November 16th Release for Web-based Character Builder - Discussion

2144 posts / 0 new
Last post
This is the spot to discuss the new web-based character builder announcement. We'll do our best to come in and answer any questions we can about specific features of the updated character builder.

Here are some answers to some of the most popular questions in this thread:

Can you export characters?


This answer is straight out of the FAQ - While this feature won’t be available at launch, we understand that this is important to our players and are working on rolling this functionality out soon. For now, you can import your characters into the new tool, modify and save them to your subscription profile.


Can you run the new Character Builder offline?


Another one straight out of the FAQ - No.  This version of the D&D Character Builder requires an active connection to the internet. 


Will it have Dark Sun and Essentials?


Yes and yes.


Can we still save characters if they are home-brew?


Currently there is no real homebrew ability in the new Character Builder, but again, this is something we know is very important and hope to have more information on soon.


Will there be an iPad/iPhone version of the viewer?


We are exploring our options and when we have any official news, we’ll let you know.


How does this effect login, where you could have 5 downloads per login?


You have to be logged in to your account to access your characters in the new Character Builder.


Is there currently a way to share your character with your DM?


Beyond physically printing it out, it’s possible to print to PDF which would give you a digital version that you could share with your DM or others.


Will we be able to access the online character builder after our sub runs out?


No. In order to access the new character builder, you will need to have an active subscription


Since it is launching on November 16th, will it include Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom?


No. Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms will be included in an upcoming update.


Will the old Character Builder continue to work?


Yes. If you have the downloadable character builder, it will continue to work, though it will receive no new updates.


Will we still be able to print out character sheets and power cards?


Yes, the new character builder has all that functionality.


What about the monster builder?


We don’t have any new information to share about the monster builder, its updates, or a web-based version. As soon as we do, you’ll hear it from us here.



Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Looks nice! Congrats, gentlemen, ladies and assorted minions!
Can you export characters?  Can it be run offline if there is no internet connection?  Will it have Dark Sun?  Essentials?
Reactions to the screen shots:
Pretty, but wont' work at all on a mobile phone device.

Reaction to Silverlight:
So much for linux support.

Reaction to Dark Sun:
About time! Yay!
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


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

Can you export characters?  Can it be run offline if there is no internet connection?  Will it have Dark Sun?  Essentials?




Did you read the announcement before you asked?

Yes.
No.
Yes.
Yes. 
Can we still save characters if they are home-brew?
Will there be an extra character viewer (silverlight is not supported with iPad and iPhone)? 
Can you export characters?  Can it be run offline if there is no internet connection?  Will it have Dark Sun?  Essentials?



You my friend asked the 4 perfect questions.

Feed them: IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/WNZv.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/Poc3.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/SlF8.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/EvFK.gif)
Online only ->
AsmodeusLore - do you get to copy and paste your question list here?
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


all of my fears have come true... it is like the worst news ever....

I want to cry...

Cry

I am so pissed offYell

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

I'm excited about it.  I alway shave internet access, and now I don't have to install it on all my computers. I can just click one link and awaaayyyy I go.  Plus it's pretty.

Thats unfortunate that its going web-based and not downloaded. How does that effect login, where you could have 5 downloads per login previously?

Hurray for delayed content but not convinced this is the best approach. 
Yup will be cancelling my subscription now.  Thanks but no thanks wiz.

In fact since my account just auto renewed for the month i'll be asking for a refund of the month.

Web based tool are useless to me as i spend way to much time away from civilization.

Thank you for the big break in updates, to remind me how simple filling out sheets by hand actually is.
Will support for House Rules and homebrew stuff be greater?
It looks nice, I'll like being able to use it without downloading.

But a few questions:
Does cloud characters, mean that you can't export the characters (same format if possible)?  (Import possible, no word on export)...

If not, is a mobile version on the horizon, for those that make use of iPlay4e or other such programs to manage their character during the game?

If all tied to the individual account, is there some way to share characters between accounts?  As in, allow the DM to see the character or other players within the group?
On Essentials: Everyone deserves to play a class they enjoy. Hex Grid UserAndroid UserD&DMapTools
Dungeons & Dragons Compendium
Our House Rules
Index of 4e Errata

Anti-climatic. Will we be able to pull up the online character builder even after our sub runs out, like we can currently? Or do we have to stay sub'd 24/7/365?

I fear as though we will have to. I'm in the denial stage right now though.

erdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">I love that there is going to be absolutely no way to have your character sheet up in front of you without an Internet connection now. I am appreciative that Dark Sun is finally being included in a character builder, but I have at least two friends that are about to get MEGA PO'ed that they can't run Character Builder without a connection now.
Oof on the whole Silverlight thing.  Other than that, it looks pretty slick.  I'm glad (no, make that double glad) that Essentials and Dark Sun will be in this month.

One question - can characters be exported and imported to another account?  In my group we often send characters to the DM, or someone might make a quick character on my account because I orchestrated another TPK, and later I'll want to send that to them.  Export and email would be fine, although some kind of friending feature with the option to let friends see your characters would also be hella rad.

Oh yeah, and will there be anything like the Campaign Options where you could disallow certain books?  It would be nice if, in the future, a DM could set up a campaign, and players could import the campaign settings - this could automatically turn on/off features like spellscars, inherent bonuses, purchasable uncommon/rare magic items, etc.  It would be really nice to have all your players working off of one set of campaign rules.
Teaching skunks how to read since the year 2000.
pretty **** for all the folks who bought Dark Sun and Essentials and now can't use them without paying for the new, contentless DDI.
what does choose playstyle mean????????????????????????????????????

where do you choose class???????????????

can you make house rules?????????

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Will the old client stop working or will it continue working but just don't recieve any updates anymore?
Based in Silverlight?  Will we see an official WinPhone7 app to go along with this (also silverlight based)?  That would be awesome.

I will say that I'm a little disappointed that the "new" tool isn't something that didn't exist before.  I was really hoping for a map builder that would allow me to use online Dungeon Tiles and print as a poster. 

Also will it be possible to export a character, or to save a sheet as a pdf so it can be viewed when there is no internet connection?
Very happy that this is online now.

What does it mean for the VTT? Is that going to be online as well (as opposed to a downloaded application that connects online)? 
1) Since it is launching on November 16th, will it also include Heoes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, which officially releases that day?

2) I think storing the characters on your servers is a bad idea. I have literally hundreds of characters made and saved on my hard drive. I know I'm not the only one. How much server space are you going to allow us to use to store our characters?
I'm sad that I had just renewed my subscription for a year now. 

Definately not happy with requiring an internet connection to use.  Am I able to do so?  Yep.  But this is just like all of those new computer games that require an internet connection to play a game by yourself locally.  A method of copy protection that just hinders end users. 

Sad day indeed IMO
Will this include "active" tools so we can use it at the table? (i.e. tracking power use, HPs, conditions, etc)  My group currently uses iPlay4e, and if we can't export our files to use in that software hopefully this will be a viable alternative.
Can you export characters?  Can it be run offline if there is no internet connection?  Will it have Dark Sun?  Essentials?




Never mind about the Dark Sun and Essentials.  I see now where this is addressed.
Will the old client stop working or will it continue working but just don't recieve any updates anymore?

It will keep working.  No updates.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


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

Well I guess they just shot themeselves in the foot.  I have no intention of renewing my subscription just to have access to something I should pay for once.  So I quess I will have to limit myself (and all the players in my campaign) to only use content in the downloadable CB.  This means I will not be purchasing any more future books.  (except maybe monster books).  Time to log onto Amazon and cancel my preorders.

what does choose playstyle mean????????????????????????????????????

where do you choose class???????????????

can you make house rules?????????

playstyle is effectively 'striker, leader, defender, or controller'

once you select one of these, or select all, you will be able to select from a list of classes.

dunno about house rules.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


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

Can you export characters?  Can it be run offline if there is no internet connection?  Will it have Dark Sun?  Essentials?




Did you read the announcement before you asked?

Yes.
No.
Yes.
Yes. 

  • Characters in the Cloud: All characters you create are saved on our database. No need to save Character Builder files on your hard drive anymore.

  • File Import: You can easily import your character s created in the previous version to the new Character Builder.


Says you can import old versions, doesn't say anything about exporting or downloading (or linking from other apps, etc).



Also, aren't the 2nd and 4th pictures the same?

Still, at least it's something....
I'm not paying a monthly subscription fee just to have access to this.
Will this be ipad-compatible?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

wait and even if i was going to use the web based tool, i'd still have to wait another two freaking weeks to get dark sun content?


Yeah ridiculous.

While I'm glad a web-based solution is being offered, I'm ultimately more disappointed so far.  

1) How in the current climate can you not support mobile devices?  Silverlight? Really?  

2) And I don't know about most folks, but none of the FLGS that I play at offer WiFi so forget using this while you're gaming.  At least with the current CB you can use it without a connection, you just don't get the updates.  

3) Along the same line is that you won't be able to use the web-based UI if you don't subscribe.  That's a ridiculous punch in the face to the folks who buy WotC products with what little money they have.

4) Based upon those screenshots, it looks more like an [MMO]RPG than a tool for creating characters.  I get the feeling that users will have to click a dozen times to get to the right screen as opposed to two to four clicks in the current CB.  Pretty != good.  Intuitive + useful = good. 

I hate to say it, but I may jump on the bandwagon of cancelling my DDI subscription if this is what I'm left with using.  It seems like one "pretty" big step backwards for paying customers. 
No Dark Sun for the old CB and the new one is online only? Pity, I have no use for an online only CB...
I guess I'm done with DDI as well. Sigh.
Will we be able to export characters to pdf, or otherwise be able to print character sheets + power cards -easily- ?

That's the main reason I use the CB, since it's not practical to have the 10ish computers I'd need to show everyone's sheets electronically at once.  If not, I'm back to filling in sheets by hand.
Will this be ipad-compatible?

Silverlight is not supported by the iPad.
So no.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


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

Let's reply to some previously asked questions:

1. Will these tools Replace the existing Character Builder(CB) and Adventure Tools(AT), or will they be a supplement?


Some will replace, some will supplement, some will augment, some will be completely new.


2a. What tools will be included? Virtual Table Top(VTT)?


As of today, I can only talk about the Rules Compendium (released on Oct 12th) and the Character Builder (to be released on Nov 16th).


3. Will they be built on flash, silverlight, or HTML 5?


Depending on their purpose and intended usage, we'll use the technology that better solves the problem. In the case of the Rules Compendium, it was HTML/JavaScript, in the case of Character Builder it was Silverlight 4.


4a. What is the current state of development of the web based tools?


Working on it


4b. Are  they basically working and they are just fixing minor bugs?


They are in various states of advancement. Some are even released!


4c. Is there  anything working at all?


Magic 8 ball says "Yes"


4d. Can we see some screen shots?


Yes. We posted some today and I plan to post more as appropriate.


5. Can we get regular updates on progress and problems?


That's the plan.


6. When will they be available?


First one was on Oct 12th, 2010. We'll keep releasing tools for quite a while.


7. Will they require an active connection to the internet to use?


Most of them, yes.


8. Will there be a beta-test?


Some tools will have a beta program.


9. Will there be a demo available for non-subscribers?


Depending on the tool.


10a. Will the web-based tools be updated more often? 


Now that the studio is not split in two anymore - trying to support legacy and new development - we plan to have an aggressive feature update schedule. I can't promise that updates will be more frequent than monthly, but they won't be purely content.
 
10b. Will the updates come faster, with less lag between a book/magazine being published and getting updated to the software?


Not for now. The current process we have between R&D and the studio makes quite difficult to release digital information earlier, but we're working on improving this publishing process as well.


11a. Are you prepared for the load this will place on your servers? 


We hope so.


11b. Can you ensure they can handle the load?


Nothing can be certain, but we did load tests for the past month with several times the number of current DDi subscribers. Everything should be fine.


11c. What if your servers go down?


Wibbles wooble but... no wait. We have redundant server farms, fully load balanced in all components.


12. When someone's account expires, what access will they retain? Any files they've created? Characters/Monsters they've built?


User created content is kept on WotC servers for at least 12 months after a subscription expires.


13. If it does replace the CB, will it be able to track resources, such as Hit Points, Healing Surges, etc, similar to iPlay4e.com?


The new Character Builder replaces the old one (or, as we call it here, Character Builder Classic) in functionality. The old one didn't track anything at play time, so the new one doesn't either.


14. Will the web tools be included in the standard subscription price, or will there be an additional fee? Will there be an increase in the subscription price?


There is no plan to increase the subscription fee.


15. Will the tools be released as a bundle, or one at a time?


One (or more) at a time.


16. How much access will WotC have to the user data collected by the tools? How will you address privacy concerns?


User generated content will link to the originating user only via a GUID. This GUID is the one provided by the WotC login and membership process that is already compliant with all privacy and security regulations. In other words, if I run queries on the database, I can only figure out WHAT paople are creating, but not WHO is doing that. Speaking of this, we plan to mine the databases constantly, in order to better understand usage patters and the kind of content pleople are most likely to use. For example, if suddenly 90% of new characters are Muls, then R&D may take a look into writing some special Mul content


17. How will data persistence be handled? Will the tools require any data installed on my system? savedata, logintools?


Nothing on the client machine, except for your login token cookie. State and data are all stored in the cloud.


18. Will any of the tools allow for shared use? Such as a VTT allowing the entire party to participate with a single account?


This would go against the Terms of Use.


19. Will it be possible to use the tools with more than one IP at a time? Such as a VTT on the PC and the compendium on the laptop?


In general, I don't see why not. There may be issues working with the Character Builder on the same character at the same time from multiple locations, so please don't do that.


20. Are there any plans to offer an API?


Plans in that area are being discussed.


21. What Operating Systems and Browsers will be supported? Will the tools be accessible via smartphone browsers? What about tablets/iPads?


See the FAQ for the supported platforms.


22. What export options will there be for characters, monsters, and other items created with these tools?  XML files? PDF Files?


At launch, we won't support any kind of export. Of course, you can always use free tools (like PDF Creator), to print your character sheet to PDF.


23. Who is working on this project? Is it the same dev team that created the CB, or are new people being brought in?


The D&D Digital Studio is working on this project. Involved are some members that worked on the legacy tools and some new faces (like me).


24. If the CB is replaced by the web-tools, will a refund be offered for people who wish to cancel their subsciption?


You should discuss this directly with Customer Service.


25. Will Dark Sun support be available with the web-tools?


Yes.


26. If the CB is replaced, will the last updated version still be available for subscribers?


No.


27. How will we be notified about updates to the Web-Based tools? Will the new email system be used, or is there some other process?


The web tools will be automatically updated, so there won't be any need for user initiated actions. Notifications will be handled as usual.


28. Is this the cool thing that the VCLs hinted at before?


Part of it


29. What benefits are you hoping we will enjoy most from the Web Tools?


Cross platfom compatibility, centralized storage, better visuals and user experience, a very solid platform for future development.


30. Will characters created with the Offline Character Builder be usable by the web tools?


Yes. You can import them from the Load screen.


31. If the CB is going web based, will it still have the same filtering abilities as the Desktop version?


If by filtering you mean campaign settings, it will have the capability but not, at launch, the user interface component for changing them.


32. Will we be able to alter magical items? 


Not at launch.


33. Will we be able to add House Rule feats and  powers, or other elements?


Not at launch.


34. Will we be able to save data(characters, monsters, etc) to your servers, so we can access them from anywhere?


Yes. That's the whole point

Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"

Does cloud characters, mean that you can't export the characters (same format if possible)?  (Import possible, no word on export)...


From the CB FAQ ( wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg... ):
Q: Can I export my character file to share with others?
A: While this feature won’t be available at launch, we understand that this is important to our players and are working on rolling this functionality out soon. For now, you can import your characters into the new tool, modify and save them to your subscription profile.

Some other relevant questions from that FAQ:

Q: Can I use the D&D Character Builder offline?

A: No.  This version of the D&D Character Builder requires an active connection to the internet. 



Q: If I end my subscription, what happens to the characters I’ve created or imported to the Character Builder?
A: Characters you’ve created on the new version or imported from the older version of the Character Builder will remain in our database for twelve months after the subscription expires. If you renew your subscription within that twelve month period, you will be able to access your characters again.



So no offline use, and if your subscription runs out, it looks like you can't even access the characters you made while your subscription was active, much less update them.  Lame and lame.  It's enough to make one consider just not buying more new material and sticking with what's in the old builder.