Anyway, I've been on single parent duty pretty much all week and work's been a total bear (AND I haven't had access to Ye Old Internet at work), so I feel I have a valid excuse for not mentioning it. But...well, I have a few minutes this morning in the quiet of sipping coffee with the wife, beagles, and baby all sleeping soundly upstairs (I'm running late for work anyway due to having to put the baby back to sleep around 6ish...no, no...nothing to give me sympathy about, I'd rather be doing that than going to work anyway...).
It must have been Monday or Tuesday that Diego and I were over at Gary's Games in Greenwood (part of normal constitutional around the bario) when I spotted the hardcover 3.5s coming out of their recent shipment. I thought it was pretty bizarre to tell the truth...I mean I hadn't seen anything about it or announcements that WotC was going to do this (not that I follow WotC's news boards or anything but I selfishly expect other bloggers to do so and thus keep me informed of the latest-greatest). However, in scanning back through the internet it looks like there was some mention of this as early as July regarding a "premium edition" of 3.5 being released, similar to the commemorative AD&D books.
Well, I don't know if the errata from earlier printings has been cleaned up, but these 3.5 books don't look especially "premium" to me...that is, they look exactly like the earlier issuance of 3.5, albeit shrink-wrapped and with $50 price tags (the folks at Gary's tell me the interior is the exact same). In fact, they look kind of like someone at the warehouse just found a few dusty piles of unsold books and decided to see if they could get one more cash infusion from the gullible public prior to the release of their D&D Next reiteration. The really amusing part (I really did have a good chuckle with Tim when I saw the books front-and-center on the "new book" shelf yesterday) is that they're still plenty of near-mint condition 3.5 books in Gary's used section. Previously those were being sold for $50 but now they've been discounted down to $30 or so...but wow, I can't figure why anyone would want to buy this stuff, new or used.
I mean, don't the WotC diehard supporters want to own the latest version number (whether that's 4th or the soon-to-be 5th)? Haven't the disgusted 3.5 devotees already found their niche with Paizo and Pathfinder? Haven't the old geezers like myself already decided to spurn the whole lot and either play the oldest versions and/or write our own?
To me, it's a bit pathetic (thought amusing, as said): it really does look like they're just cleaning out the closets and hoping to get a little scratch in the process...a kind of "last garage sale of the summer" kind o thang. Whether or not this is real, serious business stratagem of some sort...well, I really don't see how it can be. I mean, why would you do such a thing? How could this benefit the coming 5th edition (let alone the existing 4th?). To whose nostalgia is 3.5 supposed to appeal? Who exactly is the target audience?
I really don't get it, but it does tickle my funny bone. Maybe it is supposed to be a joke...though I wonder at whose expense?