March update to DDI tools?

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Typical Wizards.
No word yet. I will let you guys know if i hear anything.

serv·ice  


/ˈsərvis/
















Noun








The action of helping or doing work for someone.



Verb








Perform routine maintenance or repair work on (a vehicle or machine).
 




there are hundreds of issues that remain unfixed. simple things that it would take minutes or tens of minutes to fix. i have reported a couple and nothing has been done. i have just received a patronising reply.

we are all being strung along. given the amount of money the insider subscriptions must generate, the fact that nothing gets done shows what a joke of a company this is with absolutley zero respect for its subscribers. we are not idiots. an utter and complete joke of an 'organisation'.
Very disappointing 

Hey, I lowered my expectations a long time ago!    I just really sincerely hope that when service is discontinued at some point in the future they at least will do us the courtesy to announce it in advance.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Open Letter, sent by PM to WotC_Trevor:

Hello.

I realize that you are probably busy doing... well, I don't really know what y'all are doing, much, anymore, since y'all don't seem to be updating anything or publishing much of anything or responding to customers' questions, despite being a customer service sort of company (supposedly).

I am well aware that, whenever anyone asks about updates to the online tools for DDI, that you and your co-workers eventually (after weeks and occasionally months of ignoring the question) state that there will no longer be monthly updates to DDI tools.

Which is fine.  We realize that we, who are still paying for the use of these things, are the red-headed step-children around here, that even though we're pretty close to the only paying customers (and thus, hypothetically anyway, the last people helping to pay y'all's paychecks during all this).  We've gotten used to it over the past year of being abandoned to twist in the wind.

However, we're not asking about monthly updates.  We're asking about any updates.  The last update to the system was back in January, for stuff from Dragon 418 (which was December's issue).  Now, my question for you and/or your co-workers is, when are we going to get any more updates ever?  Forget monthly; we know that it won't be monthly.  Seasonally?  Semi-annually?  Yearly?

Here's the thing: I happen remember some the reasons that were presented back when y'all went to the Online system.  To expedite service.  To make updates smoother.  To, you know, provide customer service.  Something that y'all haven't been doing much of for some time, at least not for the paying customers.

I realize that, as a person who plays 4e, that I don't count for y'all any more.  I know it, I accept it, I'm used to it now.  Y'all have made it abudantly clear where we stand, when it matters.  And that's fine.

But, as one of those paying customers, I would really appreciate a straight answer from your company.  Stop saying that there's no more monthly updates; we're not idiots.  But, instead, how about answering the question of when there might actually be an update coming?  Because, to be frank, the economy's a bear, and I'd really love to keep paying a subscription fee for using the tools while they're still available.  But with the updates no longer coming, the tools lose their value, and I'm beginning to think of better places to spend my money and be ignored.

- Stephen "Steph" Mabie
- Oxford, GA

Can they atleast change the GSL so people's 3rd party CB's can become legal?

If you don't care about 4e anymore, atleast let those who do still care about it enjoy.  


Seriously, it takes 1 person to update the database...especially with how little content you guys put out these days.
Open Letter, sent by PM to WotC_Trevor:

Hello.

I realize that you are probably busy doing... well, I don't really know what y'all are doing, much, anymore, since y'all don't seem to be updating anything or publishing much of anything or responding to customers' questions, despite being a customer service sort of company (supposedly).

I am well aware that, whenever anyone asks about updates to the online tools for DDI, that you and your co-workers eventually (after weeks and occasionally months of ignoring the question) state that there will no longer be monthly updates to DDI tools.

Which is fine.  We realize that we, who are still paying for the use of these things, are the red-headed step-children around here, that even though we're pretty close to the only paying customers (and thus, hypothetically anyway, the last people helping to pay y'all's paychecks during all this).  We've gotten used to it over the past year of being abandoned to twist in the wind.

However, we're not asking about monthly updates.  We're asking about any updates.  The last update to the system was back in January, for stuff from Dragon 418 (which was December's issue).  Now, my question for you and/or your co-workers is, when are we going to get any more updates ever?  Forget monthly; we know that it won't be monthly.  Seasonally?  Semi-annually?  Yearly?

Here's the thing: I happen remember some the reasons that were presented back when y'all went to the Online system.  To expedite service.  To make updates smoother.  To, you know, provide customer service.  Something that y'all haven't been doing much of for some time, at least not for the paying customers.

I realize that, as a person who plays 4e, that I don't count for y'all any more.  I know it, I accept it, I'm used to it now.  Y'all have made it abudantly clear where we stand, when it matters.  And that's fine.

But, as one of those paying customers, I would really appreciate a straight answer from your company.  Stop saying that there's no more monthly updates; we're not idiots.  But, instead, how about answering the question of when there might actually be an update coming?  Because, to be frank, the economy's a bear, and I'd really love to keep paying a subscription fee for using the tools while they're still available.  But with the updates no longer coming, the tools lose their value, and I'm beginning to think of better places to spend my money and be ignored.

- Stephen "Steph" Mabie
- Oxford, GA



Hear hear. 

I wish I could say I was surprised but I'm not, for all the known reasons. 

On the other hand, the subscription fee for DDI is so low it would be stupid to give up the hobby (which is what cancelling my subscription would amount to, since I own no books) even when the company is making it more and more clear they're not supporting it anymore. 

What I do take issue with is the complete and utter lack of communication surrounding these things. If the service is not going to be updated anymore, fine, it's your product and at the end of the day you can do with it whatever you want. But never telling the people who are still paying for it is low. 

This does mean I won't be giving input for the magazine content errata anymore. 
Sent Trevor a PM as well: 

Dear Trevor, 

I was disappointed to read on the forums that the DDI tools won't be updated monthly anymore. I understand that it is your company's right to do with their product what they like, but it's unfortunate that the decision is to the detriment of us, paying customers. 

What I'm pretty furious about though is the complete and utter lack of communication surrounding the decision. Like I said, at the end of the day it's your product and you can do with it whatever you want. But not informing the people who pay for using it, instead letting them stew for a couple of months and then giving someone over twitter an answer that basically reads like "I told you guys that, right? Oh, I didn't? Lol, my bad", is low. That reaction, far more than the actual decision to stop the monthly updates, is what very nearly made me cancel my subscription. 

(which I didn't because that would basically mean the end of my games. please keep that in mind for future decisions regarding the online tools) 

So instead, I do the only other thing I can: I send you this message, hoping it will bring something about in your department. 

Now, what's done is done. But please, next time you see anyone asking questions regarding DDI, be quick and clear in your replies. It does say "Community Manager" in your sig (and presumably your job description), so please, be one. 

Sincerely, 

Sven "svendj" de Jong 
Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

At this point, I'm willing to bet his orders from his higher-ups are to disenfranchise and irritate the 4e fans so they just up and leave.
See i wouldnt mind the fact that dnd 4e isnt being updated monthly anymore if it wasnt for the fact that in community.wizards.com/go/post/reply/7588... it was said "The next update will be on March 19th." which as a result brings customer service issues into question. they should really make a EST. from now on.

So if they won't be updating the OCB, so that means no more 4e crunch coming each month?


Yet DDN isn't coming out till mid/late 2014? I dunno, sounds like support for 4e is being dropped super early.


So if they won't be updating the OCB, so that means no more 4e crunch coming each month?


Yet DDN isn't coming out till mid/late 2014? I dunno, sounds like support for 4e is being dropped super early.




Probably because they want a better tested core than 4e starter with. As much as I love 4e, the original books do have some flaws more time could have fixed.


That and because Essentials tanked horribly. They seemed to have longer plans but cancelled half the books and didnt really put up many more after that.    

I know my local store went from Dark Sun selling like hot cakes, to Essentials Books not selling at all shortly after. 
Disappointed, but unsurprised.



I think I've now officially lost interest in Next out of spite, rather than unhappiness with the direction.
I can understand WotC deciding they are not in the business of producing "software" and that PDFs are a better way of servicing the needs of the Previous-Edition-Fan.

However they do need to come out a say so.
Speaking of PDFs for Previous-Edition-Fans, you'd think that now that we're no longer Current-Edition, they'd be releasing more 4e PDFs. But I still don't see any 4e materials that haven't been up for months, and none of the PDFs I care about. No Player's Option or Powers or even MM3/Vault, and I hear the errata aren't even included, though I've seen several older edition releases advertised as containing errata. What gives? :l 
Wizards should be clear about what they will support. If they won't be making further updates to the tools, they should state that.

I can certainly understand if they don't. I would guess usage is at an all-time low, and I would guess adding and fixing takes away from D&D Next resources.

At the same time, I would like to see Hobgoblin and other recent crunch added to the CB. I would like to see new monsters added.

But, more than anything, I would like to see Wizards be clear in their communications.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

I can understand WotC deciding they are not in the business of producing "software" and that PDFs are a better way of servicing the needs of the Previous-Edition-Fan.

However they do need to come out a say so.



As long as they offer, and I pay, for a DDI subscription, they are in the business of providing content for Dragon and Dungeon, and in the business of software in the terms of the DDI tools they offer.

If they don't want to be in that business, then (a) stop charging me and (b) give me enough time with them to orderly move off of them (grab all my characters from the CB, etc.)

"...you might be eaten by a Grue."
Wizards should be clear about what they will support. If they won't be making further updates to the tools, they should state that.

I can certainly understand if they don't. I would guess usage is at an all-time low, and I would guess adding and fixing takes away from D&D Next resources.

At the same time, I would like to see Hobgoblin and other recent crunch added to the CB. I would like to see new monsters added.

But, more than anything, I would like to see Wizards be clear in their communications.



They were clear.  Mike Mearls told us early in the D&D Next process that they hoped to continue 4e DDI support even once Next is published, and that they wouldn't be abandoning current subscribers.

They were were quite clear.  It's their HONESTY that's lacking.

"...you might be eaten by a Grue."
Mike Mearls told us early in the D&D Next process that they hoped to continue 4e DDI support even once Next is published, and that they wouldn't be abandoning current subscribers.


"hoped to" is pretty vague. You can hope to get to the grocery store today, but for good reasons you don't. Similarly, I might not consider maintaining current tools as "abandoning". They are maintaining the tools, just not updating them.

Lying is very different from 'not doing what we/you/me want' or 'seeing things differently' or 'facing choices while having limited resources'.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

While most people usually equate truthfulness with honesty, there can be a huge gap between them. I think that's what's happening here. :-(
First thing for people working on providing new features should remember: People hate change for the sake of change. They usually don't mind genuine improvements, but change just because it's change and therefore cool tends to get hackles raised. Second thing for people working on providing new 'improved' features should remember: It shouldn't be hard for users to figure out how to turn them off if they don't like them. Just because the programmer thinks he's had a great idea doesn't mean everyone else is going to agree with them.
Similarly, I might not consider maintaining current tools as "abandoning". They are maintaining the tools, just not updating them.

Lying is very different from 'not doing what we/you/me want' or 'seeing things differently' or 'facing choices while having limited resources'.

QFT

Personally, I would prefer that we DON'T get any more crunch additions to the game.  It's become bloated as hell already.  YMMV.  I would, however, like to have everything fully updated before Next happens, and I would like to see the 4e online tools stay available indefinitely or an offline version produced.

Communication on this issue would be good though, so I'll wait patiently until I hear something real from WoTC.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Except that as long as we ARE getting more crunch additions to the game, in the form of Dragon articles, then those additions should be included in the DDI tools.

I want Hobgoblins to be in the Builder.  Not an unreasonable request.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Hey guys! I just resubscribed for another year! What'd I miss? :D
Mike Mearls told us early in the D&D Next process that they hoped to continue 4e DDI support even once Next is published, and that they wouldn't be abandoning current subscribers.


"hoped to" is pretty vague. You can hope to get to the grocery store today, but for good reasons you don't. Similarly, I might not consider maintaining current tools as "abandoning". They are maintaining the tools, just not updating them.

Lying is very different from 'not doing what we/you/me want' or 'seeing things differently' or 'facing choices while having limited resources'.



Okay, in communicating with customers on the official website, they set expectations that 4e DDI tools would continue into the D&D Next period.  Since we haven't even reached that milestone, and 4e is the current version, based on WotC's communications over official chanels people expect the tools they are paying for to continue to be supported and many have subscribed for six months or a year.  That's a lack of honesty in setting expectations, important for long-term purchase of services.

Or another example: They had communicated that the tools would receive monthly updates.  Then said the February updates would be delayed until a specific date in March.  Then to say they aren't doing regular updates anymore after now two months missed.  Yes, that's a lack of honesty as well.

For you or me, making a statement based on best available information is fine.  For a company to make a public annoucement that causes people to purchase long term service, and then change the service, is misleading and dishonest.  If the announcements are made, they need to stand behind them, or if they can't they need to make it up to the customers.

"...you might be eaten by a Grue."
Except that as long as we ARE getting more crunch additions to the game, in the form of Dragon articles, then those additions should be included in the DDI tools.

I want Hobgoblins to be in the Builder.  Not an unreasonable request.



Agreed.  And if the amount of crunch produced monthly is down, use the extra time to work on the Known Issues list they maintain.

wizards.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/...

As long as they are still charging me the same, I expect the same amount of effort put in each month.  If they can't put in that amount of effort, don't charge me the same as when you did more.

"...you might be eaten by a Grue."

For you or me, making a statement based on best available information is fine.  For a company to make a public annoucement that causes people to purchase long term service, and then change the service, is misleading and dishonest.  If the announcements are made, they need to stand behind them, or if they can't they need to make it up to the customers.




Some one "official" needs to make a statement beyond "we will let you know".  Don't they have PR people?

The thread in the General 4e Discussion forum on this topic has been deleted, probably because of all the people asking about offline builders.  But what do they expect when they say nothing!  Classic example of how not to do things ;)

If you say nothing people assume the worst, and not without reason.

This is just like how info on the DDI tools was handled during the initial 4E release. I guess nobody at WotC learned anything from that. :-(
First thing for people working on providing new features should remember: People hate change for the sake of change. They usually don't mind genuine improvements, but change just because it's change and therefore cool tends to get hackles raised. Second thing for people working on providing new 'improved' features should remember: It shouldn't be hard for users to figure out how to turn them off if they don't like them. Just because the programmer thinks he's had a great idea doesn't mean everyone else is going to agree with them.
It is very sad they are treating paying customers with such contempt.

This is a link to an article titled The Ten Commandments of Great Customer Service. Something whomever's decided to be this hostile with 4e loyalists should read. 
marketing.about.com/od/relationshipmarke...

WotC, if you want us out, please say so to the face. We promise we won't delay on the way out. Pathfinder is just one click away. But please do not insult our intelligence: we won't be bullied into Next.
     I recall something about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  I see all the same things that where done during the 3.5-4E transition being done again during this 4E-Next transition.  
     Even though there was a ton of vitriol spouted at us 3.5 hold-outs, the fact that the 4E crowd is now in the same boat doesn't even make me want to chime in with a hearty "Hah how does it feel suckers?"  I am more inclined to offer a pat on the back and a sincere "I feel your pain."  So I guess they have succeeded in reuniting the community after all.  Unfortunately we have been united as group who feels pushed aside, and left behind.  
      
Good point Ashby. What is humerous to me is that I'm not a big fan of Pathfinder but I do recognize that it could easily be houserule tweaked the way I want it to be without breaking it. 4e houseruling is very hard to do because so many other powers and things could cascade crash. In a way a person could easily make Pathfinder into a better 4e than 4e is even.

That aside I do wonder if D&DNext's promises of being modular in complexity will work. If it does then much of our 4e materials could be quite useable with whatever D&DNext's basic set is.

I think if WoTC would at least finally give us an answer to our questions then we'd be happy. Those questions seem to be: 1) Will DDI 4e survive or at least become a software program we can download? and 2) will 4e materials at least the core stuff be released as PDF so that new players have something more than H1 Quickstart Rules? 3)For D&D as a future and continueing product will they market it better - toy/miniature line in stores like Wal-Mart, Target etc? Heck Halo collectible mini toys are in there why not a line of D&D ones that function both as a D&D mini and toy? Make a basic D&D board game that families would actually buy. The fans will pay for the expensive expandable ones but they are not going to get families to buy them for Christmas at the current prices. They need a better marketing strategy.
I'm really angry about posts and threads on this topic being deleted. That is total BS. My opinion of WotC is plummeting. I actually like what they are doing with Next, but this issue is really turning me off.

Hey WotC, stop making us hate you. Try informing your customers in a straightforward way and be honest and clear in what you're doing with DDI. 
I'm really angry about posts and threads on this topic being deleted. That is total BS. My opinion of WotC is plummeting. I actually like what they are doing with Next, but this issue is really turning me off.

Hey WotC, stop making us hate you. Try informing your customers in a straightforward way and be honest and clear in what you're doing with DDI. 



I think its more likely the number of people asking for info about alternatives to WoTC's builder that is causing them to be deleted.
The posts/threads that are being moderated are the ones that break the code of conduct. Expressing your opinions on the latest DDI stuff or the lack of recent updates is fine as long we're playing by all the rules and keeping it constructive.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Why is there no information?

If you don't know the answer, who does?

Does nobody?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
"Soon"
The posts/threads that are being moderated are the ones that break the code of conduct. Expressing your opinions on the latest DDI stuff or the lack of recent updates is fine as long we're playing by all the rules and keeping it constructive.


Fine, Trevor, here's some questions for you, which shouldn't break the code of conduct:

• When are the prices of DDI decreasing in order to reflect the decrease in customer service?
• How long will the 4e tools continue to be available online?
• What options are going to be presented to peope once the tool are no longer available?
• When is someone from Wizards of the Coast and/or Hasbro going to actually address the customers about these issues, instead of us banging our heads against the door repeatedly?
Open Letter, sent by PM to WotC_Trevor:

snip


Did you receive a reply from Trevor? I didn't. Bad form not to reply to a message about lack of communication, if you ask me. Especially if your job title says Community Manager.
I sent svendj a reply recently and I figured I would just jump to the next step and post that reply here. In the recent PM to me, svendj called me out (not in an offensive way or anything) for not replying to him so I sat down and wrote out the info below. I want to point out that if my posts and my twitter conversation with Plague hasn't made it clear to you guys that I'm following these threads and giving you the info I have, let me make it clear again. I do follow the threads, I do read my PMs and I do see your messages on twitter. I know that you guys are unhappy about the way this news got to you and you want more information. I'm doing everything I can to get that, but I'm not going to come in every day to tell you I don't have any new information - that's not fun for either of us. I will be back as soon as I get some more info though.

Anyway, here is the response I recently gave svendj.
___________________________


Hey Svendj. Sorry for not responding to your earlier PM, it got lost in the pile of everything else. As a note, I get so many messages in a given week that if there isn't a direct question, I probably won't respond to it. I still read them, note them and bring it up with the appropriate teams in the office, but again unless there's a question to respond to, I don't always have the time to reply.


As for posting more information about the DDI updates, I simply don't have any more information than what I've posted recently. While the current plan doesn't include monthly updates, there will still be updates to the DDI tools to update with all the crunchy material being released in Dragon/Dungeon. I don't have a date for the next update at the moment, but when I do, I will drop into the forums to let everyone know.

I wish I had more info to give you, but again, as soon as I know something I'll pass it along.


Trevor

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

soon



soon




Yes, I used that word twice, in context, in two different sentences - specifically linked to the timeframe of when I know more. Was there something specific you were trying to say there?

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

• When are the prices of DDI decreasing in order to reflect the decrease in customer service?

I don't currently know of any plans for a price change.

• How long will the 4e tools continue to be available online?

I don't know, but I haven't heard any plans to end the service.

• What options are going to be presented to people once the tool are no longer available?

I don't know, but again, I haven't seen/heard any plans to end the service.

• When is someone from Wizards of the Coast and/or Hasbro going to actually address the customers about these issues, instead of us banging our heads against the door repeatedly?

When we have more concrete info to share, I'll be back to share it.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager