August DDi tools update

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August 2010 Character Builder, Compendium and Adventure Tools News


We said we would deliver Compendium and Adventure Tools updates on August 20th. Sorry if we're missing that date, here they are on August 3rd

Here’s a summary of the new data and features for Character Builder, Compendium, and Adventure Tools.


Data Update:


Data from the following published materials are new this month:


  • Books
    • Demonomicon

    • Tomb of Horrors

    • HS2 Orcs of Stonefang Pass

    • Vor Rukoth


  • Magazines
    • Dragon #388

    • Dungeon #179


Plus we’re doing the normal monthly errata.


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.


Studio:


While Chris is off to GenCon, I’m left here in the Pacific Northwest manning the ship. This month we are back to the proper schedule, with Character Builder, Compendium and Adventure Tools released together.


We have a bunch of new faces around and lots of work to do, Essentials and Dark Sun are shaping up to be quite awesome and both bringing some "interesting" changes to how characters are created, so we are busy at work making sure that our tools reflect the D&D experience as closely as possible.


Community feedback:


As Chris mentioned a while ago, we like to hear from you. Post things in the forums. Please. We are listening (well, reading, but you get the point).


- Paolo


 


About the Author


Paolo Marcucci is the Development Manager of the D&D Digital Studio. While he doesn’t mind playing games, what he really likes is making software that delights users


 

Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Kudos on and thank you for a 17 day premature delivery!
Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.
Oh my god... This is just insane, Wizards can't seem to get this digital intiative right, yet another month where they have to change the date of something coming out!  I don't know why I keep reading the forums and updating my software if they can't stick to a schedule! Tongue out

Seriously, thanks for getting this out quickly.  I hope the Essentials won't break the character builder too badly when it is time for that to come out.
What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
Excellent! These tools make my DM'ing, and playing, so much easier!!

Hope the Magic Missile glitch was fixed in the Character Creator. I love that program but Bolt Spellblaster isn't that good at remembering how much damage he does when he hits. I try not to let him roll D20's for damage.


roguemissions.podbean.com

Community feedback:


As Chris mentioned a while ago, we like to hear from you. Post things in the forums. Please. We are listening (well, reading, but you get the point).



Paolo, Grazie! Early updates are great. Happy B-Day to Adventure tools.

With regards to our being listened to, can you confirm that someone is monitoring the Monster Builder forums? Thread such as the stickied feature requests bugs thread seem to get no attention from your team. The general forum for Monster Builder has a number of bugs reported with editing monster damage math and resetting values, with printing functionality, with triggered actions, resistance values not printing, etc.

It would be great for someone to just once a month pop into the forums and just say "hey, we have read issues up until this point, thanks guys". I think this would greatly improve the low morale of the forum.

With the Monster Builder being one year old, I think there is a lot to be thankful for but also very little functional progress since the first release one year ago. The only real change has been content and MM3 handling. Traps, themes, templates, terrain, saving the holding pen, better export compatibility with RPGA module formats - these requests happen often but have seen no action. And this is all independent of the desires many have to see Adventure Tools take the next step and handle encounter building.

I remain positive, but the year has been rocky. More participation by the design/dev team on the forum would really help.

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).

Several bugs were pointed out regarding the last Adventure Tools update, and the changes to the new format.  Those don't appear to have been addressed at all.  I understand that the tools have not been updated for very long, and that time will be needed to fix those problems, but it would be nice if the problems were acknowledged, at the very least.

Many of the problems (which stemmed from custom monsters) are easily fixable.  Unfortunately with the update to the new format I dont' think anythign they can do on their end will fix those issues.

Most of those issues (the ones dealing withmissing data like Triggers or Resist values, etc.) can be fixed by deleteing the current entry and making a new one.  For example, if you have a triggered power that doesn't show the trigger, change the name slightly and make a new power with all the text f the original and the Trigger will show.  Get rid of the resistance and then add it back in and the value will shows etc.

They need to fix the data for the official monsters where such things have happened, but for custom monsters it works, you just have to go back and edit them.  Annoying, but like I said, there isn't much they can do about that on their end.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Several bugs were pointed out regarding the last Adventure Tools update, and the changes to the new format.  Those don't appear to have been addressed at all.  I understand that the tools have not been updated for very long, and that time will be needed to fix those problems, but it would be nice if the problems were acknowledged, at the very least.


We are aware of all the issues reported, and we prioritize them accordingly, with content updates at the top of our ranking.

That said, the July Monster Builder update introduced the new stat blocks from MM3 to display "old" monsters. This is just a presentation change, to make old content visually consistent with the current one, and it doesn't recalculate or modify stats. Our usual take on conversions and updates is still via the publishing method, where only new books (or erratas) have the power to update old content.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Thanks for the early update!
Holy Crap.  I had no idea you were working for WotC.  You've come a long way from Italy and ShadowRN.  Congratulations!
Holy Crap.  I had no idea you were working for WotC.  You've come a long way from Italy and ShadowRN.  Congratulations!

GRAHT!
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Holy Crap.  I had no idea you were working for WotC.  You've come a long way from Italy and ShadowRN.  Congratulations!

GRAHT!



Heh.  The downside is that I know what you can do and now my expectations for improvements and new tools just went up a few notches ;)  Anyway, I'll let you get back to work.  Congrats again

I just wish the Dark Sun material was included since the Game Day falls on the day after this update was originally due to be release.  Would have been a great resource for us DMs to have on hand for extra numbers of players who might have showed up for the Game Day event.
Links that I find very useful, will be added here. http://community.wizards.com/vinciente/blog/2010/02/24/useful_damp;d_pageslinks

We are aware of all the issues reported, and we prioritize them accordingly, with content updates at the top of our ranking.

That said, the July Monster Builder update introduced the new stat blocks from MM3 to display "old" monsters. This is just a presentation change, to make old content visually consistent with the current one, and it doesn't recalculate or modify stats. Our usual take on conversions and updates is still via the publishing method, where only new books (or erratas) have the power to update old content.



Right, and I understand the thinking behind not updating anything, besides when new material is released, but I'm talking about the actual bugs, like actual damage dice being lost in custom monsters, and recharge values not being preserved (or copied over at all, for that matter), as well as the lack of keywords for Traits.  Existing keywords cannot be modified or removed, and new keywords can't be added to traits.

Thank you for clarifying that the issues are being worked on.  Adventure Tools is a truely amazing utility (can't wait for it to be a set of utilities) and I'm looking forward to the future
I haven't been able to update my Character Builder; when I try it just stalls, and when I cancel it says the server's down for maintenance. I get the same message if I try to contact customer support. I've been having this issue for the last three days (I've been out of the game for four months and haven't updated in that time), so I don't understand how the servers could be down while everyone else is getting their updates. 

I don't know if this is the place to ask this, but since I can't seem to contact customer support . . . does anyone know what I can do to fix this problem?