Call to Action for external access to CB data

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Summary: Make Character Builder data available to other applications via export or API access

Reasoning: Back when DDI was first came out, part of the appeal was the possibility of a digital version of the character sheet that would allow us to visualize our characters, track things like HPs, conditions, etc. Severals of those promised tools have yet to see the light of day if they ever will. So with that void several developers have filled in the missing pieces with tools that utilize the DDI data. One that I currently use is iPlay4e.com. Without access to the data that tool will become much less useful.

Wizards, please continue to support the developers that have filled in where you have not been able or inclined to.

Please show your support by replying to this thread.

Thanks,
Fred

SUGGESTION: Go to the forums of the apps you use that also use this data and post a link to this Call to Action so more people will be aware of this request. 

Copy this link: community.wizards.com/go/post/reply/7588...
 
 
I also use iPlay4e and won't be able to use the new character builder until iPlay4e is supported.
Please have an export feature at launch or ASAP

iPlay4e has massive use in the community. I'm afraid, very afraid. Then again I never thought the original character builder would be as useful as it was, so willing to make a save vs. Panic.


-S
Definitely need access to this data! I've been using Masterplan to DM my games. It is rediculously useful to import everyone's characters into it directly.

PLEASE add the ability to export characters ASAP!

-Z
Either the ability to use the character data through an API, export, or (preferably) the continued support of the current CB.

iPlay4e as about 10,000 users. I am one of them who as played and supported D&D for over 13 years and right now iPlay4e is a critical tool allowing me to play with friends from afar. Please seriously consider having the export feature not only at launch but to offer a beta ahead of time so that developers like those who run iPlay4e can ensure our ability to play will not be interrupted.

Joining the Chorus. Printing out sheets or making cumbersome PDF's is really not a replacement. The character sheet and the ability to get any character easily turned into shapes that I wanted was one of the main reasons I took a subscription on DDI in the first place. I'm not gonna be completely impatient. After all, I can just use my DnD character builder without having the very very latest updates. But if exporting becomes a platinum function, I'm gonna cancel that subscription.
+1
WHY?!? Why would you make your awesome program only usable if there is an internet connection?? the offline works perfectly as advertised. I would rather have a program that i can jump into at a moments notice than a slick looking interface web program that i would have to do the wifi hunt for

Don't change what works, just improve it! retain support and updates for the offline version please! 
There are other 3rd party open source software out there as well. My campaign relies heavily on Masterplan for its overall build, but we also use Combat Manager for the individual combat encounters.

As the DM, I always have everyone send me their updated CB files for import and use at each level. This was for both 1) use in CM and 2) so that if they forget to bring anything, I have their characters all on my laptop. But we don't always play at my house. So if we're at my buddy's who doesn't have any wireless access at his place and anyone needs access, we're screwed. Lastly at least 2 of my players consistently play their character FROM their netbook/laptops. So this now forces everyone to print, too.

It was bad enough to wait this long to get the updated information into the Builder, but OH what a mega, super, whopper bad idea to go this route and not make the data available offline.
+1!
+1
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
My question is if your at a store out in the boonies and they don't have wifi or won't let ya use them, or your at a major con and wotc is flooded and eventually bombs. What then your outta luck. Might have to go to hero builder at this rate like I do for pathfinder So we wait and see what happens. Please keep CB offline cause someone will eventually be an idiot and mess CB up in one way or another or something happens and all the built files suddenly vanish.
+1 to this.
Although I have read quite a bit and will see what happens with Nov 16th, I will throw my support in for continued development to things such as iplay4e, RPTools, Virtual Daivve, and more.  The team might not be able to respond to this, but at the very least, I hope they read it.
It would be unforgivable to make this move and not provide some way of exporting your character easily.  
I approve making this data available for export.
John du Bois Living Forgotten Realms Writing Director, Netheril story area Follow me on The Twitter: @JohnduBois Follow my presence on The Intertubes: johncdubois.wordpress.com
I also would like to add my support to the developers like iPlay4E.com.

We also use the ddi file to exchange with the DM for when we are unable to attend sessions.  This eliminates the need for paper!  
Aye. Locking my char away where I can never get to it is entirely unacceptable.

My entire DnD group uses iPlay4e to manage the campaign. When this goes into place, I (the DM) will no longer be able to look at their char sheets. I won't be able to keep a list of chars in my campaign. I won't be able to see their levels and gear. You will have added hours to the time it take every week to compute loot.

Furthermore, each and every person in my campaign will now have to have a laptop, with wireless internet, in front of them in order to play. There's no way to get the data out of the char builder. If one of my players has a tough month and can't afford the subscription, I have to kick him from the campaign. He can't 'just show up and play' because he won't have his char.

You have effectively killed the Char builder. It is 100% worthless without the ability to play offline. It is 80% worthless without the ability to integrate with third-party tools.

As it stands, you are charging me each month for nothing more than access to the books I have already paid for.
I would very much like to see an export feature and/or an API. 

I do not feel that it must be included at launch, but I will be making a decision soon, and the announcement/lack of announcement on this point will strongly influence my decision whether or not to continue to buy the service.
+1

Not only do I use iPlay4e heavily, but the two tools that I write (inCombat 4e and Shado's Sheet Generator) both use the same information. I know Masterplan and DnD4eCM also use them.
WHY?!? Why would you make your awesome program only usable if there is an internet connection??


I'm not terribly fond of being unable to use the character builder offline.  Sometimes you're someplace that just doesn't have WiFi, or for whatever reason you don't have internet access.
/sign
According to the FAQ, they will be adding an export feature at some point:

 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.

 
Yes, please!  

The third party tools that consume dnd4e files add to WotC's bottom line by adding value to a DDI subscription, usually at no additional charge.  Allowing them to continue to operate will allow the value addition to continue.

In addition, providing data export functionality helps address the other major complaint: the lack of offline access.  Tools such as i4e, future versions of iplay4e, etc. that function offline can immediately fill that gap if the data is accessible.  Good luck getting Silverlight (which MS is dropping anyway) to pull that off. Wink

As Bruenorg has pointed out, the FAQ does say that export functionality is forthcoming.  I see this thread as a mechanism for increasing the priority of that function on WotC's roadmap.

Cheers,
Andrew Reutter
iPlay4e.com 
According to the FAQ, they will be adding an export feature at some point:

 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.

 

Bruenorg,
The purpose of this thread is to make them aware of the demand for this feature so it happens sooner rather than later. Do you remember that originally Wizards had planned the digital map/board feature? We don't want the same to happen to the export feature.

On a side note: Everyone go to the forums of the applications you use that run on the export data and post a link to this forum there so more people will be aware of this issue.

Thread link: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
Yes, their definition of 'soon' usually means several months.
+5 (Including my game group)
Summary: Make Character Builder data available to other applications via export or API access

Reasoning: Back when DDI was first came out, part of the appeal was the possibility of a digital version of the character sheet that would allow us to visualize our characters, track things like HPs, conditions, etc. Severals of those promised tools have yet to see the light of day if they ever will. So with that void several developers have filled in the missing pieces with tools that utilize the DDI data. One that I currently use is iPlay4e.com. Without access to the data that tool will become much less useful.

Wizards, please continue to support the developers that have filled in where you have not been able or inclined to.

Please show your support by replying to this thread.

Thanks,
Fred

SUGGESTION: Go to the forums of the apps you use that also use this data and post a link to this Call to Action so more people will be aware of this request. 

Copy this link: community.wizards.com/go/post/reply/7588...
 
 

Count me in. Kudos to WotC for making the builder with an architecture they should have used the first time round (web server hosted, browser based), brickbats for requiring Silverlight (but Flash would have been worse).

Please support community tools. iPlay4e is fantastic, and I would love to continue using it with the new tools

+1 and +4 from my players

Another +5 here
I have to say that this is outrageous, I'm guessing this is the real reason we've had no proper cb updates since August, I for one will be dropping my subscription and will continue just using the cb and manually editing my sheets rather than paying an ongoing fee for the privilege of being able to play your game.

2 of the members of my group still don't have internet setup at home (I know sad I must say) and it has taken this long to get them to sign up and get the cb which was a struggle worthy of battling the Tarrasque only to find out today that they still won't be able to make their DS characters unless they agree to keep their subscription going with this online tool (we play in a pub with no wifi btw which means we'll end up drinking and that's about it) 
Dungeons and Dragons has always been at its core a community driven game.  To try and cut out the community by keeping all files in house and not letting them out is bad.  As stated previously in this thread allowing and even supporting the developers of third party software can only improve the demand for more product from WOTC. 
I and my 6 players all would like to see a way to use the Character Files with third party software (specifically Masterplan and Iplay4E).
Don't force me back to pen & paper by removing the export feature!  I use Iplay4e to play and CB to build.
I use the iplay4e site all the time.  It would be terrible if there were no way to save a 'dnd4e' file!
Aarrgghh!

For the moment, all we can do is continue to use the original CB without updates until they come up with an export function.  I'll bet the export format, when/if it eventuates, will be different to the existing one, and all the 3rd party apps will have to be updated.

This could all be a plot to cut off the 3rd parties.  I only wish WoTC would come up with their own combat and campaign managers.  How hard can it be?

Shane
+1 for external application support, and +100 for continued support and updates to an offline Character Builder application!
+1.  ooh, the files aren't big and I have plenty of hard drive space (over a TB)..why can't I store MY charcters on MY computer...

Also, having access to MY character info without having to have to have a connection to the internet is something I don't wish to lose.

Might have to go to hand doing my on character sheet again..not sure I want to have to rely on a 3rd party to have access to my PC info.

  Well, another example of 'This is my first post on the boards to say...' in my case.  I doubt it will prevent the 'Sorry, need online access and an active subscription to use the sheets you made while paid up' issue, but it would be something to have the Export option ASAP.

  Of course, I'm also expecting any Export option to be a Web-Tools-Readable-Only file type as opposed to the old Forum Text export.  Here's hoping I'm proven to be a paranoid moron.

According to the FAQ, they will be adding an export feature at some point:

 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.

 



Considering that we have that option now, and it's possible they will take it away, even temporarily, that's just not acceptable in my eyes.  You don't take away things that the users have now, in order to give them something shiny... that's just bad...
This is unacceptable.
I emailed wizards about uploading custom character portraits with the online version. I do this with nearly every character as the ones provided by wizards currently don't allow for changes in the character looks (armour, scars, weapons, hair colour etc - where is the Character Visualizer?) Their responce was "I have no information on that feature, check back later".

That is poor customer service and gives insight on just how screwed up this online feature will be.

On a related note, my bank account will be better off without the yearly subscription fee unless offline mode is available.

Check out my author profile on Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AJWatson)

I'll add my voice requesting an export feature as soon as possible. I use iPlay4e as my main character sheet, so depriving me of the file is depriving me of the game. If you're depriving me of the game, you're a bad gaming company.