D&D Insider Tools Delay (September)

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D&D Insider Subscriber,


We will not have a data update ready for the D&D Insider tools in September.  We plan to update the Character Builder in early October with changes to support Dark Sun and the Essentials. We will continue to keep you informed of any changes to the schedule, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Sincerely,


The D&DI Team

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Thanks for being upfront and apologizing about it.  Still sucks, but at least you are owning it.

Any chance for releasing an update with just the new stuff from Psionic Power?  I'm in a campaign where we were planning on trying some new, high-level psionic PCs for two games starting on the 23rd.  So this would be a big boon for us.

Ah, well. 
This is really annoying to be honest and very disappointing. I delayed the start of both of my new campaigns to be after the update so my PCs had access to everything in there formally and now they've been delayed to October. That's really irritating and I am less than impressed. Combined with the severe downturn in the quality of articles in Dragon/Dungeon as of late, I am seriously considering cancelling my subscription.
So basically we are getting screwed out of one of the monthly features we are paying for. And if memory serves me this isn't the first time we have missed out on an update.

You don't have it all finished - fine, update what you have and put the rest into the next update. You don't have to delay it all.

Heck you haven't even put in everything from all the older books. There's still information there that needs to be finished (like the religions from Forgotten Realms).
It's a good thing I started my Dark Sun campaign early.  Over three weeks into it now.  I was going to wait for the update but figured it shouldn't take too long, after all the books released in August which means most of the content was finalized in July/early August for printing. 

D&D Insider Subscriber,


We will not have a data update ready for the D&D Insider tools in September.  We plan to update the Character Builder in early October with changes to support Dark Sun and the Essentials. We will continue to keep you informed of any changes to the schedule, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Sincerely,


The D&DI Team


Will you be offering a rebate or discount of some sort for the month of September?  As it stands, I'm paying full price for diminished functionality.

 
While I'm not too displeased with delays, nor with the fact how these delays are communicated, I'm somewhat abashed by the fact that even with the two week delay, the update is cancelled altogether. This contradicts the earlier announcement of the two week delay.

I suggest not making any promises until you can be sure. Obviously, you weren't in the position to promise the earlier date of 21st of September. Instead, better communicate at the end of August the update has been delayed, and possibly cancelled, and further information will be provided when available.
This puts me in an awkward position.

My year's subscription to DDi expires on October 5th. If I actually want the update that I should have received at the start of this month, I am now (effectively) forced to pay for another year. To be honest, if it were not for the fact that I do want the new Dark Sun and Psionic Power content in the CB, I wouldn't even think twice about this - I'd turn off auto-renew and never look back. But the timing of this delay means I can't do that without effectively losing the update I have already paid for. This feels like I am being forced to reward WotC for poor customer service, and that offends and angers me.

It also saddens me because, up to now, I have been an ardent supporter of DDi and what appeared to be WotC's genuine desire to make it work, despite the many problems. It has recently become apparent that WotC has either lost interest in DDi or just doesn't know how to make it work. Perhaps I'm wrong and there have merely been a series of unfortunate (and perhaps unforseeable) problems lately, but it very much looks as though the DDi team is either badly understaffed/under-resourced and overworked (and hence unable to meet deadlines), or is just incompetent.

Before I make a final decision, I wish to know: what procedures is WotC putting in place to ensure this does not happen again?

It would also be nice to know the reasons for this delay, though that's obviously not as important as whether it's likely to happen again. A bit of openness and honesty is probably the only thing that can win me back as a DDi customer at this point.

ETA: Oh, another thing. Apparently, notice of this delay was supposed to be in an email sent to all subscribers. Well, you somehow didn't manage to send it to me. I only found out about this because someone mentioned it in the Dark Sun forum and linked to this thread. I got the "your subscription is due for renewal" email just fine, though. Funny how that works, eh?

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

This is pretty pathetic, DDI Team. I work in the publishing industry and have for years. I'm my world, if you're running behind on a product for a client, you work extra hours until it's done on time. Clearly the same philosophy doesn't hold true at WotC. Consider me highly disappointed (not that you care about a single voice, but whatever).

[edit] I didn't get the e-mail about the delay, either, despite being a DDI subscriber for almost two years. Even more pathetic.

Not pleased about this.  I don't even care about the dungeon and dragon magazine content (especially the junk from this month) I only pay for DDI for the CB... which will not be updated. Seems pricey now considering this month I got nothing.

 and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sincerely,


The D&DI Team




That's okay I'm planning on running a Dark Heresy campaign rather than Dark Sun one (which they expected), due to the delay and then cancellation of the update. It's only one word change so I'm hoping they won't notice the difference.

Seems I can do without the DDI I've already cancelled the autorenew on my subscription.

Edit: For those saying they didn't get the email, I just checked an hotmail's spam filter blocked my email from Wizards. 
Will we be getting an extra month of credit on our subscriptions for your lack of planning?
Will we be getting an extra month of credit on our subscriptions for your lack of planning?



Same question here. That seems like a fair compromise.

My subscription also runs out Oct. 5; so really, my subscription effectively ended this month?
LOL!!! I think I am psyshic! This is very disappointing, but can't say I did'nt see it coming.
I did not get the email either. It was not in my spam folder.
I keep reading about people contacting WotC and receiving money back for the month of September. What number do I call, or what e-mail address do I send the request to? I tried using the basic wizards.com feedback form, but had no luck with it.
you should be able to use the customer service link at the bottom of the page.

Joe
So basically we are getting screwed out of one of the monthly features we are paying for. And if memory serves me this isn't the first time we have missed out on an update.

You don't have it all finished - fine, update what you have and put the rest into the next update. You don't have to delay it all.

Heck you haven't even put in everything from all the older books. There's still information there that needs to be finished (like the religions from Forgotten Realms).



If you, or anyone else reading this, feels strongly, you can contact Customer Service and let them know.  Other people have been given refunds for the month, and you may have similar luck.

Regarding those of you who did not get an email, this was the first time that they have tried to do such a massive mass email through this system, and it ended up choking and many of the emails were lost or delayed significantly.  Please be sure to check your spam folders as well.  I'm not sure what they've done to correct this issue in the future, but thats what happened this time. 
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If you, or anyone else reading this, feels strongly, you can contact Customer Service and let them know.  Other people have been given refunds for the month, and you may have similar luck.

Regarding those of you who did not get an email, this was the first time that they have tried to do such a massive mass email through this system, and it ended up choking and many of the emails were lost or delayed significantly.  Please be sure to check your spam folders as well.  I'm not sure what they've done to correct this issue in the future, but thats what happened this time. 



I just re-contacted them. We'll see what happens (and I was one of the people who never got the inital e-mail, and it wasn't in my spam folder).


You shouldn't have to complain to get a refund, however if people that are complaining are getting a refund that should mean everyone gets a refund. It's bad customer service in my opinion if they don't.


You shouldn't have to complain to get a refund, however if people that are complaining are getting a refund that should mean everyone gets a refund. It's bad customer service in my opinion if they don't.



This is how every business works. If you go to a movie, and the sound quality is bad, but you don't complain. No refund. For me, I went up to customer service and said, "Hey! That movie had bad sound." And guess what? They gave me two vouchers for another movie. They're not going to decide at that point, "Well, I guess we should track down everyone else who saw that movie and give them free tickets too."

Email CS if you have a complaint.
Folks, let's keep the posts polite, respectful, and on-topic.
Folks, let's keep the posts polite, respectful, and on-topic.



Apologies.

Complaining to corporate America is like a gnat thinking it has a chance of making an elephant change direction by biting it in the _ _ _.  The only thing they understand is money.  Once the monthly subscriptions fall to an unacceptable level some corporate bean counter will call up a CEO and sound the warning klaxon.  At first they will try the layoff routine but, as the subscriptions continue to fall off then and only then will change be made to rectify what most other business already know or have learned.


I have enjoyed the game since the late 70s and my son (12) is taking an interest since I started bringing him to the encounter sessions.  But I cannot continue to be responsible for enabling, by my subscription fees, a company to continue treating its bread and butter like they do.  I can understand about the LATE applications they promised so LONG ago but to just up and fail on the CB update without an offer to compensate.  Unacceptable IMHO.  And not the first time as we all know, so the implications of not offering recompense is known.  I have to agree with carnasus' statement and they should offer some sort of compensation.  Here is an idea; extend my sub a month that is soft money and not cold hard cash out of their pocket, sounds like a win win to me.


 

Your Dungeons & Dragons Insider subscription has recently ended. This could be because your billing information failed to process successfully as an Auto-Renew or because your Manual Renew subscription lapsed. Either way, we wanted to invite you back.
This is pretty pathetic, DDI Team. I work in the publishing industry and have for years. I'm my world, if you're running behind on a product for a client, you work extra hours until it's done on time. Clearly the same philosophy doesn't hold true at WotC. Consider me highly disappointed (not that you care about a single voice, but whatever).

[edit] I didn't get the e-mail about the delay, either, despite being a DDI subscriber for almost two years. Even more pathetic.



Man, you have absolutely no idea how offensive I find your post as a programmer/developer. If we were working together on a shared project and you came to my desk with that smug "In my world, if you're running behind on a product for a client, you work extra hours until it's done on time" attitude, you would find yourself on your a** so fast you would swear that the earth just dropped 5 ft.

Programming isn't like publishing in that when there are changes to be made you can just edit, delete or insert text or images. It's alot like being an architect, engineer and construction worker on a never ending building in the case of something like the CB. I dare you to take your attitude over to a half finished building and tell them how easy it should be "to keep it on time" by working extra hours to add another elevator shaft to the design now. Oh and please be sure and mention how doable it is in the publishing industry, I'm sure they'll appreciate your expertise.

Every once and a while I have the pleasure of hearing from some marketing genius how easy it should to add this "new feature" that he's dreamt up. That's when I usually start playing a game I call "How will your new feature handle these situations?", they will usually be able answer a couple of them but most answers will be something akin to "I don't know, I didn't think of that." I then say that it may not be as easy as they originally thought. To which they reply with "yeah but I've already promised this to a certain client but Y date". Aren't I the fortunate one to have all this help?

Another favorite I hear once and awhile is "Shouldn't you have accounted for that in the design X months/years ago in the first place?" to which I usually reply "Well, when we were gathering the design specifications from you in the first place, why didn't you mention this contingency then?

But hey what do I know because I'm just a lazy programmer not a publisher.

This is pretty pathetic, DDI Team. I work in the publishing industry and have for years. I'm my world, if you're running behind on a product for a client, you work extra hours until it's done on time. Clearly the same philosophy doesn't hold true at WotC. Consider me highly disappointed (not that you care about a single voice, but whatever).

[edit] I didn't get the e-mail about the delay, either, despite being a DDI subscriber for almost two years. Even more pathetic.



Man, you have absolutely no idea how offensive I find your post as a programmer/developer. If we were working together on a shared project and you came to my desk with that smug "In my world, if you're running behind on a product for a client, you work extra hours until it's done on time" attitude, you would find yourself on your a** so fast you would swear that the earth just dropped 5 ft.

Programming isn't like publishing in that when there are changes to be made you can just edit, delete or insert text or images. It's alot like being an architect, engineer and construction worker on a never ending building in the case of something like the CB. I dare you to take your attitude over to a half finished building and tell them how easy it should be "to keep it on time" by working extra hours to add another elevator shaft to the design now. Oh and please be sure and mention how doable it is in the publishing industry, I'm sure they'll appreciate your expertise.

Every once and a while I have the pleasure of hearing from some marketing genius how easy it should to add this "new feature" that he's dreamt up. That's when I usually start playing a game I call "How will your new feature handle these situations?", they will usually be able answer a couple of them but most answers will be something akin to "I don't know, I didn't think of that." I then say that it may not be as easy as they originally thought. To which they reply with "yeah but I've already promised this to a certain client but Y date". Aren't I the fortunate one to have all this help?

Another favorite I hear once and awhile is "Shouldn't you have accounted for that in the design X months/years ago in the first place?" to which I usually reply "Well, when we were gathering the design specifications from you in the first place, why didn't you mention this contingency then?

But hey what do I know because I'm just a lazy programmer not a publisher.




Agree with you my brother, fellow programmer


You shouldn't have to complain to get a refund, however if people that are complaining are getting a refund that should mean everyone gets a refund. It's bad customer service in my opinion if they don't.



This is how every business works. If you go to a movie, and the sound quality is bad, but you don't complain. No refund. For me, I went up to customer service and said, "Hey! That movie had bad sound." And guess what? They gave me two vouchers for another movie. They're not going to decide at that point, "Well, I guess we should track down everyone else who saw that movie and give them free tickets too."

Email CS if you have a complaint.



If World of Warcraft has extended technical problems, Blizzard tacks some time on to the end of my subscription without me asking.  If the auto-renew feature on DDI knows when to charge my account, I'm sure somebody could tell it to tack an extra month on to my subscription, too.
This is pretty pathetic, DDI Team. I work in the publishing industry and have for years. I'm my world, if you're running behind on a product for a client, you work extra hours until it's done on time. Clearly the same philosophy doesn't hold true at WotC. Consider me highly disappointed (not that you care about a single voice, but whatever).

[edit] I didn't get the e-mail about the delay, either, despite being a DDI subscriber for almost two years. Even more pathetic.



Man, you have absolutely no idea how offensive I find your post as a programmer/developer. If we were working together on a shared project and you came to my desk with that smug "In my world, if you're running behind on a product for a client, you work extra hours until it's done on time" attitude, you would find yourself on your a** so fast you would swear that the earth just dropped 5 ft.

Programming isn't like publishing in that when there are changes to be made you can just edit, delete or insert text or images. It's alot like being an architect, engineer and construction worker on a never ending building in the case of something like the CB. I dare you to take your attitude over to a half finished building and tell them how easy it should be "to keep it on time" by working extra hours to add another elevator shaft to the design now. Oh and please be sure and mention how doable it is in the publishing industry, I'm sure they'll appreciate your expertise.

Every once and a while I have the pleasure of hearing from some marketing genius how easy it should to add this "new feature" that he's dreamt up. That's when I usually start playing a game I call "How will your new feature handle these situations?", they will usually be able answer a couple of them but most answers will be something akin to "I don't know, I didn't think of that." I then say that it may not be as easy as they originally thought. To which they reply with "yeah but I've already promised this to a certain client but Y date". Aren't I the fortunate one to have all this help?

Another favorite I hear once and awhile is "Shouldn't you have accounted for that in the design X months/years ago in the first place?" to which I usually reply "Well, when we were gathering the design specifications from you in the first place, why didn't you mention this contingency then?

But hey what do I know because I'm just a lazy programmer not a publisher.




Agree with you my brother, fellow programmer




And it is programmer attitudes like this that make companies hire workers in third world countries for 1/3 the pay.   I suppose they must be hungrier!  I guess it is different in my network/systems world.  When the client comes up with a new "feature" for a network design it sure would be nice to have the same attitude I see you two subscribe to.  I and my coworkers, on the other hand, suck it up and do what they request and within the time constraints originally promised.  No excuses, oh and yes that usually means I have to work more then 8 hours a day or 5 days a week.  I am a bit astounded to see people admit they "play games" Foot in mouth at work rather then working to offer a solution.  I guess my age is showing I have always worked to succeed not "game" so others look bad or fail.


But thanks for the insight, I guess what you admit to doing could be a plausible excuse for what happened with the latest CB update.


 

Your Dungeons & Dragons Insider subscription has recently ended. This could be because your billing information failed to process successfully as an Auto-Renew or because your Manual Renew subscription lapsed. Either way, we wanted to invite you back.


You shouldn't have to complain to get a refund, however if people that are complaining are getting a refund that should mean everyone gets a refund. It's bad customer service in my opinion if they don't.



This is how every business works. If you go to a movie, and the sound quality is bad, but you don't complain. No refund. For me, I went up to customer service and said, "Hey! That movie had bad sound." And guess what? They gave me two vouchers for another movie. They're not going to decide at that point, "Well, I guess we should track down everyone else who saw that movie and give them free tickets too."

Email CS if you have a complaint.



If World of Warcraft has extended technical problems, Blizzard tacks some time on to the end of my subscription without me asking.  If the auto-renew feature on DDI knows when to charge my account, I'm sure somebody could tell it to tack an extra month on to my subscription, too.



Not the same thing.  When WOW is down you are not able to play the game at all, I can understand that.  We all have still be able to use the CB and other items from DDI

DDI and WoW aren't the same thing.  That's also not what I'm saying.  What I am saying is that if Blizzard screws up, I don't have to ask, they try to make it up on their own.  WotC, in contrast, believes they've come up short (or why issue any refunds) but will make the rest of us stand in line to say please.  I was using the difference to illustrate how I disagree with P1NBACK's position that this level of service doesn't exist anywhere.

And it is programmer attitudes like this that make companies hire workers in third world countries for 1/3 the pay.   I suppose they must be hungrier!




You too will be replaced when someone will do your job for bottom dollar with only an "acceptable" drop-off in quality.



  I guess it is different in my network/systems world.





It is.  Having done both myself, there is no comparison with respect to complexity when it comes to putting together a non-trivial network vs. writing a non-trivial computer program.  It's not even close.  Thanks for accusing American programmers of being lazy, though.

With respect to the original guy complaining about how publishers work versus how he thinks programmers work, maybe it's the author/editor's fault: they spent too much time f'ing around and had to pull all-nighters, then handed off the Psionic Power and Essentials material to the software development team at the last possible moment with the expectation that last second heroics will somehow save the day.  That would be entirely consistent with my experience, where non-programmer content producers expect the programmers to "make the magic happen" with very little understanding that there is no magic.  This seems particularly likely since the Essentials material is such a profound structural break from the existing game, and that break will take a lot of work to materialize in the CB without being a brittle hack.

Unless you'd rather just have a brittle hack for the bottom dollar price?
I killed Aleena.
You too will be replaced when someone will do your job for bottom dollar with only an "acceptable" drop-off in quality.

Maybe, has not happened yet in the 15+ years of my career.  But there is always a first time.


It is.  Having done both myself, there is no comparison with respect to complexity when it comes to putting together a non-trivial network vs. writing a non-trivial computer program.  It's not even close. 


Yawn ...  not gonna get into an epennie size contest....


Thanks for accusing American programmers of being lazy, though.


No apologies here, but reread it.  I was just pointing out their attitude towards work.  I made no assumptions, it was all there for everyone to read.  Did you see the part about "play game..."?  Maybe not, try again.



Unless you'd rather just have a brittle hack for the bottom dollar price?

Pretty much what we are getting now, right?  Just a small example but can someone explain to me why when you equip a large shield it gives you a +4 AC shield bonus but then adds a -2 misc bonus?  It all works out to being the proper AC but really!!!  There are other examples and I do not have the time or inclination to point them out, go read other forum posts.  Seems like a "brittle hack" to me.  IMHO



Your Dungeons & Dragons Insider subscription has recently ended. This could be because your billing information failed to process successfully as an Auto-Renew or because your Manual Renew subscription lapsed. Either way, we wanted to invite you back.
It is.  Having done both myself, there is no comparison with respect to complexity when it comes to putting together a non-trivial network vs. writing a non-trivial computer program.  It's not even close. 

Yawn ...  not gonna get into an epennie size contest....




I'm not measuring anyone's junk here.  I'm simply pointing out that you lack the perspective to understand the complexity of software development beyond the trivial level.  Since I have done both things, I have the experience to point out that things are indeed different than in the network/systems world.



Thanks for accusing American programmers of being lazy, though.


No apologies here, but reread it.  I was just pointing out their attitude towards work.  I made no assumptions, it was all there for everyone to read.  Did you see the part about "play game..."?  Maybe not, try again.




The attitude isn't one of laziness or a lack of hunger.  Rather, it is an extreme frustration with people who make assumptions about the complexity of some change to a piece of software.  If you have never done software development professionally, you really have no perspective on what this is like.  Your argument about "playing games" seems to be a bit of a non sequitur, since none of the posters you quote mention anything about playing games.  Unless, of course, you refer to JabbaVonHutt's frustration with ignorant marketing slime signing checks with their mouths that their rears can't cash.

Let me explain this in terms you might understand: it's as if a client of yours has demanded some entirely unbudgeted change to your network system, only you have no idea ahead of time how much it is going to cost you in either equipment or manpower.  That's the beauty (seriously!) of computer programming.  If you've never done some thing X before, and X is non-trivial, you have no idea at the start how hard it will be or if it is even possible.

Is knuckling down and working longer hours going to fix this problem?  It might.  Believe me, no one in the software industry works eight hour days.  Just look at the widely publicized issues at EA where they burn up families and careers so you and your kids can play a new version of Madden every Fall.  But some times there simply aren't enough days left to implement and test on time.  Every single feature change of the nature described by JabbaVonHutt is like this, and feature changes happen like this all the time.

Merely working harder does not solve this problem if there simply isn't enough time left to add the new feature.  If it's a chronic issue, then you burn out your programmers and no one is happy.  Adding more programmers doesn't fix the problem either, since you have to get them all up to speed on a big program that grows larger every day.  Furthermore, the very people tasked with getting the new people up to speed are your already overburdened programmers.

There is no laziness here.  Jobs don't get outsourced because people are lazy.  They get outsourced because people will do those jobs for much less money in third world countries and the reduction in quality is acceptable to the bean counters, the management, and the stock holders.  I'm not saying outsourcing is good or bad, only that it has nothing to do with lazy programmers or playing games as you have so clearly stated.

Unless you'd rather just have a brittle hack for the bottom dollar price?

Pretty much what we are getting now, right?  Just a small example but can someone explain to me why when you equip a large shield it gives you a +4 AC shield bonus but then adds a -2 misc bonus?  It all works out to being the proper AC but really!!!  There are other examples and I do not have the time or inclination to point them out, go read other forum posts.  Seems like a "brittle hack" to me.  IMHO






Heh.  A brittle hack ...

  • only works with one kind of printer

  • only works on one version of the operating system at one patch level

  • or only works in Internet Explorer 6

  • has an out-of-control resource leak that mandates frequent restarts

  • has a particular set of valid inputs, others cause crashes

  • etc.


CB and MB aren't perfect.  They're not even great.  But they're not brittle hacks.  The demo game table and character visualizer that people saw but never materialized?  Those were brittle hacks.  The amateurish Flash doohickeys for creating monsters and encounters?  Those were brittle hacks.  In my opinion, the only thing that might be considered a brittle hack about CB is the hideous workaround necessary for printing to PDF.  On the other hand, that use is an infrequent corner case, so I'll give the developers a pass on that one.  After all, there are more important issues on which they should be working.

With respect to the current problem, Essentials introduces major structural changes to the way that classes are treated in 4e.  This goes far, far beyond any previous change including those changes introduced with Psionic and Hybrid classes.  Whereas before each class had a selection of some static set of features followed by the standard A-W/E/D power structure, now you have essentially five new classes each of which is its own special little snowflake over the entire thirty level progression.  Furthermore, now these new classes have to be presented in a way that makes sense alongside the existing 4e material.  Once this stuff is implemented, we are not even close to a release since all this extra functionality has to be tested in conjunction with all previous content.  This too is a non-trivial task and one often overlooked by people who don't do software development or software testing.  The final problem is that the software engineers and software developers can't even start working until the creative people are done.  This means that the programmer's time is now constrained by the creative completion on one end and the final deadline on the other.  Something has got to give.

I'm guessing here that this new functionality requires major structural changes to the CB for which we have no perspective or understanding.  Sure, they could have planned for this expansion when they were writing the CB 2+ years ago, but without the foresight to see Essentials and it's nature, it would have been wasted effort at the time.  We can fault Wizards for failing to come up with the update on-time, but we cannot lay the blame at the feet of the programmers without knowing the whole story. 

To do otherwise is an injustice.

To call American programmers lazy and blame them for outsourcing is a greater injustice.
I killed Aleena.

Not pleased about this.  I don't even care about the dungeon and dragon magazine content (especially the junk from this month) I only pay for DDI for the CB... which will not be updated. Seems pricey now considering this month I got nothing.




Uh, haven't you read the EULA? You are required to uninstall the CB if you stop paying. So you did get something. You got to use the CB, which you said you were paying for.

Not pleased about this.  I don't even care about the dungeon and dragon magazine content (especially the junk from this month) I only pay for DDI for the CB... which will not be updated. Seems pricey now considering this month I got nothing.




Uh, haven't you read the EULA? You are required to uninstall the CB if you stop paying. So you did get something. You got to use the CB, which you said you were paying for.


You are not required to uninstall the CB if you decide to end your subscription.
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D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium


Not pleased about this.  I don't even care about the dungeon and dragon magazine content (especially the junk from this month) I only pay for DDI for the CB... which will not be updated. Seems pricey now considering this month I got nothing.




Uh, haven't you read the EULA? You are required to uninstall the CB if you stop paying. So you did get something. You got to use the CB, which you said you were paying for.


You are not required to uninstall the CB if you decide to end your subscription.



Hmm, someone said so in another thread, so I assumed it was true.

  I'm simply pointing out that you lack the perspective to understand the complexity of software development beyond the trivial level.  Since I have done both things, I have the experience to point out that things are indeed different than in the network/systems world.


And, as with most assumptions, you are wrong.  I work with many developers and have a few as friends.  I have not worked with code since my graduation from DeVry but I understand it.  Just not my cup of tea.


  Your argument about "playing games" seems to be a bit of a non sequitur, since none of the posters you quote mention anything about playing games.  Unless, of course, you refer to JabbaVonHutt's frustration with ignorant marketing slime signing checks with their mouths that their rears can't cash.


He used the word game, my definition may not be the same as yours.  I just never used that term when it comes to my work, nor have I heard it used by the Dev folks I work with.  Everyone gets frustrated at work, but not everyone "games".  From your defense maybe you do, I am not your employer so I do not care.


Let me explain this in terms you might understand: it's as if a client of yours has demanded some entirely unbudgeted change to your network system, only you have no idea ahead of time how much it is going to cost you in either equipment or manpower.  That's the beauty (seriously!) of computer programming.  If you've never done some thing X before, and X is non-trivial, you have no idea at the start how hard it will be or if it is even possible.


Just gonna slide this under you made another incorrect assumption since you have no idea what I do, where I work etc....  And we are talking about an update to a program, not a total rewrite?


Believe me, no one in the software industry works eight hour days.


I know a couple, just an FYI to correct this overly broad and general statement.  I only work 8 hour days unless something major or unexpected comes up.



  Heh.  A brittle hack ...
  • only works with one kind of printer

  • only works on one version of the operating system at one patch level

  • or only works in Internet Explorer 6

  • has an out-of-control resource leak that mandates frequent restarts

  • has a particular set of valid inputs, others cause crashes

  • etc.

CB and MB aren't perfect.  They're not even great.  But they're not brittle hacks.



And that is your opinion, mine is a simple thing like the shield AC whacked out falls under that category.


 

With respect to the current problem, Essentials introduces major structural changes to the way that classes are treated in 4e. 


No one is asking for the Essentials, how about they just put out what came out in August.  Essentials release could have come out in October.  I can buy the hardbound book 11 days, from a Premier store, before its official release.  I can only speculate when the information gets to the Dev folks for the CB update.  Say a month???  So in all that time they could not release the August book material?  Bad planning on their part.


   

We can fault Wizards for failing to come up with the update on-time, but we cannot lay the blame at the feet of the programmers without knowing the whole story.
  To do otherwise is an injustice.

To call American programmers lazy and blame them for outsourcing is a greater injustice.



May I suggest you get your programmer panties unbundled, I made no condemnation of all programmers.  I said it was a plausible excuse not THE reason.  This is about how WotC is handling the whole thing.  I liken it to a child that stuffs their fist in their mouth and cries when they cannot get it out.  WotC's decision on this was to possible "stuff their fist in their mouth" and it turned out to be more then they expected.  This is about poor management, from the top down, as well as deplorable customer service.


As far as I am concerned the Essentials stuff is so spoon fed built it does not need the CB to build it.  Just follow the programmed build, that may be what they were shooting for but it is a bit over simplified for those of us that have been playing for some time.



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With respect to the original guy complaining about how publishers work versus how he thinks programmers work, maybe it's the author/editor's fault: they spent too much time f'ing around and had to pull all-nighters, then handed off the Psionic Power and Essentials material to the software development team at the last possible moment with the expectation that last second heroics will somehow save the day.  That would be entirely consistent with my experience, where non-programmer content producers expect the programmers to "make the magic happen" with very little understanding that there is no magic.


I blame Star Trek.  Between Scotty and LaForge constantly saying they need 48 hours yet always pulling through and getting it done in 1 hour, people think that the techies can always do that.

Damn you, Montgomery Scott!  Your abysmal failures to accurately assess the time required for your projects have made everyone's life harder for decades.
Maybe the WotC team isn't doing it right?  Maybe they should start claiming it will take 2 years for each update, and when it only takes a month, they will be heroes?
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Maybe the WotC team isn't doing it right?  Maybe they should start claiming it will take 2 years for each update, and when it only takes a month, they will be heroes?




Underpromise and overdeliver.
I do wonder if people would prefer that they push out the release schedule a month or more so that the data update for CB is ready when the book is on the shelf? Because they can't program it into CB until it is done being written, so it isn't like they can start sooner.

Also, I'm always amused at people disparaging the character of folks they have never met based on no information but their own frustration. Nobody here knows why it is late. Nobody here knows how hard the folks at WotC are working on this. Nobody here knows what issues they are running into. Nobody here knows if creative or marketing made promises without consulting them. So, honestly, everyone inclined to speculate on these matters should keep it to themselves. Unless, of course, they work for Wizards and are in the loop.
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