Now you're just being silly.

182 posts / 0 new
Last post
Man, they've rearranged the calendar again. Now the Assassin's article has been bumped to Friday. The two articles I'm interested keep have both been pushed back the day before release, IIRC (Genasi and Essentials: Assassin). Not to mention the now-absent Essentials Sorcerer, but now I'm not even sure if that was on there or I made it up. 

Argh. Very frustrating.  
This might be a good time to remind everyone that the calendar is only a list ofgoals. Not promises.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

This might be a good time to remind everyone that the calendar is only a list ofgoals. Not promises.


As much as i ounderstand that, it still leaves a bad taste. Even a list of goals can be kept more up to date. If you know a projekt you are working on will delay for two additional days, you might want to give that informations out to those waiting for it in time so they dont get disapointed. Normally you know about such delays some time before the release date, so why not change the calendar acordingly?
D&D Outsider since Nov 18th 2010, if you wonder about the little red dragon, this one is dedicated to the great VT community.
This might be a good time to remind everyone that the calendar is only a list ofgoals. Not promises.



Yeah, I know. Thanks.

Really, though, I don't care. I posted this comment in another thread on the Essentials Assassin, but absolutely nothing about DDI frustrates me more than when they move one of the few articles I'd actually like to read. They could disable the character builder and I wouldn't be as irritated about it. It's not rational, and reminders about living documents and goals-not-promises don't really make any difference. 

So anyway, yes, I am fully and completely aware that the dates on their calendar don't actually mean anything except "this might be nice." I'm disappointed, and I feel like complaining anyway.

This might be a good time to remind everyone that the calendar is only a list ofgoals. Not promises.



It wouldn't be if this were still a print magazine.
This might be a good time to remind everyone that the calendar is only a list ofgoals. Not promises.

I call BS. 

If you put up a calendar of events, you're telling the audience, "Look what we INTEND to put out on these days."

They may not use the word promise, but when you create an expectation in people, you should meet it.

For the most part, WotC could put in extra work for 2 weeks, get ahead of schedule and then get in the habbit of completing their articles two weeks before publish date.  Then, if something is a bit late in design or editing, tyhe lateness never hits customers.

The 'just in time' model that is leading to CONSTANT pushes, delays and rushes with poor editing is just evidence that the system is not being handled with the care necessary to create a professional product.  Instead, we're getting the high school book report - late, poorly edited and sometimes not at all.

D&D & Boardgames If I have everything I need to run great games for many years without repeating stuff, why do I need to buy anything right now?
This might be a good time to remind everyone that the calendar is only a list ofgoals. Not promises.

I call BS. 

If you put up a calendar of events, you're telling the audience, "Look what we INTEND to put out on these days."

They may not use the word promise, but when you create an expectation in people, you should meet it.

For the most part, WotC could put in extra work for 2 weeks, get ahead of schedule and then get in the habbit of completing their articles two weeks before publish date.  Then, if something is a bit late in design or editing, tyhe lateness never hits customers.

The 'just in time' model that is leading to CONSTANT pushes, delays and rushes with poor editing is just evidence that the system is not being handled with the care necessary to create a professional product.  Instead, we're getting the high school book report - late, poorly edited and sometimes not at all.


Emphasis mine.

I would like to respectfully disagree.

You need to look at the individual articles as previews, and the compiled magazine as the finished product.  If you look at it that way, then you realize that they are pretty much doing exactly what you are saying.  They are producing the articles weeks ahead of the time when they must be ready, and giving themselves a buffer to make edits, correcdtions, and finish up anything that got delayed.

The final product, the compiled magazine, has never been late.

Finally, the reason I posted that reminder was specifically so that people did not start to expect an article to be released on the day that it appears on the calendar.  If you are expecting it to, then you have an expectation that is not aligned with what the company has been telling you.  It has been stated repeatedly that the calendar is not a promise, and you should not be surprised if something slips.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

What about the expectation that the Tools will be updated on the first Tuesday of each month? Is that an unreasonable expectation? Or at least once per month, which will not be the case this month? I'm paying my Insider subscription chiefly for the tools and articles, the former of which will not be updated this month and the latter of which are reduced in number/content and constantly shifted around. What exactly am I paying for this month? Why shouldn't I just ask for my money back?

Why wasn't the Character Builder updated with Psionic Power and the DSCS this month and Essentials next month? Why cram them both into a single update with disastrous results?
There's a difference between one article being rescheduled a week before it was supposed to go live and several articles being delayed mere hours before they were going to go live (after one had even been hyped), plus major updates to tools being pushed farther and farther back.  Compile that with a diminishing quantity and quality of articles and no new tools or debut content.  You have to see why people are getting frusterated.
There's a difference between one article being rescheduled a week before it was supposed to go live and several articles being delayed mere hours before they were going to go live (after one had even been hyped), plus major updates to tools being pushed farther and farther back.  Compile that with a diminishing quantity and quality of articles and no new tools or debut content.  You have to see why people are getting frusterated.



Email CS. Thanks.

There's a difference between one article being rescheduled a week before it was supposed to go live and several articles being delayed mere hours before they were going to go live (after one had even been hyped), plus major updates to tools being pushed farther and farther back.  Compile that with a diminishing quantity and quality of articles and no new tools or debut content.  You have to see why people are getting frusterated.



Email CS. Thanks.




I might be the only one, but has anyone here ever got a response from CS on any issue to do with lateness, lack of features, incorrect data and so on that didn't receive anything but the standard form response of 'thanks for making us aware, we aren't going to tell you what we're going to do about it' (I paraphrase of course, but its the bare bones of the responses they send out on these matters). 

While they may well tally them and have an internal records of number of complaints they certainly don't manage to make the customers feel 'serviced'.

So P1nback, on what level is e-mailing CS the only sane thing to do?  Although from the amount of WotC interaction on the boards (improved though it is) the net result of a board posting and e-mailing CS amounts to the exact same amount of wasted effort.

For all the 'listening' WotC claim to do (and in my heart of hearts I believe that they are doing) it doesn't yield any better result than talking to a brick wall.
There's a difference between one article being rescheduled a week before it was supposed to go live and several articles being delayed mere hours before they were going to go live (after one had even been hyped), plus major updates to tools being pushed farther and farther back.



Email CS. Thanks.




I might be the only one, but has anyone here ever got a response from CS on any issue to do with lateness, lack of features, incorrect data and so on that didn't receive anything but the standard form response of 'thanks for making us aware, we aren't going to tell you what we're going to do about it' (I paraphrase of course, but its the bare bones of the responses they send out on these matters)



The email isn't for a response. It's for WotC to see a whole community of people concerned about it.

I might be the only one, but has anyone here ever got a response from CS on any issue to do with lateness, lack of features, incorrect data and so on that didn't receive anything but the standard form response of 'thanks for making us aware, we aren't going to tell you what we're going to do about it' (I paraphrase of course, but its the bare bones of the responses they send out on these matters).

For what it's worth I had a bit of a back-and-forth about a bug with the forum search function and eventually they reproduced the issue I was having and said they'd send it to the developers. A few days later I got another email saying it had been fixed - which I hadn't been expecting, to be honest, so sometimes, at least, they'll provide follow up!

Trouble accessing the WotC Customer Service system? See this thread

Currently running LFR and D&D Encounters events in Sheffield, UK. Contact me for more details.

tell it to the monster builder
...They may not use the word promise, but when you create an expectation in people, you should meet it.
...

Emphasis mine.

I would like to respectfully disagree.

You need to look at the individual articles as previews, and the compiled magazine as the finished product.  If you look at it that way, then you realize that they are pretty much doing exactly what you are saying.  They are producing the articles weeks ahead of the time when they must be ready, and giving themselves a buffer to make edits, correcdtions, and finish up anything that got delayed.

I believe you're in the very small minority with your interpretation of what is occuring.  That VAST majority see these materials as released when first published on the internet and available to customers, not on the second release in compiled form.

The final product, the compiled magazine, has never been late.

And MOST Insiders never look at the compiled magazine as a compiled unit.  Most look at the individual articles as they were posted.  Do I have data to back that up?  No.  But common sense says it is so. 

Finally, the reason I posted that reminder was specifically so that people did not start to expect an article to be released on the day that it appears on the calendar.  If you are expecting it to, then you have an expectation that is not aligned with what the company has been telling you.  It has been stated repeatedly that the calendar is not a promise, and you should not be surprised if something slips.

Fine print, boilerplate, caveats and other things that attempt to push customers away from common sense are quite often the source of anger. 

If you put something on a calendar, common sense tells us that the event will occur on the day indicated on the calendar.  You can caveat all you want, but regardless of what you say, common sense tells us we have a delivery date planned.  If you fail to deliver on that date, regardless of the caveat, you're going to tick off people that had an expectation of delivery.

WotC is a business made up of gaming professionals.  A professional is expected to be able to provide their product on time and in high quality.  Professionals tell their customers what they can expect out of their product and when it will be delivered.  Good professionals deliver on time.

WotC has - for many years - failed to provide when people have reasonably believed something is coming.  WotC never PROMISED a VTT, but there sure were a lot of customers that expected to have it within a few months of signing up.  WotC never PROMISED that all their articles would be released on time, but many (most?) people seem to expect WotC to produce on schedule.  WotC never PROMISED to have CB updates every month and on time, but that expectation is there as well.  WotC never promised to release a full suite of tools into the adventure tools, but a lot of people have that expectation.  Those expectations are there based upon WotC's marketing and common sense. 

WotC needs to figure out how to make promises people want to hear and then live up to those promises if it wants to keep clients happy.  That is the only way to keep customers returning.
D&D & Boardgames If I have everything I need to run great games for many years without repeating stuff, why do I need to buy anything right now?
The final product, the compiled magazine, has never been late.

And MOST Insiders never look at the compiled magazine as a compiled unit.  Most look at the individual articles as they were posted.  Do I have data to back that up?  No.  But common sense says it is so. 



The beauty of the "magazines" is that I don't have to download the chaff to get the wheat; I've never really given much thought to these magazines in terms of their compiled final issue. I don't even download the compiled issues anymore (not for...6 months or more?), so their timeliness is irrelevant to me. Perhaps I'm unusual in that regard.

Anyway, this all started out of a desire to say "Dammit, I hate it when they do that." I'm more irritated over the assassin article than the software update delay. I don't expect them to change their ways in the slightest.
  Instead, we're getting the high school book report - late, poorly edited and sometimes not at all.






   Don't insult hard working students  with the quaility and work delivered on time by the pros at WOTC.  I bet high school students could do a much better better job at running DDi and getting stuff out on time.

   I said in another thread, WOTC knew, and planned for the Dark Sun and essensals stuff to come out at this time. Its there responsablity to make sure the DDi part gets updated with it. But what do customers get instead? First WOTC says the sept. update would be later, on Sept. 21. Now they are saying it won't be until October?   This leaves people that sub expire this mounth SOL. They are paying for a month but not getting anything from it.
What? The articules in DDi actually come together into a magazine?

Where is the list for those mags, exactly? Been searching for some things and all I get is articules.

Is there a way to see what mag each articule goes to at all?
Terms you should know...
Show
Kit Build - A class build that is self sustaining and has mechanical differences than the normal scale. Started in Essentials. Most are call their own terms, though the Base Class should be said in front of their own terms (Like Assassin/Executioner) Power Points - A mechanic that was wedged into the PHB3 classes (with the exception of the Monk) from the previous editions. This time, they are used to augment At Wills to be Encounters, thus eliminating the need to choose powers past 4th level. Mage Builds - Kit builds that are schools of magic for the Wizard. A call back to the previous editions powering up of the wizard. (Wizard/Necromancer, for example) Unlike the previous kit builds, Wizards simply lose their Scribe Rituals feature and most likely still can choose powers from any build, unlike the Kit Builds. Parcel System - A treasure distribution method that keeps adventurers poor while forcing/advising the DM to get wish lists from players. The version 2.0 rolls for treasure instead of making a list, and is incomplete because of the lack of clarity about magic item rarity.
ha ha
56902498 wrote:
They will Essentialize the Essentials classes, otherwise known as Essentials2. The new sub-sub-classes will be: * Magician. A subsubclass of Mage, the magician has two implements, wand and hat, one familiar (rabbit) and series of basic tricks. * Crook. A subsubclass of Thief, the Crook can only use a shiv, which allows him to use his only power... Shank. * Angry Vicar, a subsubclass of warpriest, the angry vicar has two attacks -- Shame and Lecture. * Hitter. A subsubclass of Slayer, the Hitter hits things. * Gatherer. A subsubclass of Hunter, it doesn't actually do anything, but pick up the stuff other players might leave behind. Future Essentials2 classes include the Security Guard (Sentinel2), the Hexknife (Hexblade2), the Webelos (Scout2), the Gallant (Cavalier2) and the Goofus (Knight2). These will all be detailed in the box set called Heroes of the Futile Marketing. (Though what they should really release tomorrow is the Essentialized version of the Witchalok!)
What? The articules in DDi actually come together into a magazine?

Where is the list for those mags, exactly? Been searching for some things and all I get is articules.

Is there a way to see what mag each articule goes to at all?


While I suspect you are just being sarcastic, I'm going to answer as if you aren't, in case someone comes stumbling across this thread and actually wants the answer...

List of the Mags: www.wizards.com/dnd/Issues.aspx
List of all Articles: www.wizards.com/dnd/Archive.aspx
- Note that each article has an issue number next to it. Unfortunately, it doesn't say which magazine its related to, but with some deductive reasoning, you can figure that out.

You can see all Dragon articles here: www.wizards.com/dnd/Archive.aspx?categor...
You can see all Dungeon articles here: www.wizards.com/dnd/Archive.aspx?categor...
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium



You need to look at the individual articles as previews, and the compiled magazine as the finished product.  If you look at it that way, then you realize that they are pretty much doing exactly what you are saying.  They are producing the articles weeks ahead of the time when they must be ready, and giving themselves a buffer to make edits, correcdtions, and finish up anything that got delayed.

The final product, the compiled magazine, has never been late.




AL this mindset reiterates a point that keeps being made in multiple threads for some time now.
That this is the old, paper print magazine way of thinking. That of a magazine in a single issue.
Online users (which DDI people obviously are) are more used to the blog style of information delivery on the net. Where they stop by daily or couple days to read something new.

Wotc may call the articles previews but to their audience they arent. They are the real deal being presented. As it always seems to come down to its about customer expectations and delivery to the customer what they think they are going to get.


AL this mindset reiterates a point that keeps being made in multiple threads for some time now.
That this is the old, paper print magazine way of thinking. That of a magazine in a single issue.
Online users (which DDI people obviously are) are more used to the blog style of information delivery on the net. Where they stop by daily or couple days to read something new.

Wotc may call the articles previews but to their audience they arent. They are the real deal being presented. As it always seems to come down to its about customer expectations and delivery to the customer what they think they are going to get.

You make a very compelling argument.  Perhaps the articles are becoming more like blog entries than magazine articles.

But if thats the case, then I would have to ask why people don't get nearly as upset when a blogger misses a scheduled update?  Is it just a certain group of people, or is there something different in the blogging environment that isn't present in this situation?
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium


But if thats the case, then I would have to ask why people don't get nearly as upset when a blogger misses a scheduled update?  Is it just a certain group of people, or is there something different in the blogging environment that isn't present in this situation?



I suspect it's because most people aren't PAYING to read a blog.
+1


And I think that WotC staff is blogging or at least flirting with blogging...but the company isn't linking that to the front page, so for many (including me) it gets missed. If Rodney Thompson blogs about Dark Sun or D&D, a link on the D&D front page makes sense to me. It doesn;t excuse the failure to meet a schedule, but it does have a certain "ooh shiny" to distract from the missing material.

AL this mindset reiterates a point that keeps being made in multiple threads for some time now.
That this is the old, paper print magazine way of thinking. That of a magazine in a single issue.
Online users (which DDI people obviously are) are more used to the blog style of information delivery on the net. Where they stop by daily or couple days to read something new.

Wotc may call the articles previews but to their audience they arent. They are the real deal being presented. As it always seems to come down to its about customer expectations and delivery to the customer what they think they are going to get.






One thing to note is that the individual articles that are posted prior to issue compilation are subject to change (and they done so many times). Mechanics, powers, items, and other stuff as presented in the "compiled" issue are the "official" versions. The individual articles are not updated after they are initially posted and for good or bad should probably be viewed as preview material for the compiled issue.
-Sartredes


 You make a very compelling argument.  Perhaps the articles are becoming more like blog entries than magazine articles.

But if thats the case, then I would have to ask why people don't get nearly as upset when a blogger misses a scheduled update?  Is it just a certain group of people, or is there something different in the blogging environment that isn't present in this situation?



There are a number of reasons I believe cause the difference in customer/reader attitude. Not all would be applicable to everyone but they would all cause the "community" to appear to be rebelling the same way.

The average blogger has a day job. They blog for fun, or a hobby, or trying to make money but only a very few actually do enough to quit their jobs. So readers understand they have other obligations.
The blogger doesnt charge for content so if they miss an update there is understanding that the reader haven't lost something, been taken advantage of, or are missing something that is owed to them.

Lastly when the blooger posts an update there is disclosure. "Hey guys sorry for the delay I was doing X or Y happened to me". They understand their readers are their by choice and that they have formed a community in which their readers want to be and are a partner in and want to know what is going on. They all are sharing a same common interest and are more of a friendship relationship then a customer one.

Wotc on the other hand charges for their content. It is their job to get articles and updates out. They pay writers who are paid to do a job, write an article.
Wotc then announces to everyone that Article X will be on day Y. Back to the blooger they dont do that. Just that something is coming out.  

Wotc has also lost its trust relationship with their community (as a whole). In the beginning delays happen and there was some outcry but IIRC back when it started it was from the minority. Look at the communities reaction as a whole the couple months after 4ed went live but there was no tools. Disappointment but understanding. At this point delays in general with a lot of tings has become a common enough occurrence that more and more members are making comments. If its "common" or not is certainly a matter of opinion but its the perception that is important.
These feelings carry over when it comes time to whip out the wallet to resubscribe.

Going back to the blogger. If they act like I described wotc acting above then their community does get upset. They stop coming by to visit. # of comments drop and the community starts to die out and move on to something else.

In this day and age of the internet over print and the decline of the FLGS I think these concepts are absolutely critical for wotc's success.  


One thing to note is that the individual articles that are posted prior to issue compilation are subject to change (and they done so many times). Mechanics, powers, items, and other stuff as presented in the "compiled" issue are the "official" versions. The individual articles are not updated after they are initially posted and for good or bad should probably be viewed as preview material for the compiled issue.



Very true and thats a good point. I dont want to say that the current system is a blog or is a magazine format. Just merely that there is a disconnected between how the community perceives the article format vs how wotc perceives it.
One thing to note is that the individual articles that are posted prior to issue compilation are subject to change (and they done so many times). Mechanics, powers, items, and other stuff as presented in the "compiled" issue are the "official" versions. The individual articles are not updated after they are initially posted and for good or bad should probably be viewed as preview material for the compiled issue.


This is huge.  If you're using the individual articles but not the magazines, you're using old preview material.

Let's say I pay for an MMO subscription.  I get access to the game, but also to the public test servers. Once or twice, a live patch release is pushed back by the devs in order to fix some major problem or accommodate some particularly complicated content.  This thread would be like complaining that the latest beta build push to the test server is late.

...oh wait.  That actually happens.  But it doesn't make it any less silly.  (There are other threads for discussing the "live patch release" delay, which is almost more silly since it involves actual software.)

To use a shared metaphor, it's like complaining that I don't get timely access to the blogger's draft posts.
Yeah, the way they handle the articles for dragon and dungeon doesn't bother me at all. Just saw the Assassin Essentials release, it's huge. I can totally understand if they had to delay it a little, it was a large project and those are harder to plan. I like that we get to take a look at the articles before hand, and I don't usually mind when things get delayed a bit.

One thing I do wish, is that they would update the individual articles once they have a final version. I find myself searching for older articles and just downloading the ones that I need. I don't want to have to then find which magazine it was in, then download the whole magazine for the final version of the article.
One thing I do wish, is that they would update the individual articles once they have a final version. I find myself searching for older articles and just downloading the ones that I need. I don't want to have to then find which magazine it was in, then download the whole magazine for the final version of the article.



I would second this request.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

One thing I do wish, is that they would update the individual articles once they have a final version. I find myself searching for older articles and just downloading the ones that I need. I don't want to have to then find which magazine it was in, then download the whole magazine for the final version of the article.



I would second this request.



Thirded.
I've added it to the weekly report.  We'll see where it goes from there.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

  Instead, we're getting the high school book report - late, poorly edited and sometimes not at all.




(snip useless irrelevant insult here)

   I said in another thread, WOTC knew, and planned for the Dark Sun and essensals stuff to come out at this time. Its there responsablity to make sure the DDi part gets updated with it. But what do customers get instead? First WOTC says the sept. update would be later, on Sept. 21. Now they are saying it won't be until October?   This leaves people that sub expire this mounth SOL. They are paying for a month but not getting anything from it.



Please tell me who exactly at WotC since you seem to be in the know? The DDI team? The Marketing team? The writers of each book? The corporate leaders?

I have to wonder if you would have asked each of the above groups when the release date of these products should have been if you would have received the same answer from 2 of them. In this case, the only real important answer should have come from the DDI team since that's what everyone is upset about. Maybe just asked them what they said and if the person/people who decided on the date agreed with them.



Why wasn't the Character Builder updated with Psionic Power and the DSCS this month and Essentials next month? Why cram them both into a single update with disastrous results?




Like I stated in a thread earlier this month when a similiar question was asked(minus the  further delay), I cynically stated that WoTC didnt want to update the Darksun material without the essentials because they knew that many customers who don't want Essentials material in their CB's would just cancel their subscriptions once they  got the darksun update.

Since they are not  offering to update the darksun material on sept 21  and  update the unfinished Essentials data later in Oct. I  am starting to think my theory  was right.


I am going to call customer server and ask for a one month extention. I don't want the money.

To think when I logged onto the forum today I  was slightly hoping to see an announcement of new items for the adventure tools. Silly Me.
Please tell me who exactly at WotC since you seem to be in the know? The DDI team? The Marketing team? The writers of each book? The corporate leaders?

I have to wonder if you would have asked each of the above groups when the release date of these products should have been if you would have received the same answer from 2 of them. In this case, the only real important answer should have come from the DDI team since that's what everyone is upset about. Maybe just asked them what they said and if the person/people who decided on the date agreed with them.





  IIRC it was Dane Mcarty that posted in a thread that he works in publishing. He said in a post that when you want a book to come out on a certin date, you plan layout, ect months in advance, as all the info has to go to the publisher to get bound, printed, sent to the distrubutors so they can get it to the stores by the street date. 

   WOTC planned to have those books to come out at those times. It is WOTCs responsiblity as a company to have ALL departments effected by the new books/ game info out to have there part ready by the street date.  WOTC needed to have the DDi teams ready when the books hit. The company as a whole is responsible.

Considering the books do go to printers months in advance of street release, WotC has PLENTY of time to get the materials in.  If there is a high volume of materials, they may need to bring on temporary staff to do some of the blunt force work (like data entry, etc...), but they have the time to do so.

I almost feel like DDI is entering a death cycle in which they do less to support the product and stop trying to build it up.  Instead, they merely apply band aids and keep it float as long as possible to coniue collecting revenue as long as possible.  There are certain facts that make this seem unlikely: The additional programming staff hired this year, the promise of new products soon, etc...  However, the outward appearance being shown to most customers is consistent with the start of a death spiral.
D&D & Boardgames If I have everything I need to run great games for many years without repeating stuff, why do I need to buy anything right now?
Considering the books do go to printers months in advance of street release, WotC has PLENTY of time to get the materials in.  If there is a high volume of materials, they may need to bring on temporary staff to do some of the blunt force work (like data entry, etc...), but they have the time to do so.

I almost feel like DDI is entering a death cycle in which they do less to support the product and stop trying to build it up.  Instead, they merely apply band aids and keep it float as long as possible to coniue collecting revenue as long as possible.  There are certain facts that make this seem unlikely: The additional programming staff hired this year, the promise of new products soon, etc...  However, the outward appearance being shown to most customers is consistent with the start of a death spiral.



DDi is meant to support the game, not replace the books, which is probably a factor behind their choice to NOT update with books the same time they hit the shelves.

They make money from people buying the books. A large part of the cost of the books is the time and resources it takes to develope the material and produce the books. The cost of materials and printing is a very small part of the over all per unit costs.

So, if you can get the materials for $6.oo at the same time it comes out in print form, more then likely sales of books is going to go way down.

If the sales of books goes down, then the amount printed goes down, and the price goes way up, because books are cheaper per unit the more you have printed. The more you have printed, you need a sales plan to ensure those sales.

Example: My own book when I was getting printing estimates. If I ordered 500 copies, it would have cost me $1,560.oo for them. But when I order 1,000 the cost was $1,739.oo. So for a difference of $179.oo I get twice as many books.

That means I make more money for each book I sell, which means I don't have to sell as many books to make my money back, and any sales above that is pure profit.

WoTC would love to go digital, because not having physical books means one less thing to have to deal with. But they can't go completely digital, and their first foray into PDFs was meet with a handful people distributing copies of PDFs in the numbers of tens of thousands. That's a serious amount of money. Where do I get this number, from people at WoTC I talked with at GenCon. The original number I heard was around 2,800, but as I was told, that number was what let WoTC to file a lawsuit, and once they did, they could legally subpenoa server records, and found out that the number of PDFs that had been down loaded was in the tens of thousands, which is why they stopped making and selling PDFs.

WoTC has been looking into ways to bring back electronic books, how that who knows, but it won't be PDFs, so I'm thinking some sort of application would be needed. There are some pretty good ones out there that are very hard to break, but nothing is full proof.

And the fact that not everyone wants to go digital, some people, enough want actual printed books. And while Print on Demand has made huge improvements in the last 8 years, they still aren't quite able to match the quality of offset printing and binding.

So, if they were to update DDi with the material the same time books hit the shelves, then more then likely the monthly cost of DDI would go up, to compensate for the lose of actual book sales that would happen.

I don't what this outward appearance towards customers they are showing means. What exactly? They screwed up bad at the launch of 4E, and have acknowledged it, and gave us free stuff longer then they originally planned. They lowered the cost to reflect what they could offer (which isn't free for them to develope) and then lowered it even more with an intro price, which they put in a loop hole to extend it for a year after the intro price.

I mean that alone doesn't sound like a business trying to milk people for money.

The decided to not repeate the screw up again, because the reaction it gets, and that screw up was hyping what they were doing before they were 95% sure it was going to happen, because it was 95% done.

People complained about this, strongly. And I can even agree that they were taking a really hardnose stance, even if I understood why.

But they announced the update push back, people got upset (even though it was along the lines of more communication that people had been asking for). And the same for when the pushback got pushed back even more.

It seems like some of you are ready to cry foul on everything, even when it's what you say you want (early communication).

And then it seems like you are trying to get revenge on WoTC for this, by pronouncing doom, in hopes that it happens, so you can sit there an say "See I was right all along! Har Har!"

The type of stuff WoTC makes and sells isn't dependant on meeting deadlines outside of their own. In educational publishing you need to have your product ready by certian dates, because most of you sales will come from educational conventions which are held only once a year. Miss that, have a bad year of sales. The downside of that is often educational materials are not the best they can be, to meet a deadline based on the shows.

Here, if they put out a book a month later, it doens't have that kind of effect. There is no monht of the Bard, where everyone needs bard related material.

It doesn't mean they don't care about the customer. It means that they are doing what they believe is best for the product.
Another big thing to consider is that WotC really, really wants to support the local brick and mortar gaming store. The weeks between the release of the book and its release via DDI does a lot for the FLGS.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
....I almost feel like DDI is entering a death cycle in which they do less to support the product and stop trying to build it up.  Instead, they merely apply band aids and keep it float as long as possible to coniue collecting revenue as long as possible.  There are certain facts that make this seem unlikely: The additional programming staff hired this year, the promise of new products soon, etc...  However, the outward appearance being shown to most customers is consistent with the start of a death spiral.



Omgz   yep and end of world in 2012... ?

  IIRC it was Dane Mcarty that posted in a thread that he works in publishing. He said in a post that when you want a book to come out on a certin date, you plan layout, ect months in advance, as all the info has to go to the publisher to get bound, printed, sent to the distrubutors so they can get it to the stores by the street date. 

   WOTC planned to have those books to come out at those times. It is WOTCs responsiblity as a company to have ALL departments effected by the new books/ game info out to have there part ready by the street date.  WOTC needed to have the DDi teams ready when the books hit. The company as a whole is responsible.



I'm just curious here but how far in advance based on your timetable above would the writers have to had been finished completely? Based on your expertise how much time did the DDI team have to implement the changes brought on by DS & Essentials? How much time do you think the DDI team needed to implement those changes? I'm curious when Blizzard or Bioware annonce a delay for either a patch or a product what is your view about that?


  IIRC it was Dane Mcarty that posted in a thread that he works in publishing. He said in a post that when you want a book to come out on a certin date, you plan layout, ect months in advance, as all the info has to go to the publisher to get bound, printed, sent to the distrubutors so they can get it to the stores by the street date. 

   WOTC planned to have those books to come out at those times. It is WOTCs responsiblity as a company to have ALL departments effected by the new books/ game info out to have there part ready by the street date.  WOTC needed to have the DDi teams ready when the books hit. The company as a whole is responsible.



I'm just curious here but how far in advance based on your timetable above would the writers have to had been finished completely? Based on your expertise how much time did the DDI team have to implement the changes brought on by DS & Essentials? How much time do you think the DDI team needed to implement those changes? I'm curious when Blizzard or Bioware annonce a delay for either a patch or a product what is your view about that?




I've never clamed to be an expert on that stuff. But remember it was WOTC that said the CB and other tools would be updated with the new info from books as they came out. So its WOTC responsiblity to make sure they have the right people and resourses to get that done. With all these delays that keep happening its pretty clear WOTC is not doing it right. Plus from what I read on here, alot of people seem to subscribe just so they can stay current with the CB. When the delays keep happening with updates, the subscribers are basically getting nothing for there money that month.

As far as Blizzard or Bioware anouncing delays I don't have any issue. Because they have proven time and again that they will come through with what they say they will do.  

WOTC has failed with etools/ master tools with 3/ 3.5. Then they pretty much failed with DDi with the tools not ready for launch, the poor way they got the word out about the tools not being ready, delays of updates to the tools, new tools coming out, and from what I read on here, the magaizines that are part of the DDi subscribtion being nothing more then previews for upcoming products.

WOTC has not shown me that they can handle computer/ digital tools for DnD. Until they show some
integrity, I don't trust anything from WOTC says with regaurds to DDi.

I do feel bad for Mudbunny and the other VCLs. I feel WOTC put them in to deal with all the crap storms that they are causing so they don't have to answer to the public themselves.


I've never clamed to be an expert on that stuff. But remember it was WOTC that said the CB and other tools would be updated with the new info from books as they came out. So its WOTC responsiblity to make sure they have the right people and resourses to get that done. With all these delays that keep happening its pretty clear WOTC is not doing it right. Plus from what I read on here, alot of people seem to subscribe just so they can stay current with the CB. When the delays keep happening with updates, the subscribers are basically getting nothing for there money that month.

As far as Blizzard or Bioware anouncing delays I don't have any issue. Because they have proven time and again that they will come through with what they say they will do.

 

So it's ok for Blizzard or Bioware to delay because they want to make sure that they only release quality stuff. But it's not ok for the DDI team even though they are trying to release quality stuff as well.

Also what's with all of these delays? Originally it was pushed back to Sept. 21 and now Oct. Another thing, as a subscriber I'm still pretty much getting daily content. Not always what I would like but it is there. (BTW, great job on the Assassin, can't wait to get a chance to try this bad boy)


WOTC has failed with etools/ master tools with 3/ 3.5. Then they pretty much failed with DDi with the tools not ready for launch, the poor way they got the word out about the tools not being ready, delays of updates to the tools, new tools coming out, and from what I read on here, the magaizines that are part of the DDi subscribtion being nothing more then previews for upcoming products.

WOTC has not shown me that they can handle computer/ digital tools for DnD. Until they show some
integrity, I don't trust anything from WOTC says with regaurds to DDi.

I do feel bad for Mudbunny and the other VCLs. I feel WOTC put them in to deal with all the crap storms that they are causing so they don't have to answer to the public themselves.


How often to you want them to keep apologizing for past mistakes because it seems that until the full suite is released you won't stop harping on it whenever you can. There are lots of posts providing alternatives until they do or announce that they no longer intend to do that project.

Honestly, judging you from your posts around this site I really don't think you truly understand the meaning of integrity.