D&D Insider

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Here’s the thread to talk about the digital D&D component in general, including anything not covered by the other D&D Insider threads.
I'm cautiously optimistic about this, though it does sound exciting. I have tool I prefer and if there are no tools offered for offline use, I'm unsure how useful this will be for me.
In other words, let's hope that WotC is finally realizing that, although we really do enjoy sitting around a table in the basement ("Where are the CHEETOS?!"), we are actually in the 21st century.

With high-speed internet access rapidly becoming ubiquitous in the developed world, it would be great to see WotC design 4e rules in such a way that they are easily put into digital form, allowing (finally) the development of an officially sanctioned and supported virtual tabletop system for D&D.

Imagine the best of NWN, DDO, and TOEE rolled up into a fully 3-D virtual tabletop environment that supports all of the 4e rules, especially turn-based combat on a virtual 5' grid (that appears translucent on the ground only during combat).

That would be phat, da bomb, off the hook, off the chain, or whatever it is you kids say nowadays.

And get off my lawn!
Designed to support - but not rely on - would be great!

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

The 4th Edition rules emphasize faster game play, offer exciting new character options, and reduce the amount of "prep time" needed to run the game. D&D Insider includes a character creator that lets players design and equip their D&D characters, dungeon- and adventure-building tools for Dungeon Masters, online magazine content, and a digital game table that lets you play 24/7 on the internet — the perfect option for anyone who can't find time to get together.

http://theminiaturespage.com/news/519193/

WOOT.
And for those of us that don't have and/or want a laptop computer at the game table? What shall they do?

If electronic media = cheaper than buying a $40 source or supplement book then it might be worth it. I somehow doubt that will be the case.
At Last hopefully a fully functioning online etools mark 2
Let us hope that 4e is not designed to require the use of software.
Let us hope that 4e is not designed to require the use of software.

Even worse, a subscription based web app.
And for those of us that don't have and/or want a laptop computer at the game table? What shall they do?

Not AT the game table, INSTEAD of the game table. The point is to have an official software implementation of D&D that allows me to play over the intertubes with my far-flung friends. Not NWN, not DDO, (although both are very fun), but gen-u-ine Dungeons & Dragons over the computer.

Also, I'm quite certain that 4e will SUPPORT, but not not REQUIRE, digital/online play.

Maybe 5e will be PC-only. (Let the rumors begin!)
Even worse, a subscription based web app.

Yes, God forbid we have to pay for something valuable. People pay $10-20/month for WoW and every other MMO out there.

I'd GLADLY dish out a few bucks a month for the ability to play REAL D&D online, using an officially supported and continuously improved application.

Imagine an interface like DDO or NWN, with integrated voice-over-IP, turn-based combat on a 5' grid, with characters adventuring together in a module that was created by the DM or downloaded from WotC or Paizo or some other 3rd party developer.

The mind boggles at the possibilities!
Yes, God forbid we have to pay for something valuable. People pay $10-20/month for WoW and every other MMO out there.

I'd GLADLY dish out a few bucks a month for the ability to play REAL D&D online, using an officially supported and continuously improved application.

Imagine an interface like DDO or NWN, with integrated voice-over-IP, turn-based combat on a 5' grid, with characters adventuring together in a module that was created by the DM or downloaded from WotC or Paizo or some other 3rd party developer.

The mind boggles at the possibilities!

A subscription service to play online is great if that's your thing. I personally like the table top game. With a major revision of how the OGL will work, its likely that only WotC's software will be allowed to handle 4th edition character generation, and all the DM tools to run a game. I don't want to pay a monthly fee just to DM, and as a player, don't want to pay a fee to create a character.
I'm posting this in hopes of standardizing the information to which we have access until WotC produces something that we can use. Please post links to any information that you have found so that we can have an informed discussion on solid informaiton. Take what you get with a grain of salt and hope for the best with what we are being handed. Thanks.


Below is a link to an EnWorld thread that has compiled availble knowledge on 4E and the Digital Initiative. The OP is updating as much as possible and there are several other good links on that thread.

Take a peak at what appears to be the first official press release.
The second article I've found about 4E.
From someone who's there.

What's Coming? A link to the below quote.

Quote

Note: all Wizards threads have been locked down. Look for them again in about 19 hours and 26 minutes. Or earlier. Check the clock.

4th Edition is Coming
* The big announcement will be made at GenCon shortly.
* Specific 4e forums have been created at the Wizards site: http://forums.gleemax.com/forumdisplay.php?f=686
* Yes, there will be a "Player's Handbook", "Dungeon Master's Guide" and "Monster Manual" in 4e. (Source: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=905789)
* There will be at least 7 books of D&D 4 on 2008. (source: this post)
* Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 4e (this post by thormagni) in August 2008.
* "One new campaign setting per year"... vague plan. Dragonlance? Ravenloft? Greyhawk?(this post by thormagni)

From theminiaturespage.net:
August 16, 2007 (Renton, WA) – Whether you storm a mad wizard's tower every week or haven't delved into a dungeon since you had a mullet and a mean pair of parachute pants, one thing is certain - millions of D&D players worldwide have anticipated the coming of 4th Edition for many years. Today, Wizards of the Coast confirms that the new edition will launch in May 2008 with the release of the D&D Player's Handbook. A pop culture icon, Dungeons & Dragons is the #1 tabletop roleplaying game in the world, and is revered by legions of gamers of all ages.

The 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons game includes elements familiar to current D&D players, including illustrated rulebooks and pre-painted plastic miniatures. Also releasing next year will be new web-based tools and online community forums through the brand-new Dungeons & Dragons Insider (D&D Insider) digital offering. D&D Insider lowers the barriers of entry for new players while simultaneously offering the depth of play that appeals to veteran players.

The 4th Edition rules emphasize faster game play, offer exciting new character options, and reduce the amount of "prep time" needed to run the game. D&D Insider includes a character creator that lets players design and equip their D&D characters, dungeon- and adventure-building tools for Dungeon Masters, online magazine content, and a digital game table that lets you play 24/7 on the internet — the perfect option for anyone who can't find time to get together.

"We've been gathering player feedback for eight years," said Bill Slavicsek, R&D Director of Roleplaying and Miniatures Games at Wizards of the Coast. "Fourth Edition streamlines parts of the D&D game that are too complex, while enhancing the overall play experience. At its heart, it's still a tabletop game experience. However, D&D Insider makes it easier for players to create characters, run their games, and interact with the rest of the D&D community."

Wizards of the Coast will release two 4th Edition preview books in December and January — Wizards Presents: Classes and Races and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters. The first live demos of 4th Edition will happen at the D&D Experience gaming convention in Washington D.C. in February 2008. The full scope of 4th Edition books, miniatures, and adventures will be available in the spring and summer of 2008.

Since its first release in 1974, the fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons has taken millions of players on imaginary adventures of epic scale. Today, D&D is universally regarded as the original game that created the roleplaying game category, and the inspiration for generations of game designers. D&D is enjoyed by millions of players worldwide, while countless more remember it with fond nostalgia.

Player's Handbook 4e
* May 2008 (source: this post)

Dungeon Master's Guide 4e
* June 2008 (source: this post)

Monster Manual 4e
* July 2008 (source: this post)

D&D Insider
* This is the "D&D Online" section of Gleemax
* It contains a "Dungeon Master's Kit" that includes the following:
- dungeon builder (map tool)
- adventure builder
- PC generator
- other things (Source: Wizards forum post)
* "Character Generator"
- character sheets
- character visualizer (Source: Wizards forum post)
* "My Campaign"
* "My Character" (source: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=905809)
* "D&D Game Table" (source: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=905805)
* "Dungeon & Dragon Magazines" (source: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=905804)

The Dungeons & Dragons Insider Package

Become a Dungeons & Dragons Insider and gain access to exclusive content designed specifically with D&D players in mind. As part of your monthly subscription, you gain access to features designed to enhance your D&D experience, including:

D&D Insider Magazine, online magazine with new content updated daily, including:

-Product Previews (articles showcasing upcoming D&D products)
-Class Features (articles expanding existing character class options and debuting new character and prestige classes)
-Strategy and Tactics (articles relating to D&D roleplaying combat and spellcasting, and to D&D Miniatures Skirmish play)
-Design and Development (articles and columns exploring the many facets of the D&D experience, written by game designers in D&D R&D)
-D&D Humor (comic strips devoted to the D&D experience)

D&D Product Enhancements (expanded content for D&D products you bought, including interactive content such as searchable indexes, extra features, behind the scenes articles, game designer and developer commentary, and more)

Exclusive Content that expands your favorite campaign world

-Eberron and Forgotten Realms ongoing content
-Interactive maps
-World events and adventure hooks

D&D University

-Rolling six-week course to help make you a better D&D player
-Course message boards
-Player tip of the week from D&D R&D

- MyCharacter.Com pages that you can design and populate, with a Premium Customization Kit that includes D&D art, frames, and icons
- Private Message Boards that give you a direct line to D&D R&D
- Premium RPGA Membership Card mailed to you
- Fast Lane Registration at all RPGA events (online and in the real world)
- The Magic Shop, a virtual shop where you can outfit your D&D character

D&D Character Builder, a program that helps you create and manage your D&D characters. This program allows you to create a character for any D&D game, walking you through the process of rolling the dice and assigning your game statistics, as well as creating a visual version of your character using "paper doll" models and "drag and click" selections of armor and weapons. At the end, you can save your character and print out a character sheet, as well as go to any D&D tournament and call up your character for use, or use the character at the Virtual Gaming Table (see below). With this package, you get to create and store up to 10 different characters or up to 10 different versions of one character (your character at different levels), or some combination of the two.

-Exclusive D&D-related novels and short stories written by your favorite authors
-Real-World D&D Search Engines (find D&D gamers, game stores, tournaments, and events in your area)
-In-Game D&D Search Engines (find feats, spells, magic items, and other D&D-related topics)

Digital Gaming Table, a program that allows you to play D&D using the Internet as your kitchen table, with a viewable play surface, dice rolling, virtual miniatures, and voice chat. Now you don't have to wait for your home gaming group to get together to play a game of D&D. You can still play your weekly face-to-face game, but now you can also play two or three more times a week by finding a game at the virtual table. Or, you might want to reconnect with your old gaming pals who long ago moved away-now you can all play together again on a regular basis! With this package, you get to play at the table 3 times per month.

Source: http://www.enworld.org/showthread.p...referrerid=4046

Open Gaming Licence
* 4th Edition will fall under the OGL, and there'll be a new SRD (this post by thormagni)
* Wizards wants 3rd party publishers to produce 4e-compatible material. (this post by thormagni)
* 3rd party publishers will be able to get licenses to create 4e material from Wizards. (??)(source: jgbrowning This post)
* Fans will be able to publish material on Gleemax under (free) license from Wizards. (This material will be available to Wizards to republish; see discussion on Gleemax TOS).
* The OGL/SRD/d20 Licenses will still exist - details still to come (source: this post)


The following are source links to make your lives easier:

PHB, DMG, and MM Release

OGL

A screen shot of the locked forums that people are talking about.
Those forums were exposed to the public either through a glitch or marketing and then quickly locked either because someone found the glitch or it had done its job of grabing our attention. They will most likely reopen around 5:30 CST tonight.
A link to those forums when they are unlocked.
A screen shot of one of the threads

A post quoting Gamer_Zero.
Quoted from above.

Hello All.

The announcement of 4th Edition is a pretty big event for all RPG fans. It's a huge event for all of us at Wizards of the Coast, including WotC staff and our WizO support team. We understand that this is something many of you are going to feel very passionate about in a number of ways.

We've created this forum for few reasons. We want everyone to have a single discussion forum where they can get answers and information directly from the D&D staff. We also want to prevent the other forums from being overwhelmed with 4E posts to the point that it drowns out any of the natural discussion in those areas. Additionally, I want to have a single forum where our community can post their hopes, fears, concerns, and dreams about 4E. This will make it easier for the D&D staff to read community feedback, and to (hopefully) provide a lot of answers to your questions.

The WizOs will be moderating this forum and others. They are acting on the direction of Wizards of the Coast, so if you're upset with their moderation, please don't take it out on the WizOs. Their goals will be clear: Keep 4th Edition discussion in the 4E forum. This might mean locking threads and/or moving posts.

If you have concerns, questions, or issues about the forum moderation taking place after the 4th Edition announcement, I've created a thread here where you may discuss your concerns.

Finally, please try to be respectful in your posts and comments. Be nice to other posters, the WizOs, and WotC staff. The WizOs will be enforcing all Code of Conduct rules on all forums as usual.

If you have any suggestions or ideas on how I can do a better job of helping to facilitate communication between the D&D Staff and the Community, I've created a thread here.

Thanks!
-Mike


I hope this helps everyone out. Feel free to post links and quotes for me to add, as the more confirmable and official info we have the better.

The_Cloaked
Sounds interesteing. I hate ongoing exclusive subscription stuff though. Especially if it drastically changes or incorparates into a setting.
I'm all in for 4E.

I'll be buying the books, subscribing to the D&D Insider at the highest level, and if it's sepoarate subscriptions for them, I'll subscribe to the online versions of Dragon and Dungeon.
Since I originally posted I've added a handful of things and several clarifications to the above compilation of news about both 4th Edition and the Digital Initiative.

The_Cloaked
Online DnD. I hope DnD will never become soley Online based. I, personally, enjoy seeing my friends.
Given that we know for a fact D&D Insider is coming, I think you'll be getting your wish.

I am already starting on a new campaign world to incorporate into D&D Insider and run games strictly across the intertubes.
Pay not attention to this post. [post=13432770]Pay attention to this one.[/post]

Rant

Despite my best efforts this morning to have a compilation post (I swear I started this thread, even typed in the name) I somehow flubbed. So in order to rectify the problem I tried again with my post at the head as originally planned. I did this because people still seem to be everywhere about the info on today's events. Now it's moved and there's no point in having the same post twice on the same page. Radazim, if you see this could you please link to my above post. Thanks.


Edited:Because the internet is screwy and likes to mess with me.
And that's all. All rants about rules are useless. :P
As we already have a thread for this topic, I will merge these two together to keep the discussion centralized.

~Brak
Personally, I don't think the online function is going to be a good thing. DnD was about being social with real people, face to face. PRing over the next is very tough, and not as enjoyable. Also there is the fact of home ruling and home brew stuff difficult if not impossible, basically their putting us home brew writers out in the cold if we want to do it over the internet.
I'm not paying for it.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Can't pay for it, so I pray it's free.
Everything I've read says it isn't.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Merged threads...

~Brak
I would gladly use D+D Insider for a one-time fee of maybe $20, $30 at most. Any more (or a monthly fee) and I'd rather get along with open-source or freeware, which there will be. Wizards would do well to give a free subscription to people buying a core boxed set or a kit of that sort.

Either way, it will be impossible to get my friends all to pay so we could play online...
Sounds interesting, although I don't think it'll really affect me. The holiday downtime will certainly be more entertaining though...
Will the service be adapted for Star Wars Saga?
$5 a month is what I'd pay.
Any more (or a monthly fee) and I'd rather get along with open-source or freeware, which there will be. Wizards would do well to give a free subscription to people buying a core boxed set or a kit of that sort.

$9.95 a month if the press pack is to be believed, although I suppose for that you get Dragon and Dungeon content, and all the other bells and whistles.
You guys really need to make an official statement about cost. A whole bunch of us are flat-out unwilling to pay subscription fees, whether because of budget or on principle, and are wondering if they'll get the full value of 4e without it. A flat fee for the toolset and a subscription fee for the game table would be reasonable.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

You guys really need to make an official statement about cost. A whole bunch of us are flat-out unwilling to pay subscription fees, whether because of budget or on principle, and are wondering if they'll get the full value of 4e without it. A flat fee for the toolset and a subscription fee for the game table would be reasonable.

I really have a hard time seeing how $9.95 a month is going to be a deal-breaker for all but the genuinely poorest, or most obstinate, gamer.

This assumes that in exchange for that fee, we will get at least:
-Content equivalent to both Dungeon and Dragon magazines (an $80/year value! That's 2/3 of your fee right there.)
-A fully supported, continuously updated character generator
-A fully supported, continuously updated adventure generator
-A fully supported, continuously updated "virtual gaming table" that supports some form of "uploading" electronic adventures
-Digital access to the rulebooks, updated with errata as needed, available in PDF form so that we haul them down to Kinkos and have them printed and bound if we so choose.

I agree that we need to wait and see details before we start foaming at the mouth about paying a monthly fee.
Not all of us live in the US, so the cost is slightly higher; and I'm, for the moment, a jobless college student and I'm sure as hell not going to borrow money to pay for the access. Still, if the price is right (and I finally land a job), I'll chip in.
Not a lot to do until they tell us the fee. Then we can return to our regularly scheduled complaining.
How about paying methods in other countries, like Brazil? Only credit card? What about representatives, like Devir (the actual one to translate D&D books in Brazil)?
For the poor, there is always OpenRPG.
Has anyone pinned down a monthly cost? If what they described at the Gen Con announcement is going to work, it would be worth a small fee ($8-12/month) IMO but not more than that. Less would of course be better for the casual (once a month) gamer. If we could have seperate options available (no Dragon/Dungeon sub for the lower amount) that would be a win across the board IMO.
IMAGE(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y239/SoulCatcher78/techdevil78.jpg)
All I ask is that the DI (D&D Insider) be platform neutral.

No Silverlight. No Flash. No Java.

Do it so a standards-compliant web browser can do it all. AJAX should be all that is needed.
All I ask is that the DI (D&D Insider) be platform neutral.

No Silverlight. No Flash. No Java.

Do it so a standards-compliant web browser can do it all. AJAX should be all that is needed.

I second this. I would want to be able to use it regardless of my platform. I will not choose a platform based on DI.
Give us an option that lets us pay without using a credit card or pay pal. If 4E works out for me, I would like not to be cut out of the loop by your new DI format. However, as i have damaged my credit badly due to poor choices, I will not be getting a credit card anytime soon. Having an option, like paying for a DI prepaid card, or sending WOTC a check for a yearly subscription is a option I much rather prefer.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)