Before doing it though, I glanced over the Content Calendar for July. On Tuesday, July 6, 2010, there is a scheduled update for the Character Builder listed. There is nothing listed for the entire month for the Monster Builder.
I'm stunned and embarassed. I've been telling everyone around the web for weeks that they will get their MM3 update on the first Tuesday of July. Granted, I'm not a representative of WotC, and nothing I say should be taken as fact, but they weren't my words. There is a thread in this very forum saying that we'd be getting that update. Here is the opening post from that thread:
June 2010 Character Builder and Adventure Tool News
No Monster Builder Update This Month:
We’re implementing the new Monster statistics block in our database, and we need to do more testing to make sure all the monsters get converted over properly from previous sources. This month’s upload was less than 30 creatures from HS1 – The Slaying Stone adventure and Dungeon® Issue 177. So get ready for the new stat block when we update with Monster Manual III creatures in the July 6th update. (Apologies for the delay, and we’ll keep you posted on our progress before next update.)
Here’s a summary of the new data and features for Character Builder.
Data from the following published materials are new this month:
- Player’s Strategy Guide
- Dungeon Magazine Annual
- HS1 The Slaying Stone
- Online Magazines
- Dragon® Issue 386
- Dungeon® Issue 177
- RPGA Adventures
Plus we’re doing the normal monthly errata, and some RPGA Adventure data.
Remember: you need an active D&D Insider subscription to update your Character Builder with the new data and features. Each account is limited to 5 updates, per application. Every month, when a new data set is released, this limit will be reset for each application.
Check the Character Builder FAQ [wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg...] for additional information.
This week marks my first full year at WotC. I can safely say we’ve never been busier since I joined. Summer/Fall content is looking great as we get ready for Dark Sun and the Essentials. The changes for MM3 with the new stat block are pretty universal to our foundational database structure, and conversion was a tad harder than we thought to program. Our QA team wanted a bit more time to ensure we’re 100% for July.
I get emails and posts all the time around iPhone apps, iPad apps, Facebook apps, etc. Yes, while my main team is focused on the DDI Tools, if it is digital and D&D, ultimately it’s a D&D Studio thing. We’re very excited about all these platforms and modalities, but have to be careful around previous licensing deals, exclusives some distribution networks require, etc. It often translates to delays to market for certain things as we get plans, budgets and projects together. So, yes, we know these things exist, but we don’t talk about development until there’s something to talk about. (I know that can be frustrating.) Just know we’re working hard every day trying to deliver the best D&D digital experience we can, and we appreciate the continued insight and feedback from fans.
About the Author
Chris Champagne is the Studio Director of the D&DI Digital Studio. He first rolled for initiative in the summer of 1978, and has been a life long fan of D&D ever since.
I guess one could say I don't have a "right" to be angry, since I'm not currently actively paying for subscription. I'd counter-argue that I didn't even get an update of the measly "less than 30 creatures" that I did pay for in June. Plus, all that this unannounced unexpected delay did was prevent me from re-subscribing when I fully intended to.
I don't want to sit here and use words like "disgusted" and "infuriated" and such because things like that are said so often on the internet that when someone uses them, they don't convey anything but overboard blind hatred. The problem is, right now, that is exactly how I feel (not the blind hatred, but the others.) That, and embarassed that I've told so many people to be patient and just wait for this awesome update this month to get all of those great monsters into the Builder.
Who knows? Maybe this will once again lead to Wizards banning any information leakage and we will never get word of planned updates again. As I wrote about on my off-site blog, that's unacceptable. You have paying customers under the DDi system. You are responsible to those paying customers. It's not like selling a book, which is a tangible item. When you exchange tangible goods there is an implication that the buyer accepts that good as-is outside of any return policy you choose to institute. A subscription to something implies that an expected product will be delivered at expected intervals. We're not even talking about an expectation of more than was already available. We're now talking about a failure to deliver content already part of the package for two straight months.
I'm a programmer during business hours myself. I understand projects don't always go as planned. I also understand the meaning of deadlines and sometimes you have to put in more effort than should even be humanly expected of you to meet those deadlines. Silence isn't acceptable. Promises of deadlines need to be both made and adhered to. I'm not holding Wizards' DDi team to any standard I'm not held to myself.
EDIT: July 7, 2010: Mudbunny posted the following yesterday, which can be found later in this thread.
56269566 wrote:Trevor posted this earlier today, and I have heard from WotC that there will more on the situation soon. I understand that it is due to it being more work than they expected to convert all the monsters to the MM3 statblock.