Sept. 7 Update Announcement

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Hi all,

The September 7th tools update will launch September 21st. We're sorry for the delay. Stay tuned for more detailed release notes mid-September. We'll have some tasty new tools content for you including the first book in the Essentials line and stuff from Dark Sun!

1: Another delay. Ok stuff happens that cause delays that life but the frequency in which it occurs is not instilling confidence. Still, thank you for the heads up. Information of any kind is appreciated.

2: Tasty new tools content. That sounds interesting and I cant wait to hear whats coming. Something real to talk about will sure beat the current grumbling threads we currently have.

Let me see if I have this straight.  I get a press release announcing that D&D Encounters: Dark Sun will allow non-pre-generated characters, e.g., allow players to make their own characters, but the Character Builder won't actually be able to build those characters until September 21, after Dark Sun Encounters is over.

Is this really correct?

Maybe somebody could clarify this announcement.  Is it referring to the "D&D Adventure Tools" only, which currently include only the Monster Builder -- or does it also refer to the Character Builder, as other posters to this thread seem to be assuming?  Keep in mind that the Character Builder and the Monster Builder were updated two weeks apart last month -- Are we getting a repeat of that, or a delay of the updates to both programs? 

The lack of mention of Psionic Power leaves me in doubt -- that product would provide new data for the Character Builder but not for the Monster Builder.
please get dark sun on cb for encounters. pleaseUndecided
It would be awesome if we could get an answer on this!
I have to agree. One thing that I like doing is keeping up to date things for my campaign characters neat on my CB, and at the moment with the character I have for my Dark Sun campaign that I am a player of, it means that I end up having more than 1 copy. Clarify this please.
They have to account for themes which is a new feature in the CB as well as the new options for building characters using Essentials. Although, I'm a bit disappointed that with the year long time table that they had to implement these features wasn't met, I do understand the reason for the delay.

At this point I'm crossing my fingers for the Sept. 21 release date.
Clarify ! Clarify !
lol, oh wow what ever would we do if we had to actually buy, or borrow a friends copy of the Dark Sun campaign setting, and low and behold have to get some paper out, use a mechanical pencil... (cause reg numb 2 yellow pencils are so out dated) and actually make a character without the use or aide of the DDI program for the Dark Sun content. its a new era I tell you. One where the Sun is Dark and its very very hot!

personally I am all for the new content not being released until after a good long time from the books being released. As well, I think that we should have to enter a bar code of some sort to be able to download the current book content. That way you are not cheating the brick and mortar stores, or barnes and noble / amazon out of sales.

Make every new content this way IMO

rock on Wotc
Yeah, some clarification on the confusion would be great.

What is meant by the first book in Essentials?  Is that the Red Box (which comes out before Sept 21), or the Heroes book that comes out on Sept 21?  Having content available in the tools on the same day as the book released would be a first.  It would be great if that actually became the trend moving forward.

lol, oh wow what ever would we do if we had to actually buy, or borrow a friends copy of the Dark Sun campaign setting, and low and behold have to get some paper out, use a mechanical pencil... (cause reg numb 2 yellow pencils are so out dated) and actually make a character without the use or aide of the DDI program for the Dark Sun content. its a new era I tell you. One where the Sun is Dark and its very very hot!

personally I am all for the new content not being released until after a good long time from the books being released. As well, I think that we should have to enter a bar code of some sort to be able to download the current book content. That way you are not cheating the brick and mortar stores, or barnes and noble / amazon out of sales.

Make every new content this way IMO

rock on Wotc


I don't think I have ever seen any other post on these forums that I disagreed with as strongly as this one.
lol, oh wow what ever would we do if we had to actually buy, or borrow a friends copy of the Dark Sun campaign setting, and low and behold have to get some paper out, use a mechanical pencil... (cause reg numb 2 yellow pencils are so out dated) and actually make a character without the use or aide of the DDI program for the Dark Sun content. its a new era I tell you. One where the Sun is Dark and its very very hot!

personally I am all for the new content not being released until after a good long time from the books being released. As well, I think that we should have to enter a bar code of some sort to be able to download the current book content. That way you are not cheating the brick and mortar stores, or barnes and noble / amazon out of sales.

Make every new content this way IMO

rock on Wotc



My friends and I all have the new Dark Sun books.  We also have made characters the "old fashioned" way.  The Character Builder makes everything nicer and it's also a service that I pay for. 

Why do you subscribe to DDI if you're so against the usefulness of the tools?
Eeeek.  I was all set to subscribe to DDI today, but was unsure of how up-to-date the Character Builder is kept.  Browsing the boards, the answer I've found is "not very well".  Thanks.  Saved me a subscription fee.
I saw in another forum that the "tools update" does indeed include the Character Builder.  If you don't currently have a DDI subscription, I would definitely recommend signing up for one month around the 21st or 22nd of September.
I saw in another forum that the "tools update" does indeed include the Character Builder.  If you don't currently have a DDI subscription, I would definitely recommend signing up for one month around the 21st or 22nd of September.



That is a bummer.  It would be nice if they could work it out to have the content update when the books are released.  I was surprised when I picked up my Dark Sun book at Gencon that the CB hadn't been updated yet.
Why do you subscribe to DDI if you're so against the usefulness of the tools?


The docc must explain !
This effectively delays the release of Dark Sun for another month, just to coincide with the release of the Essentials newbie line.  Very disappointing.

Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.
Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.


Really? Why?

I mean, there always have been a delay between the analog and the digital release (3rd thursday of the month - 2nd tuesday of the month), what made you think that Dark Sun would have been different?
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.


Really? Why?

I mean, there always have been a delay between the analog and the digital release (3rd thursday of the month - 2nd tuesday of the month), what made you think that Dark Sun would have been different?



Just because that's the way things are doesn't mean that's the best way things can be done.  It would absolutely be better for the players if the tools were updated in a more timely manner, especially if the update was available the same day as the books.  It might work out for Wizards' dev team to stick to this arbitrary schedule for DDI updates, but it is a disservice to the players and subscribers.

Not to mention the fact that there has been no clarification on this issue... 
Eeeek.  I was all set to subscribe to DDI today, but was unsure of how up-to-date the Character Builder is kept.  Browsing the boards, the answer I've found is "not very well".  Thanks.  Saved me a subscription fee.




Actually its kept up to date just fine, except for this once.  Normally things are put in on the Second tuesday of the month after they come out.  

Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.


Really? Why?

I mean, there always have been a delay between the analog and the digital release (3rd thursday of the month - 2nd tuesday of the month), what made you think that Dark Sun would have been different?



Just because that's the way things are doesn't mean that's the best way things can be done.  It would absolutely be better for the players if the tools were updated in a more timely manner, especially if the update was available the same day as the books.  It might work out for Wizards' dev team to stick to this arbitrary schedule for DDI updates, but it is a disservice to the players and subscribers.

Not to mention the fact that there has been no clarification on this issue... 



Best the way it can be done? Probably not.
Best the way it can be done with the number of employees they have? Probably is.
Give them some time to get it into the builders.
Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.


Really? Why?

I mean, there always have been a delay between the analog and the digital release (3rd thursday of the month - 2nd tuesday of the month), what made you think that Dark Sun would have been different?



Don't you mean 1st Tuesday?  That is when the updates were from February through August of this year.  Or did you just accidentally leak an upcoming change to the update schedule?
Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.


Really? Why?

I mean, there always have been a delay between the analog and the digital release (3rd thursday of the month - 2nd tuesday of the month), what made you think that Dark Sun would have been different?



Don't you mean 1st Tuesday?  That is when the updates were from February through August of this year.  Or did you just accidentally leak an upcoming change to the update schedule?


The only leak were some brain cells out of my left ear.

Of course, I meant the first tuesday of the month
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
So I guess we can assume that Wizards will be missing the deadline and delaying the release of the Dark Sun material for Character builder?
Personally, I'm disappointed that they didn't have the Dark Sun material in the CB while simultaneously deciding to allow homebuilt characters for Chapter 3 of the Encounters season.  That seems like they're working at cross-purposes: if you want people to use the Builder as much as possible, why would you set up such an obviously beneficial event (make your own Dark Sun character) and then not update the tools to factor in the material right away so people can use those tools?  I know that my local store could have benefitted from such an arrangement, since they frequently use their copy of the Builder to help players who either don't have the builder or don't have a functional printer at home.  (On a lesser note, why didn't the July issue of Dragon make it into the August update?)

That said, I think they're "doin' it rite" this time around; it's implied that they're factoring in all the Essentials material in time for the start of the new Encounters season, which requires extra time but simultaneously ensures that anyone who wants to roll their own Essentials character for Season 3 will be able to do so from day one.
Dark Sun didn't come out of nowhere.  Books are done a long time in advance, powers are ready a long time before your tuesday updates.  I don't know why the Builder releases are delayed at all.  When you have a major release of a new setting that your company has been hyping for months via Encounters, maybe it should be ready in time for the book release.

But instead it gets delayed so Essentials can get in the builder.  Tell me, how many of the newbies that will be attracted to Essentials will have a DDI account?  I'm guessing, oh, zero.

Meanwhile Dark Sun gets to wait an additional month, for content that actually needs to be in the builder.



Honestly it wouldn't surprise me at all if the tools guys didn't get a copy of any new book until its street date...  

Not a big deal if all they have to do is add a few feats/etc, but for DS they have to build a whole themes interface.

I really don't think the Tools guys get as much support as they probably deserve from WotC, if they did we'd probably have a virtual tabletop, etc.

Off topic, but wouldn't it have been easier to build/update/control/manage the DDI tools if they were webapps instead of clunky local .net apps that have to be installed and continually manually updated by individual users?

I mean the CB won't even update on my laptop... I hit the update button and it just hangs forever and I have to go to the task manager to kill it. /grumble 
Meanwhile Dark Sun gets to wait an additional month, for content that actually needs to be in the builder.



That is an interesting piece of disinformation. As a matter of fact I am seeing a lot of disinformation in the posts in this thread. Just to clarify, from the 7th to the 21st is only 14 days or roughly 2 weeks. A month is 28-31 days or roughtly 4.3 weeks. I don't see how 2 weeks = 1 month.

Also, for those of us that buy every book compared to those that do not, the Character Builder is a simplifier not a replacement. Character sheets can be done by hand. You could actually build most of it in CB and then transpose it onto paper with the additions from the book. This would ensure you get the math correct, which we sometimes have a problem with in some of our groups.

Tools are simply tools, they are not the reference material. We all have choices. Let's not drive people away with unfounded complaints like CB being delayed a month. And DDI is not just for the character builder, I find the Dungeon and Dragon magazines to be just as useful as the CB and I use the online Encounter Builder frequently. Add in the Monster Builder and I can print up my own scenario and let others that may be interested at the store where I play look it over and play it with their group.

I think the bottom line for me is, get over yourself.
Also, for those of us that buy every book compared to those that do not, the Character Builder is a simplifier not a replacement.

Hey, I buy the books and use CB as a replacement! I like having a character sheet I can read and not having to flip through my books to reference all the different powers is nice. It's a lot quicker and easier than writing everything out and the nature of powers in 4E makes it pretty much impossible for me to not have those little power cards.

Anyway, people getting charged for something get to complain!

So, I assume this is also going to give me two free weeks of subscription, since that's two weeks without services (that I pay for) being provided.

So, I assume this is also going to give me two free weeks of subscription, since that's two weeks without services (that I pay for) being provided.




I would not assume that -- I don't think they did that last fall when they went to the holiday update schedule for four months.  Besides, they are putting out Dragon and Dungeon content five days a week, so an Insider account still has value even when updates are delayed -- even if it is not the value you wanted.

In any case, you don't miss out on anything unless your account happens to expire between the 7th and the 21st.  If you have no interest in the Dragon or Dungeon content, just hold off renewing until after the 21st.  At some point (possibly as early as October) you will get a bargain of two updates within the time period covered by a one month subscription.
Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.


Really? Why?

I mean, there always have been a delay between the analog and the digital release (3rd thursday of the month - 2nd tuesday of the month), what made you think that Dark Sun would have been different?


Dark Sun isn't any different - it should have been available in the tools on the day the books became officially available, just like all of the other books should be.
Character Builder should have been updated the day the DS books became available.


Really? Why?

I mean, there always have been a delay between the analog and the digital release (3rd thursday of the month - 2nd tuesday of the month), what made you think that Dark Sun would have been different?


Dark Sun isn't any different - it should have been available in the tools on the day the books became officially available, just like all of the other books should be.




I absolutely agree. I've not yet seen an adequate justification to do otherwise (although, in fairness, I don't think I've seen anyone try to justify it at all, so perhaps if someone did it would be adequate!). 

Dark Sun isn't any different - it should have been available in the tools on the day the books became officially available, just like all of the other books should be.



Should have been? Why? Because that's what you want? I find this entitlement mentality extremely tiresome.

The fact is, the update will be available when they're ready for us to have it. No amount of crying about it is going to change anything. There is more to DDi than the character builder and there are ways to incorporate the new Dark Sun material without using the online tools. Work around the delay.

I'm surprised they WoTC doesn't deliberately delay updates to the online tools to encourage book sales. I can imagine the uproar in the online community that would cause.

So, I assume this is also going to give me two free weeks of subscription, since that's two weeks without services (that I pay for) being provided.



How are you not getting services for 2 weeks ?
Is the CB going to stop working for those 2 weeks ?

So basicly now I have no choice but to take the Essentials update if I want the Dark Sun update for the Character builder? If so I will now be cancelling my auto-renew!! The last thing I want is the Essentials stuff, and if I have to build Dark Sun characters the old fashioned way instead of downloading the essentials update I will.

Is there any clarification as to exactly what this update will include? I absolutely wanted the Dark Sun material in the builder before Essentials was released so I could decide if I wanted to update my builder for the Essentials material. Now it seems I am being forcefed essentials with my darksun. Conspiracy?? 

I'm pretty sure Essentials builds, like anything else non-Errata, is an optional selection or filter. I'm too lazy to cite any quotes to that effect, but I remember hearing something in the GenCon Q&A to that effect.

Am I the only one tired of all the ire being hurled around? I'm disappointed at having to wait, but it's only a couple of weeks, during which time we've got the books if we've bothered to purchase them.

Have a lovely day, my fellow grumpy nerds!

I am refering to the character builder specificly. sTiKo are you saying that there are filters in the Character Builder? Am i missing something or are you talking about the Compendium/Adventure tools? I seriously had to fire up my character builder there for a second and see if I was skipping some menu or something.

sTiKo are you saying that there are filters in the Character Builder?

There are. I don't have it running in front of me right now, but there's some sort of campaign settings window where you can deselect books that you don't want to use. For example, if your DM doesn't want any Eberron material used in his current campaign, you can deselect the Eberron books, and then nothing from them - spells & abilities, equipment,  feats, character backgrounds, paragon & epic paths, etc - will be presented as options for your character. You may even be able to turn off subsets of individual books, it's been a while since I looked at that stuff & don't recall exactly.

As eL_sTiKo said, this doesn't apply to errata for the books you are using. So if the Essentials changes you're unhappy about are things that will wind up in the errata for the other 4e books, you'll just have to stop taking updates before those changes are rolled in.
Yeah I know about the Campaign Settings menu, but like I said before I am upset that I have to take the Essentials material with my long awaited Dark Sun material. Filtered or not Essentials Rules Compenium is going to affect all of my Character Builder will it not?

My one month subscription for the Dark Sun update for the Character Builder basicly just got screwed by Essentials. I don't even want the next update now. And I know I'm not alone in this one. I am reading everywhere that WotC customers are pissed off about Essentials and I don't really see WotC giving much of a crap about it.

I have said this before and I will say it again. I should be considered (and all others like myself as well) a very important customer. I have spent thousands on miniatures, I have every book released, about 12 to 15 sets of various tiles, every published adventure, AND I still subscribe to D&DI. I'm not happy about the changes taking place in my favorite hobby, I'm not happy about products that I was looking forward to getting cancelled the 2 years, and I am especially not happy about the idea of buying Essentials so that I can have "the current version of the game going forward". 

People are saying boycott Essentials, or even boycott the new 4E books and products alltogether. I will already be doing the former, and provided the current trend continues, I will likely be doing the latter as well. 
Yeah I know about the Campaign Settings menu, but like I said before I am upset that I have to take the Essentials material with my long awaited Dark Sun material. Filtered or not Essentials Rules Compenium is going to affect all of my Character Builder will it not?

My one month subscription for the Dark Sun update for the Character Builder basicly just got screwed by Essentials. I don't even want the next update now. And I know I'm not alone in this one. I am reading everywhere that WotC customers are pissed off about Essentials and I don't really see WotC giving much of a crap about it.

I have said this before and I will say it again. I should be considered (and all others like myself as well) a very important customer. I have spent thousands on miniatures, I have every book released, about 12 to 15 sets of various tiles, every published adventure, AND I still subscribe to D&DI. I'm not happy about the changes taking place in my favorite hobby, I'm not happy about products that I was looking forward to getting cancelled the 2 years, and I am especially not happy about the idea of buying Essentials so that I can have "the current version of the game going forward". 

People are saying boycott Essentials, or even boycott the new 4E books and products alltogether. I will already be doing the former, and provided the current trend continues, I will likely be doing the latter as well. 



They are no more obligated to address your concerns (or anyone else's) than you are to buy their products. I don't think it's particularly wise to boo-hoo and boycott a product based on some online previews and a lot of speculation. I'll wait until I have a chance to fully evaluate them myself before making any judgements. I strongly suspect all this teeth gnashing is much ado about nothing and the game will move on.

I hear Pathfinder is a lot of fun...
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