Upcoming October Update

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From Trevor's post in DDI Announcements:



Hey all. We are currently in the process of developing a new web-based tools system for D&D Insider which has factored into recent content update delays. We will continue to provide D&D Insider members with additional information as our progress develops. In the meantime, we are back on schedule to provide members with our regular content updates.


October 2010 Tools News

The 12 OCT update is for the Character Builder and Compendium. Monster Builder will be updated at a later date.


Data Update:


Added to Character Builder:

Books

Psionic Power


Magazines

Dragon # 389


Dragon #390

Dungeon #180


Dungeon #181

Added to the Compendium:

Books


Psionic Power


Dark Sun Campaign Setting

D&D Essentials: Heroes of the Fallen Lands


Magazines

Dragon #389


Dragon #390

Dungeon #180





Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
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Web Based Tools.

Meaning Mac Users can use them?  And Linux?
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Web Based Tools.

Meaning Mac Users can use them?  And Linux?



Windows and Mac at least. I am trying to find out what underlying platform1 they will be using.

1 - Not a programmer, using the term platform because I don't know what else to call it.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Did...did they just tell us what they're working on

Feather, knocked over, etc. Good job, Trevor. Thanks.  
I don't see the Dark Sun books going  into the CB for the october update. That will go over well I think.
Awesome.  A completely new tools suite is definitely something to cause delays, and I appreciate hearing about this.  I want to note this is EXACTLY what I've been asking for for the last month and a half.  Thank you very much.

I am very happy with this.
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Thanks for the update, a web based system could be pretty slick, especially for those of us with Macs (I've got a virtual machine here with exactly one program installed, the CB).  Any idea if the new web based tools will be a replacement of the desktop tools, or an alternative?
Teaching skunks how to read since the year 2000.
I don't see the Dark Sun books going  into the CB for the october update. That will go over well I think.



Never satisfied are you?

Date of an update, New information on a new tool and communication and you still complain.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Oh WOW.. holy crap, they informed us.... I ....I.... Wow.....



Ok, back on track.

MB, AL, would you please post to the higher authorities to keep the openness going. Maybe some screenshots or more details? Don't care about a release date (Whenever it's done is fine) but some insige on what this new tool will be would be wonderful.

Thanks.
I don't see the Dark Sun books going  into the CB for the october update. That will go over well I think.



Never satisfied are you?

Date of an update, New information on a new tool and communication and you still complain.

Thats his right.  Long as he isn't disrepectful about it, let him complain.  I'm going to be happy to get a web-based tool that I can use on my Linux laptop.
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Oh WOW.. holy crap, they informed us.... I ....I.... Wow.....



Ok, back on track.

MB, AL, would you please post to the higher authorities to keep the openness going. Maybe some screenshots or more details? Don't care about a release date (Whenever it's done is fine) but some insige on what this new tool will be would be wonderful.

Thanks.

Haha! Now THATS the kind of 'never satisfied' that I like.
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I'm conflicted.  The "Dark Sun not in builder" is very annoying to my ongoing Dark Sun game.

The Web-apps part makes me want to get up and boogie.  If they deliver web-apps this month that work, I'll probably suck it up and resubscribe for a signficant period; cause that has value to me.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
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Web based is fine so long as its not a tool that is likely to become essential during a game.  Too many of the places I run games have low quality or no internet for it to be useful otherwise -
unless of course its flash or silverlight based and is available offline (given that google has dropped its gears platform, I'm not aware of any cross platform html+javascript engine that's available offline with any significant efficiency and data integrity).

So yay on web based, if its done right!
I don't see the Dark Sun books going  into the CB for the october update. That will go over well I think.



Never satisfied are you?

Date of an update, New information on a new tool and communication and you still complain.



I have a player who bought a monthly sub just to be able to create an Essentials character in my game. First-time 4e player. He doesn't care about future online tools yet. It won't go over well with him.

I'm conflicted.  The "Dark Sun not in builder" is very annoying to my ongoing Dark Sun game.

The Web-apps part makes me want to get up and boogie.  If they deliver web-apps this month that work, I'll probably suck it up and resubscribe for a signficant period; cause that has value to me.



That's about where I sit, personally. One more reason to buy an iPad for gaming.
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I'm not super chuffed about Dark Sun being left out, either. And I think KM is right - that will not make people happy, so I expect some complaints. Maybe a lot of them. But it is what it is. I'm still amazed they said they were working on something new and told us what it was; it's hard to concentrate on one book not being in there when the foundations of my whole world just got shaken. 

I'm interested to know about this new web tools thing, and even knowing how this board goes, I think if they'd said "This is taking longer than expected because we're migrating to a web-based system which is going to freakin' ROCK, check out this screenshot!" people would have been much, much happier. Perhaps I'm just being a pollyanna.

It would have helped me be less pissed off. Would have saved WotC six bucks, too.
It's good to get news, but still I won't be purchasing another month of D&Di until DS is in the CB.
reposting:

Not a bad start, looks like we were right about the problems with both DS and Essentials in character builder.

While I am a little dissapointed with the lack of DS support in CB something is better than nothing at this point.

Asmodeous or Mudbunny could you find out if any of the races or feats (not themes, random psionics, etc, just the more basic stuff) will be in CB or if they are waiting to update all of DS at one time? smile.gif Thank you.

(course, I could just wait till the 12th...)

As a follow up - I hope the web based app won't replace CB, I like having CB loaded on my laptop and available no matter where I am or whether or not my internet is working :P
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I don't see the Dark Sun books going  into the CB for the october update. That will go over well I think.



Never satisfied are you?

Date of an update, New information on a new tool and communication and you still complain.




I did not see info on a new tool. WOTC said last month they would update on the 7th and then the 21. Those updates never happened. So I have very little faith when someone from WOTC says anything here. WOTC could say the sky is blue and I would not belive it until I saw it myself.
The problem is that my subscription ends 11/1/2010. It looks like I won't get the DS update before then, which is all I've been waiting for (for two months). I am not a happy customer.
Cool. A shame to hear that Dark Sun and Essentials aren't in the update; this is going to keep them behind on content for a while.

The essentials stuff would be nice, since there are a lot of updates to rules and races that would be handy to have in there.

Web-based stuff doesn't sound like it has anything to do with me, 'cause I run the programs just fine (though if the Monster Builder is one such app, and it runs smoother online, I'll be happier to use that). Unless maybe they're new web-based apps, not the stuff we have.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I'm disappointed by e lack of DS and Essentials too, but..

The web apps sound very promising as a Mac/iOS user. I'll be happy to help test them.

If it comes off well, then WotC will start getting my money again.
I'll be happy to get a web based tool for the character builder.  My work laptop has too many protections on it that prevent me from updating the character builder (I can download demo, but not update Tongue out)  Web based means I'll be able to get more character building done at work, and spend less time lurking on the forums...

Disappointed at the lack of HotFL, and Dark Sun.  But more than that I feel sorry for the developers, nobody thinks of those guys when it comes time to create new class layouts.  At least we're getting a partial update, so it should take a little flack off of them.  Keep it up guys, and I'd agree on the more updates we can get, the easier people will be on you.

It's easier to get some empathy for someone that says, "still trying fit square essential classes into the round hole that is the character builder," then for a sometimes faceless WotC.

Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

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Awesome We got a date and all of that is that, about time let us all take this moment to be happy that at least something is coming to us
I find it almost frightening just how "happy" people here are about these new web-based tools. I don't care about web-based tools (though, in and of themselves, they're fine, I'm sure). I just want Dark Sun content. I bought the books two months ago. That information was supposed to be in the CB two months ago. My subscription runs out in three weeks.

I appreciate the update from WotC (I really do), but this just isn't enough. I'm rather saddened that content that I could actually use week-to-week in my games was put off in favor of an unnecessary UI update.

Yes, I know. I could resubscribe for a month. Maybe I will, maybe I won't--I'm undecided at this point. Either way, my "faith" in WotC has been badly, badly shaken.
This is all we ever wanted, I for one feel a little happier, so thank you for sharing the information it's very much appreciated.


(Damn, does this mean we're not going to raise pitch forks and storm their walls with the biggest nerd army the world has ever known. )
While I'm ecstatic that we have a schedule date, I'd like to point a couple of things out, you know, just to be Mr Obvious...

1 - 'We're working on  a new web-based tools system for D&D Insider' doesn't actually tell you much about what's coming at all, other than Mac and Linux (perhaps even non 'pc' form factors) can join in the fun.

2 - If the tool requires any amount of being online, all those of you doing the one month per quarter shuffle are going to be out of luck.

Hopes:

1 - Hopefully they've bitten the bullet and gone full on HTML 5.  Why?  Because hardware accelerated performance and maximum flexibility means it won't be a second rate ajax application (and there are many of them out there).  With microsoft finally joining the html 5 show, and quality of hardware acceleration being the current/coming battle ground in browsers performance won't have to suffer.

2 - Hopefully its not just a poor Web 2.0 community + rtf editor and some checkbox clone sold as being 'cool and useful'.  I doubt this and am therefore hopeful it isn't this!
I did not see info on a new tool.



From WotC_Trevor:
"We are currently in the process of developing a new web-based tools system for D&D Insider"

So I have very little faith when someone from WOTC says anything here. WOTC could say the sky is blue and I would not belive it until I saw it myself.



And yet you're one of the voices constantly haranguing WotC for not giving more news.

So, if they don't give news, you're unhappy.  If they do give news, you don't believe it (and presumably remain unhappy).

Why harangue them to communicate more if you'll only accept it when its delivered?  Might as well have them go back o making no announcements - which is the corner they're so often backed into. 
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Damn, does this mean we're not going to raise pitch forks and storm their walls with the biggest nerd army the world has ever known.

Well, we can always go throw rotten apples at Steve Jobs?
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You can tell how long this was waited for... 38 registered and 21 guests viewing this thread right now...

Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

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I don't see the Dark Sun books going  into the CB for the october update. That will go over well I think.

MB could you confirm or deny this? The complaints I have seen all were expecting the CB to be updated with the Dark Sun Campaign setting.  If the delay was for a new web based tools and not in difficulty adding content it seems more than likely WotC has known since the delay that this update would not include Dark Sun Campaign Setting for the CB. Why would they not quash all the complaints with an explanation about this back in Spetember?!! Why dont you go count the posts that mention only being interested in the CB update for Dark Sun.  I realize they keep you in the dark  but you certainly should act as our(the paying subscribers') voice and make sure WotC is aware of our concerns.  Waiting 2 months for content only to learn after the 2nd month that the delay is for new web tools not content is unacceptable.
2 - If the tool requires any amount of being online, all those of you doing the one month per quarter shuffle are going to be out of luck.



Good point. I've been wondering when they were going to get around to that (if, in fact, it authenticates current subscriptions). On the upside, this is one of the things I thought that might let them feel more sanguine about more elaborate homebrewing. 


Waiting 2 months for content only to learn after the 2nd month that the delay is for new web tools not content is unacceptable.



Hm. Actually, I second this - can they tell us whether the delay was over the DS / Essentials content and not the web tools? Trevor's message is ambiguous on that point; the first one said that DS/Essentials was taking longer than expected and this now mentions web tools, but there's no indication what the delay actually relates to. 
Since the Announcement thread is locked, I would like to thank Trevor and Paulo, and everyone involved in getting us some information about what is going on with DDI (you know who you are).  Not what I had hope to hear exactly, but good news nonetheless.

Thanks again!

Regards,

Kalex the Omen 

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Damn, does this mean we're not going to raise pitch forks and storm their walls with the biggest nerd army the world has ever known.

Well, we can always go throw rotten apples at Steve Jobs?


Lol
So the new concerns are:

Why aren't the DS books being added to the CB?
Does the new web tool replace any of the current tools or is it something new?
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I don't see the Dark Sun books going  into the CB for the october update. That will go over well I think.

MB could you confirm or deny this? The complaints I have seen all were expecting the CB to be updated with the Dark Sun Campaign setting.  If the delay was for a new web based tools and not in difficulty adding content it seems more than likely WotC has known since the delay that this update would not include Dark Sun Campaign Setting for the CB. Why would they not quash all the complaints with an explanation about this back in Spetember?!! Why dont you go count the posts that mention only being interested in the CB update for Dark Sun.  I realize they keep you in the dark  but you certainly should act as our(the paying subscribers') voice and make sure WotC is aware of our concerns.  Waiting 2 months for content only to learn after the 2nd month that the delay is for new web tools not content is unacceptable.



While MB tries to get an answer on that, I'll try to field some of this.

 We've been including notes about what people are talking about in our weekly reports, and Dark Sun has been mentioned - though to be fully honest, it's been drowned out some by people (rightly) asking for news about the Sept update in general.

I wouldn't be surprised if the process has been more a mix of both the way DS has changed the data structure PLUS trying to move to the web.  It may even be that they're compromising as it is to get us a much-overdue update.  

It sucks (especially for die-hard DS fans) that the compromise seems to include dropping DS for a little while longer, but if forced to choose between than and no update - I think the larger majority will prefer *an* update, even if it doesn't include DS. 
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Not happy with this. I dont' give a damn about the Essential Classes, they're broken and they have broekn the tried and true conventions of the 4e classes of over 2 years. They could at-least include the power updates and errata, that should be EASY. The Dark Sun books should have also been easily added, and should have been added before they even thought of trying to incorporate the stupid Essential classes. 

Developing a new WEB BASED front end is smart, that's for sure. BUT I DO know a thing or two about programming and I know it shouldn't have affected the inclusion of new data to the existing framework that is the current Character Builder, which is a stand alone program and should have nothing to do with a database update (and maybe a tweak here or there.)

One of the problems with a WEB BASED Character Builder is that you'll be tied to the Internet. I'll admit it has become less and less of a problem, but having CB as a standalone program on your computer allows you to be disconnected, let's say when you're up in the mountains, in the middle of the desert or away from power - should go without saying.

My DDI subscription ends in less than a week, it's not looking good.
The new web based tools part has me slightly worried. Mostly because I'm perpetually paranoid about this kind of thing being tied to remote servers. (And, if by all ironies, it ends up being built on Silverlight or Flash or something I will run screaming down the hall.) Also, when IS Dark Sun coming out? Psionic Power is alright, but I want to mess with the Dark Sun stuff. I don't even particularly need the themes - one of my characters is using a Dark Sun weapon which I have to houserule the heck out of to get to work right.
Just pulled this off of my Twitter feed.  Sums things up nicely in my opinion:

"Alright #DnD, here's the thing. You can release Essentials, Dark Sun, and rules updates. But if it's not in the Builder it didn't happen." 
I'm not really satisfied by the idea that the delay was over developing a "new web tool" considering how utterly useless all the other web-based tools have been so far, nor does that justify the lack of Dark Sun/Essentials CB and MB content. The current season of encounters rewards participants for building a character using the CB: How is that possible without an update? Frown
As a Born-Again player (first game in 18 years last Sunday), this is frustrates me. 

I have made numerous Essentials characters in the last few weeks, learning new bits of information and finding out calculations that I missed (racial, class bonuses, etc.) each time I make a new one.

While I feel that I am mostly there with correctly filling out my character sheet, it would be nice to make/enter characters in the CB to check that all was correct. I bought a DDI subscription, since I needed one for the CB, only to find out that the Essentials characters couldn't be made (easily or at all).

I find the ability to print out the power/ability cards the most helpful.  I have 3 new-to-D&D people that are in the group I am DMing and had to hand write notes for them to remember their powers/abilities.  Having some power cards (from the RedBox) and some hand written was often confusing and slowed the game.

I would also like to keep the characters/campaign log on-line (iPlay4E or some other site), but without CB data, my guess is that this won't happen either...

So, when I heard that the October update was coming, I was pleased that I would be able to use the CB for Essentials, but now, I guess I won't.

I hate to be in the "I'm gonna unsubscribe" camp, but I don't see much use for just the compendium or monster builder....


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