The tone of the board sure has changed

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Ok yeah thats obvious but I wanted to bring up a long term feel to the board I have noticed since DDI launch in an attempt to hopefully get wotc to understand something about how a string of disappointments to the community adds up. 

With each delay, change of plan, scrapped idea more and more users will become more and more negatively invested emotionally into the product.
Way back at launch with no tools there was disappointment but a lot of the community defended wotc and still supported them.
As time went on though that % defending wotc and asking to give them time they will change and make things right grew less and less.
Words changed in posts from disappointment, to questioning if wotc knew what they were doing, all the way to today where we have a lot of people flat out calling wotc liars. There have always been people with varied reactions and comment but I am talking about the community as a whole (as expressed by post comments today).

A 130+ page thread of nerd rage of this level doesn't happen overnight and I think that is where wotc has made the biggest error in judgement. The compounding effects of all their past mistakes.

What I am left to ask is that if wotc understands this and is going to really really this time they mean it get things right (communication and delivery of products on expected dates) or if they continue as business as usual and things get even worse from a community perspective.
I completely agree, this is not because of one single decision, but it is due to  a complete lack of understanding and consideration for the concerns of their customer base for a few years now.
Mad Scientist

What history has shown us is that DDI has NEVER lived up to the promise it made. CB was a quality tool. Dragon and Dungeon were ruined, the other tools they told us were coming never manifested.

Reguardless of who's been "communicating" with the fan base, the people making decisions have very consistantly let us down. It's prob not paolo's fault, but it certainly is someones fault for pumping us up and letting us down over and over and OVER again. So saying "THIS TIME WE GOT IT RIGHT" holds no water for me, and I would guess alot of people these days.

On the flip side, I think I've seen WotC listening to us.

We got clear communication once they were ready to deliver it to us. They sent an email out to all Insiders making sure everyone got the message (something we asked for). They're retooling their priorities for additions to the New Character Builder because of the slew of people asking for an Export option (they said they moved this up the priority ladder). They're here on the boards answering questions now that they've been given the all-go signal.

I mean, I see a company trying to make amends. You gotta give them credit for that, even if you disagree with their business decision to go online, subscription based from here on out.
Well, it's to late. I'll reconsider, but for now I'm done. I'm cancelling my LFR games and now don't have to worry about my Wednesday nights. It's like a breath of fresh air. It's like I can finally see the sun after being in a cave.

Wow. I didn't think it would feel this good to walk away from WotC and 4e. 

http://www.enworld.org

Stop by and say hi!

On the flip side, I think I've seen WotC listening to us.

We got clear communication once they were ready to deliver it to us. They sent an email out to all Insiders making sure everyone got the message (something we asked for). They're retooling their priorities for additions to the New Character Builder because of the slew of people asking for an Export option (they said they moved this up the priority ladder). They're here on the boards answering questions now that they've been given the all-go signal.

I mean, I see a company trying to make amends. You gotta give them credit for that, even if you disagree with their business decision to go online, subscription based from here on out.



Sure I will give them credit for drafting an email and hitting "Send". Well done for being able to read and write and using an email client.  Well done for telling me how being completely reliant on an internet connection for any CB functionality is somehow a good thing for me in an email. While we are at it, I should also say well done for somehow diverting attention away from corporate decisions to the so-called "lies" of one particular employee.

I love me a bit of spin me!
Mad Scientist
I'm not going to argue you with you. I just want to point out, my point wasn't about the actual steps to send an email. The point is, we gave them feedback asking for emails exactly like this one and they listened and followed up. That's the point.
when i left maybe half a year or a year ago, i thought it was hostile enough.

this is about 2-3 steps up,  i'm hard pressed NOT to compare it to some of the good ol' usenet flamewars.
Here be dragons: IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cydyvkj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c54g6ac/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/csw6fhj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cbxbgmp/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cz7v5bd/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/ccg9eld/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c8szhnn/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cp68b5u/.gif)
56767308 wrote:
Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with wanting Next to be a great game. It has to do with wanting Next to determine who won the Edition War. [...] For those of us who just want D&D Next to be a good game, this is getting to be a real drag.
57870548 wrote:
I think I figured it out. This program is a character builder, not a character builder. It teaches patience, empathy, and tolerance. All most excellent character traits.
On the flip side, I think I've seen WotC listening to us.

We got clear communication once they were ready to deliver it to us. They sent an email out to all Insiders making sure everyone got the message (something we asked for). They're retooling their priorities for additions to the New Character Builder because of the slew of people asking for an Export option (they said they moved this up the priority ladder). They're here on the boards answering questions now that they've been given the all-go signal.

I mean, I see a company trying to make amends. You gotta give them credit for that, even if you disagree with their business decision to go online, subscription based from here on out.



This is true but I would add that they only told us these things on the day of the regularly scheduled update to the CB which was nov 2nd. For several months people were waiting and expecting dark sun in the CB.

I will give PaoloM credit he is making an effort to be apart of the community in the messiest its been. MB, Wolfstar and AsmL are also in the thick of it.
Still just as it took a long process to get to this point it will take a long process to undo it in the minds of the community. I hope they dont give up because short term actions arent giving long term results (yet). 
Anger has grown here because we're seeing history repeat...over and over...

Having been more involved two years ago through the initial wave of anger, this event is amazingly similar.  Asked for more communication, some Wizards staff members attempted to do so, people complained directly to them, community volunteers (VCL) pleaded for everyone to be nice to the poor, helpful staff members...  Seriously, I know many of you remember those conversations.  Sadly, many of those initial helpful staff members were later kicked to the curb by Wizards (not saying related, just saying it happened), thus leading the community to feel more disillusioned.

At some point, all you want from a large, successful game company are positive results.  This one has folks on edge because they're undoing the only universally liked piece of their sub.  It's a drag.  It wasn't perfect, but it is used by everyone I know who plays regularly, and now it's been gimped by the last update it will see.

I understand this should lead to a better frame from which to build other tools, but there's no indication this game company has learned from their prior mistakes regarding how to handle implementation.  Sad, and I mean that sincerely.  
anyone remember etools? History repeats itself with this company.
anyone remember etools? History repeats itself with this company.

Oh, yes, I remember well.

ETools got dumped - but at least I still had the final version I could use.

CB gets dumped - but at least I still have the last version I can use.

Now - you want me to buy into a tool that will have no "last version" when it gets dumped?  Do I really look that stupid?
======= Balesir

Now - you want me to buy into a tool that will have no "last version" when it gets dumped?  Do I really look that stupid?



So you don't play MtGO or any MMO's?

Ah well, that's what a service is.

Celebrate our differences.


Now - you want me to buy into a tool that will have no "last version" when it gets dumped?  Do I really look that stupid?



So you don't play MtGO or any MMO's?

Ah well, that's what a service is.



Yeah, that's a big reason why I don't play MtGO or any other MMO.  That, plus not wanting to pay $50 for a game and then a monthly fee to play it (in the case of WoW and such).
Yeah, that's a big reason why I don't play MtGO or any other MMO.  That, plus not wanting to pay $50 for a game and then a monthly fee to play it (in the case of WoW and such).



Your loss, sorry to say.  But hardly makes it stupid for others to do so.

Celebrate our differences.

Yeah, that's a big reason why I don't play MtGO or any other MMO.  That, plus not wanting to pay $50 for a game and then a monthly fee to play it (in the case of WoW and such).



Your loss, sorry to say.  But hardly makes it stupid for others to do so.


I never said it did.  It also doesn't make it stupid for people like me who don't like that model.  We like having something to show for our purchase.

So you don't play MtGO or any MMO's?

Ah well, that's what a service is.



the problem is, those both are not really comparable to pen&paper rpg, a typical OFFLINE activity and IN PERSON.

i still could use my old ad&d phb and dmg, if i were so inclined. i can still use etools.
most people don't want a service. they want a tool to keep, like they do with their books.

this clash of business model vs. customer expectation is one big issue of ddi.

the other is underdelivery, and we've had so much of this (and axing), that there's no reason to believe them that in 5 years from now, i'll be able to still play with the online CB. (especially, since i'm now FORCED to use all the errata if i want the easy way to build a character)

Here be dragons: IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cydyvkj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c54g6ac/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/csw6fhj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cbxbgmp/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cz7v5bd/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/ccg9eld/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c8szhnn/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cp68b5u/.gif)
56767308 wrote:
Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with wanting Next to be a great game. It has to do with wanting Next to determine who won the Edition War. [...] For those of us who just want D&D Next to be a good game, this is getting to be a real drag.
57870548 wrote:
I think I figured it out. This program is a character builder, not a character builder. It teaches patience, empathy, and tolerance. All most excellent character traits.
I never said it did.  It also doesn't make it stupid for people like me who don't like that model.  We like having something to show for our purchase.



Oh, I now see you jumped in and answered a question that I asked someone else.  Pardon my confusion.

Someone else made reference that people that did pay for software services were stupid.  Consider my response a reiteration of that statement, then.

Celebrate our differences.


i still could use my old ad&d phb and dmg, if i were so inclined. i can still use etools.



Exactly.  WotC is providing a service that adds to convenience.  It is completely optional if someone wants to take advantage of that service or not.

The underdelivery is a completely different issue, and is exactly why I have disabled my autorenew.

Celebrate our differences.


Exactly.  WotC is providing a service that adds to convenience.  It is completely optional if someone wants to take advantage of that service or not.



you quoted me out of context - on purpose?

the fact is, that a lot of people expect the same usage out of the CB - download it, keep using it.
that's why an online version is so much more disdained.

also, strictly speaking, an online version keeps a stranglehold on your customers.

Here be dragons: IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cydyvkj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c54g6ac/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/csw6fhj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cbxbgmp/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cz7v5bd/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/ccg9eld/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c8szhnn/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cp68b5u/.gif)
56767308 wrote:
Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with wanting Next to be a great game. It has to do with wanting Next to determine who won the Edition War. [...] For those of us who just want D&D Next to be a good game, this is getting to be a real drag.
57870548 wrote:
I think I figured it out. This program is a character builder, not a character builder. It teaches patience, empathy, and tolerance. All most excellent character traits.

the fact is, that a lot of people expect the same usage out of the CB - download it, keep using it.
that's why an online version is so much more disdained.



The vocal majority does not necessarily equate to the actual majority.  There is no way that any one of us can make that determination.  Only WotC and their subscription data can make that assessment.

If you don't like the new model, unsubscribe.

Celebrate our differences.

You could try, for once, to read my posts instead of just selectively choosing your replies to fit your needs.

I never hinted at whether "a lot of people" are a majority or "merely" a few hundred. IF you quote me, reply to MY post, not just state your intentions over and over.
Here be dragons: IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cydyvkj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c54g6ac/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/csw6fhj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cbxbgmp/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cz7v5bd/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/ccg9eld/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c8szhnn/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cp68b5u/.gif)
56767308 wrote:
Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with wanting Next to be a great game. It has to do with wanting Next to determine who won the Edition War. [...] For those of us who just want D&D Next to be a good game, this is getting to be a real drag.
57870548 wrote:
I think I figured it out. This program is a character builder, not a character builder. It teaches patience, empathy, and tolerance. All most excellent character traits.
Already done... my sub that has run with auto renew since DDI was available will now expire Nov 20th

Been testing Hero Builder.  If I like it enough, it will be my new offline character builder.

Wizards will lose my automatic annual subscription in exchange for me paying 1-2 times a year for a single month to use the tool that HB gives and download the entire compendium locally.

So instead of $76/year they'll get $20ish... and I still won't buy their books anymore.  Power books aren't worth my time.

Had CB continued to be updated, my auto-renew would have auto-renewed.  I know at least 5 other DDI susbscribers who are waiting for my testing results with HB and when I report that they are going well will also likely turn off auto-renew or request refunds.
If Hero Builder haven't had a C&D order already they soon will.
You could try, for once, to read my posts instead of just selectively choosing your replies to fit your needs.

I never hinted at whether "a lot of people" are a majority or "merely" a few hundred. IF you quote me, reply to MY post, not just state your intentions over and over.



Yes, as opposed to your reiterations that you don't like the trend that they are headed.  Great.  You shared your opinion repeatedly, I shared mine repeatedly.

Does it satisfy you enough that I quoted your entire reply instead of only the parts that were worth replying to?  Is there anything else that you would like me to say so I know exactly what to say to appease you?

No?  Good.  Have a nice day.

Celebrate our differences.

I've got bad news for you. I'm pretty sure hero builder requires a DDI account.

http://www.enworld.org

Stop by and say hi!

I've got bad news for you. I'm pretty sure hero builder requires a DDI account.



It currently requires it to download the information from the Compendium, but it then stores that locally I believe (which was what Masterplan use to do until their C&D order). 

If they have changed it so it stores no information locally then it would still need to be online to use so wouldn't meet his requirements. 
I've got bad news for you. I'm pretty sure hero builder requires a DDI account.



Or requires you to manually input everything.  Which is why I didn't go with Hero Builder when this whole fiasco started in September.
i actually believe that some of the compendium changes being done are because of masterplan and herobuilder.

people still using the old version of masterplan could still download from DDI - until the new update. :-)
Here be dragons: IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cydyvkj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c54g6ac/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/csw6fhj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cbxbgmp/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cz7v5bd/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/ccg9eld/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c8szhnn/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cp68b5u/.gif)
56767308 wrote:
Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with wanting Next to be a great game. It has to do with wanting Next to determine who won the Edition War. [...] For those of us who just want D&D Next to be a good game, this is getting to be a real drag.
57870548 wrote:
I think I figured it out. This program is a character builder, not a character builder. It teaches patience, empathy, and tolerance. All most excellent character traits.
i actually believe that some of the compendium changes being done are because of masterplan and herobuilder.

people still using the old version of masterplan could still download from DDI - until the new update. :-)



Even if not directly motivated by it, it's a happy accident. WotC is protecting their IP in a manner they decided was best for them. They originally set up the subscription in such a way that 10 bucks a year got you the rules content of everything they published since this DDI thing started. There was no crime or even ethical gray area in taking advantage of that; that's just how it worked. However, it wasn't fun for WotC, so they changed it.

Likewise, they stopped people from continuing to distribute tools that could be used to distribute their information without payment (even if the tool developer had NO intention for it to be used that way; I ascribe no malice to any of the 3rd party tools, either).

Everything about this change benefits Wizards first, and if subscribers see benefit, that's nice too. Not personal, just bidness.
thanks for the info on hero builder.

http://www.enworld.org

Stop by and say hi!

So I guess Im one of the only ones who loves this announcments and I hope WotC are reading all of these becasue I want them to know why.

Ive been using DDI for ages now, and wondering why it was so unstable, why they would amke it pc only, and why they would make a program that was so difficult for them to update. There is nothing I hate more them just after I get home from work, before running off to D&D at my DMs house, having to kick someone off the PC in the middle of what they are doing, to print off my character when there are several other computers (macs) in the house.
I system resource hog bogged down ever mac it touched in parralels, and I asked myself "why isn't this web based". Finaly my prayer was answered. D&DI welcome to the internet!
A web based D&DI means its easy and fast to update, it means I can get it anywhere.
Yes it means you have to be online, which I've read is difficult for some of you and I understand that, I have spoken out against games on steam that require and constant connection, but that is where things are going, and unlike those games, this is a game you can print, and you sheet can be used off line that way. You only need to be online to change your character.
This will however allow them to make changes we request much easier, like perhaps allowing you to see the skills of others in your party while picking your own. They may not listen to us, but going online allowed them to do so much easier which I believe is what they want.

I know this is not what most of you seem to want, but this is what I have been screaming for. Wizards has a very tough job in the sence that we all love D&D so much, if that means 1st or 2e or 4e, if thats using the books, or the tools online they have nothing but fan boys and we all care so much about it they can never please us all, but I believe this is a step towards making a tool that can change with us, a tool that can flex to our many many needs and be updated fast ot support our demands.

I know this won't change any minds but we could not keep going the way we were, this is a change towards modern tools that can grow.

If you love 3.5 you don't have to play 4e, and if you love the only character builder back it up and keep using it, it won't update but then again, books don't update either, and D&D is at its core and Pen and Paper game.

Thanks Wizards, it was the most exciting email Id had gotten in a while!
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!

Now - you want me to buy into a tool that will have no "last version" when it gets dumped?  Do I really look that stupid?

So you don't play MtGO or any MMO's?

Ah well, that's what a service is.

As it happens, I don't, but at least if I did I would realise that a service was the best (maybe even only) way to provide those products.  For a character tool for a roleplaying game I want an actual product - something where I control my data within it.  By "control" I mean that my retention, copying, use, and modification of that data (my data, that is - i.e. characters, campaign documents, etc.) are not beholden to another party.  And data for use that I have paid for is also retained at my pleasure.

I never said it did.  It also doesn't make it stupid for people like me who don't like that model.  We like having something to show for our purchase.

Oh, I now see you jumped in and answered a question that I asked someone else.  Pardon my confusion.

Someone else made reference that people that did pay for software services were stupid.  Consider my response a reiteration of that statement, then.

I was that person, so I'm answering as addressed.

I don't consider people who pay for services stupid - but I have to say that I think people who pay for P&P RPG character data manipulation and storage as a service are, well, let's say naive.  I don't want my convenient play of my home campaign to be at the pleasure of a company whose goal is simply to make money.  I don't have an issue with their goals - I simply don't want that particular product as a "service" - I want it as a proper software product.


i still could use my old ad&d phb and dmg, if i were so inclined. i can still use etools.

Exactly.  WotC is providing a service that adds to convenience.  It is completely optional if someone wants to take advantage of that service or not.

Quite so - they are providing a service where a product would serve the customer far better.  That's why I'll be opting out of that service and looking out for an actual product that will serve my needs.
======= Balesir
I don't consider people who pay for services stupid - but I have to say that I think people who pay for P&P RPG character data manipulation and storage as a service are, well, let's say naive.



Do you work for the US government?  They seem to think that people do not know how to spend their money responsibly, either. 

FYI, that is not all they would be paying for.  There are quite a few quality (subjective, yes I know) services they offer.  That's a bit disingenuous to describe as that, and that alone, while referring to others as naive.

Everything else, I get.  We can all make our own decisions.  It's all good.  Enjoy.

Celebrate our differences.

Well, it's to late. I'll reconsider, but for now I'm done. I'm cancelling my LFR games and now don't have to worry about my Wednesday nights. It's like a breath of fresh air. It's like I can finally see the sun after being in a cave.

Wow. I didn't think it would feel this good to walk away from WotC and 4e. 


I'm not walking away from 4E, just from WotC and the DDI.

After all,there ARE other Character Builder-type products out there which can make 4E characters and allow US, the USERS, to decide which parts we do and do not want to use, instead of us getting this "Essentials is now official so you HAVE to use it!" crap and online-only nonsense.
Those who keep quoting the EULA at our complaints should live in shame for their reprehensible behavior, as should WotC. Nicolae Ceauşescu never committed acts as reprehensible as the last few weeks here.
I don't consider people who pay for services stupid - but I have to say that I think people who pay for P&P RPG character data manipulation and storage as a service are, well, let's say naive.

Do you work for the US government?  They seem to think that people do not know how to spend their money responsibly, either. 

No, I don't - and since I am not American I'm unlikely ever to do so ;).  As for the views of your government on peoples' spending habits, it is in the nature of governments to think thus.  The kicker is, of course, that often they are right.

FYI, that is not all they would be paying for.  There are quite a few quality (subjective, yes I know) services they offer.  That's a bit disingenuous to describe as that, and that alone, while referring to others as naive.

Yes, I realise that there is more in the DDI than the CB.  If that is what you are paying for then that is a very valid choice.  I am somewhat surprised, however, that some around these boards are welcoming the stripping away of their control over their own character's records.  4E has been accused of being "like an MMO"; I have never thought this was a good comparison in the slightest regarding the actual play of the game, but this development does bring it uncomfortably close, for me, to the "company controls your access, your character, the version of the rules you play under and the nature of your game world" model that MMOs entail.  The recent "Essentials" furore has been a case in point.  If you wanted to omit such developments from your game with the CB it was possible - simply stop applying updates and you're set.  With the new, web-based model that option will no longer be open.  If the game moves in a direction you are not happy with, well, you'll just have to do without the CB.  It's an extra lever for them to get you to play the game they want to sell you, instead of the game you want to buy, IMO.

Everything else, I get.  We can all make our own decisions.  It's all good.  Enjoy.

What I'm saying is people who choose to have less control over their game records are wilfully putting the continued convenience and continuity of their game into jeopardy.  Should they be free to do that?  Absolutely.  Do I consider it wise of them to do so?  No - is that really such a surprise?
======= Balesir
No, I don't - and since I am not American I'm unlikely ever to do so ;).  As for the views of your government on peoples' spending habits, it is in the nature of governments to think thus.  The kicker is, of course, that often they are right.



You forget how irresponsible governments themselves are in spending money, particularly ours. 

Yes, I realise that there is more in the DDI than the CB.  If that is what you are paying for then that is a very valid choice.  I am somewhat surprised, however, that some around these boards are welcoming the stripping away of their control over their own character's records.  4E has been accused of being "like an MMO"; I have never thought this was a good comparison in the slightest regarding the actual play of the game, but this development does bring it uncomfortably close, for me, to the "company controls your access, your character, the version of the rules you play under and the nature of your game world" model that MMOs entail.  The recent "Essentials" furore has been a case in point.  If you wanted to omit such developments from your game with the CB it was possible - simply stop applying updates and you're set.  With the new, web-based model that option will no longer be open.  If the game moves in a direction you are not happy with, well, you'll just have to do without the CB.  It's an extra lever for them to get you to play the game they want to sell you, instead of the game you want to buy, IMO.



Well, I work for a company that provides software as a service with much more sensitive and personal information than just player characters.  IMO, there is a lot more upside than downside.  But that's just me.

My issue is that we are getting another character builder when we already have one.  Give me the gambit of tools before changing over to a full web solution.

What I'm saying is people who choose to have less control over their game records are wilfully putting the continued convenience and continuity of their game into jeopardy.  Should they be free to do that?  Absolutely.  Do I consider it wise of them to do so?  No - is that really such a surprise?



No, and I get it.  But I don't even see it as an inconvenience when I can just save my character sheets locally and print them off.  And if people are worried about breaking up their games, then I guess the service is not for them.  And it could be very likely that they are going to supplement the CB with a character viewer application for phones.  Who knows.

I'm just a DM that wants more efficient tools for MY job.  The players already have an easy enough job just managing their characters. 

Celebrate our differences.

Well, I work for a company that provides software as a service with much more sensitive and personal information than just player characters.  IMO, there is a lot more upside than downside.  But that's just me.

And does your company have contractual arrangements over keeping the data and handing it over/back to those who it belongs to (in a readable format) on demand?  I bet it does.  Does it have contractual committments about maintaining the service into the future?  I bet it does.  Those kinds of undertakings would make it fine for me, too - but I don't see us getting them.

My issue is that we are getting another character builder when we already have one.  Give me the gambit of tools before changing over to a full web solution.

Oh, yeah, I'm with you there.  When the 'web based tools' were first announced I thought "Great - what are we getting?  A map maker?  A VTT?  A campaign manager?".  I would gladly have accepted increased subscription for any or all of those.  But we got a borked character builder that we already had a perfectly acceptable one of instead.

What I'm saying is people who choose to have less control over their game records are wilfully putting the continued convenience and continuity of their game into jeopardy.  Should they be free to do that?  Absolutely.  Do I consider it wise of them to do so?  No - is that really such a surprise?

No, and I get it.  But I don't even see it as an inconvenience when I can just save my character sheets locally and print them off.  And if people are worried about breaking up their games, then I guess the service is not for them.  And it could be very likely that they are going to supplement the CB with a character viewer application for phones.  Who knows.

Well, I hope they salvage something that gives us back some control over the campaigns that we play.

I'm just a DM that wants more efficient tools for MY job.  The players already have an easy enough job just managing their characters. 

To be honest, I already have most of what I need - even if not everything I want.  CB, MB, Dundjinni map builder and Battlegrounds RPG VTT cover all the basics.  Would I like a spiffy coordinated set of tools that share files?  Sure - but it's not essential.  For most play we just print character sheets and power cards, use dungeon tiles and minis and play.  All my maps and notes are on my server (so I can access them from my desktop or laptop) - as are the characters (so they can be loaded up on my wife's laptop, too, for player use - or on the laptop of any other player who has CB installed and plugs into our LAN).  We email each other character files when preparing for a run.  I have a spreadsheet that tracks ongoing experience and produces encounter sheets for running monsters in an encounter; a bespoke version of that would be cool but the monster builder isn't it.  What do you feel you need (just out of interest)?

======= Balesir
And does your company have contractual arrangements over keeping the data and handing it over/back to those who it belongs to (in a readable format) on demand?  I bet it does.  Does it have contractual committments about maintaining the service into the future?  I bet it does.  Those kinds of undertakings would make it fine for me, too - but I don't see us getting them.


Acually, no.  We are the owners of all of the data.  For a fee, we will provide them with a backup of the data.  They do have the ability to export data (which they do for payroll purposes, amongst other things), but this is hardly an efficient method for retrieving a full database archive.

Contractural commitments for future use?  Not sure what you mean.  We're not shutting down our servers and we are SAS70 certified.  But honestly, that information is a bit outside of my pay grade.
What do you feel you need (just out of interest)?


Ultimately, a campaign manager that allows DM's to share resources that they flag as public.

Piece by piece:  encounter generator, skill challenge generator/manager, parcel generator, map creation utility, tile creation utility, to name a few.  Everything would be linkable within the campaign manager.

It would also be very nice to be able to compile all of this information together in the campaign manager using an application that would allow for modules to be compiled and shared publically.  Basically, you would drag and drop the components onto the pages.

Celebrate our differences.

And does your company have contractual arrangements over keeping the data and handing it over/back to those who it belongs to (in a readable format) on demand?  I bet it does.  Does it have contractual committments about maintaining the service into the future?  I bet it does.  Those kinds of undertakings would make it fine for me, too - but I don't see us getting them.


Acually, no.  We are the owners of all of the data.  For a fee, we will provide them with a backup of the data.  They do have the ability to export data (which they do for payroll purposes, amongst other things), but this is hardly an efficient method for retrieving a full database archive.

Contractural commitments for future use?  Not sure what you mean.  We're not shutting down our servers and we are SAS70 certified.  But honestly, that information is a bit outside of my pay grade.
What do you feel you need (just out of interest)?


Ultimately, a campaign manager that allows DM's to share resources that they flag as public.

Piece by piece:  encounter generator, skill challenge generator/manager, parcel generator, map creation utility, tile creation utility, to name a few.  Everything would be linkable within the campaign manager.

It would also be very nice to be able to compile all of this information together in the campaign manager using an application that would allow for modules to be compiled and shared publically.  Basically, you would drag and drop the components onto the pages.




My company is a SAS provider as well and we do NOT own the data, and I've seen first hand the pitfalls of a SAS solution to buisness. Now granted this is a Buisness to consume model here so we're not talking end of the world if it goes down. But if saturday night is my night to game and the servers are down, hacked, or the pipe is being DDoS'd, I can't use it.

Can I use a paper sheet? Probably, but thats not what I paid $70 a year for.

Alot of people have been throwing around the whole "Or you could just use pen and paper like we did for 30 years!". For the years previous to 4E, I didn't have to compute the chance to hit and damage on 7-12 powers. I had 1 maybe two attack types where weapon damage was the only concern. Now days I have to re-compute all my powers each time I level or get a new weapon. THAT is why people do not want to do it manually.

Now - you want me to buy into a tool that will have no "last version" when it gets dumped?  Do I really look that stupid?



So you don't play MtGO or any MMO's?

Ah well, that's what a service is.



Yeah, that's a big reason why I don't play MtGO or any other MMO.  That, plus not wanting to pay $50 for a game and then a monthly fee to play it (in the case of WoW and such).



Try Guild Wars. Their business model is customers pay one time only. They make their model work over its life by adding extra content for fee. There is no monthly fee. But, if a player desires, they can add storage space, add costumes and change appearances, etc. All of those cost extra, but the basic game is free (after purchasing the initial copy).