Open Letter to WotC

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To Whom It May Concern:

I feel that you owe us, your paying customers, a public apology for the way you have treated us in the last few months.  Specifically, the way that you have lied to and/or misled your customers since you first announced the delay of the September DDI update.  Here are three specific instances where we were at least misled if not directly lied to, listed starting with the most recent:

1. Paolo said on the forums that the coming online tools would supplement the existing tools.  Instead, we find that there will be a new character builder that will replace the old character builder.  Not only that, but it strictly loses functionality since it will not be usable offline.  "Supplement" and "replace" are mutually exclusive actions.  "Supplement" is defined as "to complete, add to, or extend."  Replacing an existing tool with a less functional version does not represent adding anything.

2. When the September/October update was finally worked out, Paolo and Trevor said: "We are now back in the groove and ready to keep out [sic] monthly update schedule."  Today, being the first Tuesday in November would be the normal monthly update, and no update.  Additionally, the news is that no update is coming, but instead a new tool replacing the old tool.  They knew when they posted that there would not be any more updates for the Character Builder or Adventure Tools (which has not been updated since August and still has no announced date for being fixed), but they still said that they were ready to keep the schedule.  Trevor said in a different post: "we are back on schedule to provide members with our regular content updates."  Again, I see neither a regular content update nor being on schedule.

3. The first two times the September/October update was delayed, the reason given was that Dark Sun and Essentials content were being added.  It is now clear that the reason was actually working on the web-based tools.  I don't have much else to say on this one, it seems to me like you were lying to string along customers, but I cannot know your motivations.  All I know is that it was a lie.

I am not complaining about the development of online tools in general, I am sure they will be very useful.  My complaint is that not only did you withold information about what was coming, the information you gave us was not true.  Please apologize for the lies and misinformation.

EDIT with addendum from pg 18:

Addendum to letter:

No amount of apologizing or otherwise resolving differences will get me to resubscribe with only a 20 character limit.  I just checked and saw that I could get about 15 (out of 66) of my characters onto a floppy disk.  I could email 70,000 of them to my (free) gmail account and not fill the space.  I could store approximately 5 million more on my current free hard drive space.  This makes it even harder to believe that anyone could consider it an "update."

EDIT: Another addition for WotC's consideration:
You should be careful with how you advertise the new builder.  In Today's (11/5) Ampersand the following comment is made:

There are five things I really, really like about the new Character Builder.



  1. It’s ultimately portable. I can use it on any computer or computer-like device, wherever I am.


This is undeniably a false statement without further clarification (which is not present in that article).  The list of computer or computer-like devices that cannot run the new CB from what we've been told so far includes: any computer running linux, iPhones, iPod Touch, iPad, android phones, andriod tablets.  That's without even being ridiculous about interpreting it (strictly speaking something like the Kindle is a computer-like device, but I'm willing to grant that it would be silly to think he meant to include that).  There are a significant number of commonly used computers that will not work with the new CB, and the statement should have been more clear/clarified in the article advertising the product, not via searching through the forums.
____________________________________________________________________________

This is a modified version of an email I sent to customer service.  If any representative of WotC would like to discuss with me how these statements were or were not lies, I would be open to that.  If you are not a WotC representative, you have no more insight into what they were or were not trying to do with those statements than I do.  I'd be glad to debate those points in other threads, but that's not my goal here.
Signed, not that it will matter.
79189613 wrote:
Of course what you guys say matters! But there are some things - like the offline access option - that are not possible, sorry.
signed.

I am not a current subscriber, but I have subscribed in the past. I also have purchased many 4e books that I have been proud of owning. I was planning to resubscribe as soon as Dark Sun content was added to the current Charactre Builder.

with this news and the way the paying customers have been treated/lied to, I will not be a future subscriber, nor will I be purchasing any more books.

thank you.
Signed. Thirded fourthed. Whatever.

Dark Sun and Essentials really reinvigorated my enthusiasm for 4e D&D. But today's announcement that the offline CB is effectively dead and will never be updated with DS or Essentials material (despite official assurances) completely killed that enthusiasm.

I'm going to have a serious think over the next day or so about whether I want to ever give WotC another penny of my money. I feel like I've been seriously misled over the past couple of months. I gave WotC the benefit of the doubt and actually let my annual subscription renew in early October, taking it on trust that the CB would be updated with DS and Essentials stuff eventually and that the 'new tools' would, in fact, be new tools. That was what was promised. I gave WotC a significant chunk of money based on what now turns out to have been a lie.

People who know me know that I'm usually defending WotC. I have been, if not quite a 'fanboy', at least cautiously optimistic about almost everything WotC has done. Today's announcement has killed that, too.

I'm going to stop now, because otherwise this will just turn into an obscenity-laden tirade.

I am really, really angry.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

signed for what it is worth
Signed.

Of course, I'm still frustrated that my DMG from 2008 says that I "can use D&DI to play D&D over the Internet, bringing friends scattered across the country or the world back together around a virtual gaming table."

No, I can't, you liars.

Quit lying.
Signed... Without going into a rant, I think this new change may pretty much be a kill shot in the foot of 4E...
Signed. Good bye DDI.
Signed, though I'm sure the'll just ignore it and figure once the "shock" wears off everything will go back to normal and money will roll in hand over fist. It won't be my money though.
To Whom It May Concern:

I feel that you owe us, your paying customers, a public apology for the way you have treated us in the last few months. 


Just this part alone is good enough. We don't need to argue the details. I would love an apology.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

Signed. I've cancelled my DDI subscription already. The constant stream of misinformation & blatant lies, along with the clear attempts to monetize every aspect of the game (including the new CCG elements) is just too much for me.
P.S. - Thank you for making me a lot more comfortable in my decision not to renew.

Love,

Orcboss
To Whom It May Concern:

I feel that you owe us, your paying customers, a public apology for the way you have treated us in the last few months. 


Just this part alone is good enough. We don't need to argue the details. I would love an apology.



Signed.
This email is to confirm that we have stopped automatic billing for your subscription. Your subscription will continue to be active until the expiration date listed below.
Signed. Not that it matters.

I will not be reactivating my subscription and will be telling my players (all 6 of them) to do so also. 
Signed, from Holland with love.
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)
Signed, and honestly, i am gravely disappointed...i don't think i will bother renewing my subscription once it has expired...
An old and wise DnD saying: “A player is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when the plot dictates he should.” Sorren of the Winter Court (Eladrin,Ranger,Blade Banshee,Destined Scion) Eladrin Swordmage,Ghost Blade,Indomitable Champion
Signed.  I'm very dissappointed with how this whole process has been managed.  I want it acknowledged that they made a mistake and that they still want me as a customer.
As someone who has frequently defended unpopular decisions of WotC's in the past, both with regard to Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering, it is with heavy heart that I, too, add my name to this open letter.

The most recent of those decisions I defended was the delay of the September/October update, but my reason for doing so was the one stated in point 3 of the original post - all the new content they were supposed to contain and the revisions of the basic framework of the CB they would have entailed. But it is now clear the updates I believed I was defending will never materialize. I feel like a fool for having trusted Wizards of the Coast on this point.

It appears that a half-hearted attempt to make these revisions was made at some point, but all it did was introduce a bunch of new bugs. Is it too much to hope for one last update that at least fixes those problems?
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Signed.

:gollum, gollum: "The WoTC, curses, we hates it....FOREVER!"

credited to The Hobbit
Signed.  Not that anyone at WoTC will care.  What's funny, is that I will be playing in a Celebrity DnD game for charity this weekend.  I've been a huge proponent of 4th Edition in the past and have been an Insider from the moment it was offered.  I'll be letting my sub lapse this month because I'm just so turned off by the way WoTC handles their customers.  I'll be telling them as much this weekend, maybe in front of some cameras...

Signed.

WotC's attitude recently toward their customers is disgusting. I cannot believe that they have gone so far out of their way to decieve their paying customers, while doing exactly what we've said we don't want from them. That they have the gall to remove functionality from their tools while claiming it to be an improvement, and then expect the customer base to take it happily, is just outrageous.

I've been playing D&D for the last 15 years, and I'm sad to see that I may finally be driven to stop supporting a company I've had otherwise very positive interactions with, until now.

Even worse, is the hope that maybe WotC will finally drive itself into the ditch and allow some other company to swoop in and buy up the failed game from under Hasbro, so that it might get back into good hands again.
im scared if i sign they will delete the rpga monsters from mb in a parting shot


Signed.
This email is to confirm that we have stopped automatic billing for your subscription. Your subscription will continue to be active until the expiration date listed below. Download this if you want a copy of the online cb on your hard drive. http://media.wizards.com/downloads/dnd/CharacterBuilder/Client/155.231074/CharBuilder.xap export .dnd4e files from the online cb http://vecna.wizards.com/
Signed
Not only does the new junk CB only work online, but it can't even handle home brews?
Then, after this whole year + of listening to you say that you're working on stuff, you expect us to believe you when you say that you're working on that functionality for the future?
Some of us will be dead by the time your version of future comes to pass.

Like another customer mentioned above, I have been proudly supporting the fourth edition and loving it.

Ever since Paolo mentioned that there was new and exciting stuff coming our way, I defended those who mourned that it would probably just be a new Character Builder.

I simply can't believe this.

I'll never give Wizards of the Coast another penny - and I'll do my best to stop others from doing so as well.

You guys really think that all of us, who have supported DDi all this time play in an environment that has a broadband hot spot? Now the only tool that I could get my players excited about is gone!

Smart move.

Wizards sent me an email last week saying my subscription was due in 30 days.
I'd already been wondering about the lack of CB updates, and now we're being told that it's being replaced by a product with less functionality and flexibility, and being assured it's an 'upgrade'.

Do I really want to pay the same amount, for a product that does less?

I'll save Wizards the anxiety of waiting those 30 days and say no now.

Signed
When you lie to your clientbase, or seek to mislead if you'd prefer, you alienate the client's trust. There is no reason why anyone should purchase your 'new' tool, aside from a lack of competition. Had you competitive products for 4e, you wouldn't think twice of making a decision like this, and all-in-all, the offered programs would be more closely monitored and updated.

In fact, I do think that you did string along players. When I complained and requested a refund, one of your Customer "Service" staff pointed at the EULA.

However, it seems like members of your own staff seem to be contrary to the implications of the EULA, that there would and should be regular updates, approximately once per month. I now see a company desperately backpedaling away from statements made that threaten what is effectively a new product.

Since your company didn't want to be honest and say "Well, you got us. We're working on a new web-based character builder," you led people to believe that you would update the character builder with updated information. You either told your employees to lie about the updates, or did not act in any way contrary to it. You let it sit. You let it fester.

Now, you've announced a new product. The forums are full of angry and unhappy comments, and I wouldn't be surprised if most users remove their subscriptions because of your horrific practices. In all honesty, Arneson is rolling in his grave as to how Wizards of the Cent is acting, and the company should be deeply ashamed.

So, to recap. WotC has been caught doing something dishonest, and when people get upset, they point at the EULA as a defense, despite actions otherwise on the forums.

I'd say this more or less overshadows any benefit they may get with a new online toolset for me.

Edit: Signed 
Signed.  DDI has demonstrated repeatedly that providing service to customers is not one of its goals.  Goodbye.
Signed.

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen...
Signed, and I am done.

Good thing my 2nd yearly subscription is over on Nov. 21st.  Yes, I was so excited at the release of DDI that I actually suscribed 2 months prior to the full CB being released back in 2008 just so I could get my hands on the pre-beta version of the CB.  This will give me just enough time to test and laugh at the bugs and not subscribe for a 3rd year.
DDI Subscriber from Nov. 2008 to Nov. 2010 Yes, I was an annual subscriber before the original CB ever even came out. That's how excited I was. Note past tense. Check out my little DnD blog - http://ncdnd.blogspot.com/
No need to really get into details as everyone's said what I'm thinking, but signed as well.
No off-line viewing of characters....check.
No access to characters if not subscribed.....check
No paying for DDi....check

Signed 
No control over my data.... check
WOTC has a bad history of managing data .... check

signed  
Signed

Seriously discussing finding an alternative to a game I have played for almost thirty years. 
No off-line viewing of characters....check.
No access to characters if not subscribed.....check
No paying for DDi....check

Signed 


Agreed 100% and
SIGNED
The sycophants and EULA quoters aren't worth our time. 4E =/= Essentials; Essentials =/= 4E. To WotC/DDI: GO "SOON" YOURSELVES. Internet Rule #41. Needs moar Desu. No exceptions.
I can't pay for a product if I can't trust the providers of that product.  The lack of communication (which would be zero if I didn't bother to come to these forums to try to discover what is going on) is disrespectful and bad business.  I enjoy your game but I find your customer service unacceptable so my subscription has not been renewed.

Some form of outreach on your part that displays concern for your customer base would at least be something I could respect.

Signed
Looks like I will not be renewing my subscription... of course the server is apparently having issues right now so I can not even look at my DDI account information to make sure its not on auto renew.

I have no problem with paying for updates to a program that I can use offline or continue to be able to use if I end my subscription.  I bought numerous data updates for E-Tools in the past.  I am not willing to pay for tools that can not be accessed if I stop subscribing.  I have defended the cost of DDI in the past to others and it seems I no longer have any reason to.
Signed
Signed

Wake up and realize what your losing WoTC

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1284a7e4d43658679f59b0a4bf86050b.jpg?v=171182

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Best Blog Ever! I am Done Apologizing! This email is to confirm that we have stopped automatic billing for your subscription. Your subscription will continue to be active until the expiration date listed below.
I subscribed in August anticipating dark sun content running a 3 month subscription that is up this month. I suppose this web based version will be good for the users of non-windows OS's but having to be online to use the tools at my local gameshop really isnt that handy  compaired ot being able to run hero lab for other popular game systems :/

Useful for some, but as they are going online only, they should reduce the pricing, especially if character files are only availible to be viewed while paying a heafty subscription fee for a sub par service. That or bring back their online game table and integrate it some how.

Not a suprising move on their behalf after the whole essentials line.
Too many junk products comming out too fast.

Signed.
Signed.  I just cancelled my auto-renewal, account expires in 3 weeks. 

Off topic, but still a bitter point for me, I own all the D&D 4e books (many in both hard copy and pdf) up through the decision to stop selling the pdfs.  On the other hand, I haven't bought any WotC products since then, because the PDFs were the most important and useful format for me, and I have no intention to buy anything printed books from WotC until/unless they bring them back in electronic formats.  WotC treated their paying customers horribly in that whole mess, and their poor communication and misleading information over the last few months show they haven't made any changes.

I like 4e, and I have no inherent objection to the web-based character builder, so it isn't about the quality of the product.  Their business decisions and misleading communications are the main issues that have turned me off of WotC. 

I guess the reason I'm no longer going to be a WotC customer is because I feel like they treat their customers very poorly.
First time posting on the official forums, and all I want to say is: signed. 
My books are fine, your online service isn't. Every reason I paid for DDI has been stripped away. Third party and fan-based programmers have made infinitely better (and a lot more stable) programs with your compendium that you guys could never offer. In the case of my favorite software piece, you sent a Cease and Decist.

It's a shame everything DDI does is counter intuitive to the community. Never have I given so much money to a company and still feel like a criminal for simply using their product.

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