Without Number or Shadow of the Demon Lord. As for Pugmire I use Mouseguard for my Redwall adjacent stuff, but I would sit in a few sessions for sure.

        • @[email protected]
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          2 months ago

          Woah! Thanks for the detailed intro. I have checked out some of them right after seeing your original comments.

          I have tried some of the listed myself. Pathfinder, CoC, Everyone is John, inSANE, Cypher System, and Ten Candles.

          Cypher System’s premise is that character creation is just 3 sentences. You pick a class, a descriptor, and a purpose and you are done. Each of them might offer some skills, advantages or disadvantages for your characters. Another key feature is their character arcs, you get to pick your short term goals and you earn experience by attempting to achieve the goals, and you need to explain to the GM what you have done to achieve them at the end of each session. Experience will only be granted if the GM agrees.

          I am looking into some systems that are easy to create characters. As it is often the first blocker for new players. No way someone new is gonna read through every possible class, subclass and feats. I am looking for a system that could drag my friends into the trpg world.

          Goblin Quest and the Quest RPG are what I would try next.

          Goblin Quest is about stupid goblins who die trying to accomplish silly goals. Chaotic, fun and maybe gruesome. Players will be creating five similar goblins at once and will be switching between (after each of them dies). Dying/failure is inevitable in this game and and should be fun. The quests will be silly and small in scale (like trying to make a cake, host a party, or steal a pumpkin).

          Quest RPG is similar to Cypher in terms of character creation and skill picking, whilst having a little more depth in it. Its major perks are having Skill Trees that requires players to learn the skills in defined order, locking powerful skills at later levels without level systems. Characters will always have 10 max HP, at all times. When 6-10 are rolled from a D20, tough choices will be laid out to players, instead of the GM deciding exactly what happens, two equally bad situations are presented for the players. Let’s say Jon is trying to attack this red dragon with a dagger, he is rashing in and attempting a cut. He rolled a 7, so he needs to choose between dealing less damage or suffering some damage himself.

  • @[email protected]
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    693 months ago

    Headline was so confusing because I never see it stylized like that. It’s always D&D or DnD, never DND - that’s ‘Do Not Disturb’.

  • @[email protected]
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    3 months ago

    I just wish that Larian Studios would buy it. They could save their licensing fees for BG3 and could keep DnD community driven. Would also make it much easier for them to introduce new game mechanics into future games and pull those changes back into DnD.

    Edit: I just read that tencent owns 30% shares of Larian which is kind of a bummer. Still would be much better with Larian directly, because tencent doesnt have a majority say then.

    • Basilisk
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      343 months ago

      Larian isn’t especially big though, even with the success of BG3, a purchase like this is likely would be well outside what they could hope to afford.

      • @[email protected]
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        133 months ago

        They have over 450 employees and operate in six different countries. I don’t know what DnD would be worth but it’s not like Larian is small.

        Logically I think it makes more sense for Larian to want to buy the video game rights specifically as anything beyond that would be outside their scope.

        • @[email protected]
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          143 months ago

          Imagine how much staff works for Hasbro or Tencent, because that’s the league we are playing in here - after a quick Google, Hasbro has 6480, Tencent has 108,436. Larian is a dust mite to Tencent and DND has been around for half a century, had a film based on it recently, just had a game of the year based on it and a two decade old dnd IP. DND made $100-150 million in 2022.

          • @[email protected]
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            3 months ago

            If this site can be trusted, BG3 has about 90 Million users in total. With the game not being on sale for less than 53€ if we use that price as our baseline and remove the 30% that steam takes, they would be around 3.3 Billion euro in revenue. With 450 employees, investors like tencent and previous games financing a large chunk of early development, and a marketing budget of a few million euros, I assume that after taxes they still have at least 1 billion in money leftover, probably more.

            Granted, thats not quite the 2 billion that you mentioned D&D is worth, but putting Larian into the “millions” category is underselling them quite a bit and if tencent as their biggest investor backs the idea and pumps money into it, I wouldn’t be suprised if they could come up with the money somehow. Wouldnt be the first time that a company takes on a lot of debt to aquire a valuable asset for them to pay off through the estimated revenue in the upcoming years. The possible ROI for Larian would be way larger than for many other companies just based on the current success of BG3.

            Impossible Film also took over the Polaroid IPO in a similiar way. And Porsche nearly took over VW even though they were a way smaller player before VW aquired them.

        • @[email protected]
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          43 months ago

          Those would be mad expensive too - think about all the awesome D&D video games that have ever been made. Yes they’ve been less so in the last decade, but any company would know the power of the name and want the game rights as well as the printed media and other rights. It’s a whole deal. Larian could almost never hope to have the kind of money that would convince Hasbro to sell the game rights separately, much as we’d basically all prefer that.

    • ono
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      3 months ago

      I just learned about that as well. I hope Larian dilutes or buys back Tencent’s shares.

      • @[email protected]
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        63 months ago

        Why would they do that, though? They’re a private company. They didn’t have to let Tencent buy in in the first place, which means it was purposeful.

        And the reason companies give Tencent a cut of themselves is to have better access to the Chinese market. You need a Chinese publisher or partner to operate there, and Tencent offers that to software companies in exchange for letting them buy in. They always buy minority stakes, and they don’t take over editorial control of anything.

        They’re actually a good business partner for anyone wanting to have their games distributed in China.

        They’re just also a really aggressive F2P developer.

  • @[email protected]
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    533 months ago

    Everything about that is absolute cancer.

    Everyone’s favorite TTRPG going world stage corporate. Fucking yay…

    • @[email protected]
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      403 months ago

      How is that different than now? DnD fell apart because Hasbro is a world stage corporation, they’re just trading it to another world stage corporation which will kill it further until they pass it on too.

      Whatever you remember liking is long long dead.

        • @[email protected]
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          233 months ago

          Nobody was trying to make this about race except you my man. That was the very first place your mind went. Which probably isn’t a coincidence because, in my experience, the people screaming look at me look at me I’m not racist usually turn out to be the most racist motherfuckers you will ever deal with.

          • @[email protected]
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            33 months ago

            “If no one explicitly mentions that their feelings are about race, then they’re not about race!”

            • @[email protected]
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              Its in general about their properties and how they handle them. I seriously doubt most of the people here, other then race obsessed people like you, could even tell you where tencent is based. Could even tell you who the nationality of the people in charge are. I sure as fuck can’t. I have heard the name several times in the past but, honestly, until I saw you posting this I thought they were an American company.

              Because, you know, I don’t obsessively check the race of everything before I make a decision about it.

              • @[email protected]
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                -43 months ago

                You didn’t explain what about Tencent was bad in any clear way, and you didn’t compre it to Hasbro, so you haven’t answered the question.

                And last time I saw Tencent brought up it was about their investment in Epic, and there were loads of comments about social credit and winnie the pooh. It’s not hard to notice the problem.

                Contrary to what a lot of racists would like you to believe, noticing racism is not the real racism. But do go off about how much I’m virtue signalling.

                • @[email protected]
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                  33 months ago

                  The big issue is they are just another huge shitty corp that will bring no value, and more importantly will 100% be sitting on this property for a very long time. If it got sold people would hope it would go to someone good, someone who would bring something positive too the property, people who might turn things around and put real heart and soul into it.

                  Ok so…YOUR TURN! You are defending tencent so hard, making it so clear anyone who doesn’t like the poor company is only against them because of racism. There has to be something amazing about them that you know that will change all of our minds? Because, honestly, right now I’m reminded of all the ‘if you didn’t like the movie it means your sexist’ crap we got with girl ghostbusters.

            • @[email protected]
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              33 months ago

              Who’s saying Tencent owning D&D is worse than Hasbro owning D&D?

              Hasbro has thoroughly fucked D&D over. My expectation is that Tencent will find different and novel ways to fuck D&D over. I doubt Tencent will be significantly better or worse for D&D than Hasbro. But then D&D (and WotC more generally) was mostly beyond redemption before news that Hasbro was trying to sell it off.

              • @[email protected]
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                23 months ago

                The comment I replied to was asking that exact question, and I was pointing out that the only reason to think they are any different is probably rooted in racism, as a lot of the panic surrounding tencent has been in my experience.

                • @[email protected]
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                  13 months ago

                  Joncash2’s comment? Please explain the 4-dimensional calculus by which you interpreted that comment to have said anything about Tencent being worse (for D&D or just in general) than Hasbro (or better, for that matter).

        • @[email protected]
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          53 months ago

          Something about the way you worded the first paragraph makes it read as if you are stating your opinion and not mocking the reason most people go “Tencent bad”. I had to re-read a couple times to understand it. I do agree with your critique.

          • @[email protected]
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            23 months ago

            I genuinely can’t decide if this is being downvoted by people who think I’m being sincere, people who don’t like their racism being called out, people who think I’m defending a global corporation, or people who think I’m a tankie. Maybe it’s a mix of all four.

            • @[email protected]
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              03 months ago

              What reasonable person could read your post as anything but sincere racism? An “/s” goes a long way.

              (Though I’m not sure in this case that would have been enough to keep you from getting downvotes. Would have made your post sound like you thought everyone who thought Tencent owning D&D was a bad thing thought so for racist reasons.)

              And you misused the word “interrogate.”

              • @[email protected]
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                13 months ago

                A reasonable person might read the phrase “for reasons I refuse to interrogate further” and realise that’s far too self-aware for an openly racist person to say.

                But you apparently noticed that I said “interrogate” and you think I… used it wrong? I am genuinely curious what you think that word means in the context of that phrase, and what you think the phrase itself means.

            • FaceDeer
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              -13 months ago

              I downvoted it because it’s racism out of nowhere. Whether you’re being pro-racist or ironically anti-racist hardly matters, it’s just an unwelcome and unwarranted jump to this subject that nobody cared about.

    • @[email protected]
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      3 months ago

      I get the spirit of the comment, but among people who often play multiple TTRPGs almost no one would call D&D their favorite. I would be worried if Tencent (or Hasbro) bought Arc Dream or Evil Hat, but in practice the John Harpers of the world leave and start another company using their corporate lucre. In fact that’s where Paizo started, from people peeling off of D&D after Hasbro acquired it.

      Tabletop games are such a functionally cheap product to create and sell it’s impossible to truly stomp out competition. Tencent would have to buy Twitch and YouTube and disallow any other game, and even then every nerd convention in the world would have some guy selling stapled together zines that rips D&D a new asshole.

      Tl;dr: I don’t give a shit if Tencent buys D&D.

  • @[email protected]
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    463 months ago

    We should petition the government to invalidate the copyright on D&D and send it to the public domain.

    • @[email protected]
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      3 months ago

      Literally no need. Take a rule book, modify it as desired. There’s a huge creator ecosystem out there, paid or otherwise, and WoC just outright doesn’t matter to it.

    • @[email protected]
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      273 months ago

      I despise Tencent and the general business model of just buying up shit, but worse than Hasbro? Tencent played quite the part in BG3‘s making (By buying 30% of Larian years ago to keep cash flowing) and everyone loves it. They usually let western companies do as they please. If anything Hasbro selling it is yet another proof of why they shouldn‘t have it in the first place. And if WotC had anything left of a spine they would try to buy themselves free but that sure as hell is not going to happen because they do not care.

    • @[email protected]
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      123 months ago

      That would be anything produced after 3.5. The brand has been going down for a long time. That’s not to say there is nothing good in the current 5e, just for me it seems like it lost its soul with corporate oversight.

      • @[email protected]
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        213 months ago

        I moved to Pathfinder 2e and I couldn’t be happier. The only issue I have is that one of my players is Mercer-coded (is that a thing?) and really hates any time a skill, class, or spell isn’t a 1:1 copy of DnD. He recently grabbed Bane as part of a feat for his barbarian and learned it isn’t the same as DnD Bane and had a meltdown.

          • @[email protected]
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            103 months ago

            We’re all close friends outside of the game and we are all used to each other’s quirks. It’s a pain sometimes, but he does genuinely enjoy the game, though. He’d only played 2 campaigns of DnD before-hand (Strahd and Frostmaiden), but has listened to every episode of Critcal Role. I decided to homebrew a full 1-20 campaign for the group as an introduction to Pathfinder so we could all (GM included) get a taste for it across the entire span of character growth, and it’s been a learning experience for us all.

          • Fushuan [he/him]
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            23 months ago

            I don’t understand why being mercer-coded would make them hate anything not dnd, mercer plays various systems when his friends do oneshots, and knows several systems.

            He seems like an asshole though.

        • @[email protected]
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          33 months ago

          Mercer as in a merchant of textiles? I guess that’s wrong but it would be hilarious if textile merchants are famous for that behaviour :D

      • Xariphon
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        33 months ago

        4e was D&D for people who would rather be playing WoW.

        5e is a watered-down anemic shadow of 3.5.

        • FaceDeer
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          73 months ago

          That’s a common way of putting down 4e, but it’s not so. I have no interest whatsoever in WoW but I really liked 4e. 4e’s approach was to build a very consistent and rigorously-defined framework for the game, and then build its various elements (classes, monsters, abilities, etc.) strictly within that framework. I think it actually hit a very nice sweet spot; the framework was sufficiently flexible that a huge amount of interesting and distinctive content could be made, but it was also well-defined enough and simple enough to understand and apply that everything “just worked.” You could play as a fighter for a whole bunch of levels and then pick up a completely different character sheet for a wizard and you’d find that most of the mechanics worked the same. Combat was very positional, with lots of abilities that allowed you to set other players up for success, which encouraged teamwork and player interaction.

          It annoys me greatly that WotC tried to set the system up to be dependent on their online tools, failed, and then tore the tools down to leave the wreckage largely unplayable. I can still play a 3.5e campaign just as easily as I did back in the day but it’d be rather hard to play 4e as easily even though I still have the books. The best tools were WotC-owned and they don’t allow third parties to fill the void they left when they decided to transition to 5e - presumably to avoid another Pathfinder situation.

        • @[email protected]
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          53 months ago

          I actually quite like the 5th edition, since it simplifies some of the most convoluted/boring areas of the 3rd edition.

          Also coming after the 4th edition might have helped quite a bit in the perception

          • Xariphon
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            13 months ago

            You say simplified, I say dumbed down.

            But yeah 4e didn’t say an especially high bar.

        • BolexForSoup
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          13 months ago

          Pretty unfair take of 5e. Though I will say 5e has a high-level problem. Once you get to like level 11 or 12 there isn’t a whole lot to do until you’re 18 or 19. 3.5 I felt suffered the same issue though.

          4 and 5 I think did a a lot to make the game more intuitive and not take 2hrs to resolve a round of combat, 4 just also had a lot of bad mechanics. You call that dumbing it down and anemic but I don’t think that’s a very fair assessment, but to each their own I guess. I for one I’m glad to see a lot of the changes and ideas they brought to the table, in particular 5e. I feel it caters more to RP which I value.

      • BolexForSoup
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        3 months ago

        5e i’ve actually come to really appreciate. It’s just crunchy enough while also leaving room for interpretation and bending in a way that 3.5 I felt just didn’t really invite. Obviously you can do whatever you want, the goal is to have fun, but certain systems invite more shenanigans than others. And I personally like allowing shenanigans. My players get the most invested when they throw out an absurd idea and I immediately start walking them through how we are going to resolve it.

        Maybe I have just gotten more experienced with TTRPG‘s and more comfortable going off the cuff, but I really do feel like 5e opened that door in a more inviting way if that makes sense.

        That being said, I will always appreciate how with 3.5 it’s pretty difficult to come up with a situation that there isn’t an explicit rule for!

        • tiredofsametab
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          13 months ago

          2.5 was my fave. I never got into anything after it (at least pen-and-paper)

    • FaceDeer
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      23 months ago

      They’re going to abuse their business customers to claw back all the value for themselves?

      • @[email protected]
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        43 months ago

        That word with a very specific meaning is popping up everywhere and used as “made worse” and it’s grating.

          • FaceDeer
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            23 months ago

            Sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t complain about the directions the fluid is flowing. In this case a specialized term for something that didn’t previously have a popular term describing it has been rapidly diluted to mean “bad change I don’t like.” So that thing doesn’t have a specialized term any more, which hampers discourse.

            • @[email protected]
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              23 months ago

              The perils of language in the modern age, most people are not smart, and once a new word gets popular enough the majority of people using it will resemble the majority of society, ie, not smart people.

            • @[email protected]
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              13 months ago

              The thing is, “enshitification” was never defined as “abusing their business customers to claw back all the value for themselves”. That’s merely one of the stages that Doctorow outlined as part of the enshitification process.

              Enshitification, as a whole, is the process of stripping value from a product or service from everyone except for shareholders.

              • FaceDeer
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                13 months ago

                It’s a specific process, though. It’s the pattern of decreasing quality of online platforms that act as two-sided markets. Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t have that sort of structure, and that’s not the sort of quality decrease that the people who are using “enshittification” are talking about.

  • katy ✨
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    363 months ago

    yo fuck hasbro this is why critical role branched out

    • Ultragramps
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      43 months ago

      Pretty much. Their Candela Obscura game has already been used to make thousands in charity for Doctors Without Borders and there’s more to come.