20 character limit?

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57025236 wrote:

I have a lot of characters at any given time – How many characters can I save to the web-based Character Builder?

Currently, the limit for saved characters is set to 20. This is something we may increase in the future.




We only get 20 characters? We can't even have one character of each class? (Completely ignoring essentials there are 26 classes currently available)


Combine that with the lack of any ability to save a character to local storage and I really have to wonder what exactly is going on in the heads of the people at WotC...

Hey, at least now you don't have to carry them around on your usb stick? They think that the digital service they are providing is on the level of say WoW, you know with their great 3d visualisation tools?

Just another example of how they expect their customers to pay the same amount of money for a service that is severely diminished .

But yeah, even I was shocked at that statement. 
Mad Scientist
20? Wow. Currently I have 100s. Some just concepts, some for campaigns I play in, or ran or run. Another limitation that is unacceptable. 
I have 106, myself, and I mostly DM. 





It's gonna be a tight squeeze.
Yeah, 20 is an awfully low number.
Yeah, 20 is an awfully low number.





I'm guessing they had no way to anticipate their server space needs, and picked it out of a hat. Now, I don't use those 106 all, of course - in fact, less than 20 are played - but I do it to experiment, to simply have fun, and to familiarize myself with player character options. Heck, my "hordes of wary, heavily armed sociopaths" was used as a testimonial for the product. 

This is a simple math issue from an infrastructure point of view.

I just nosed at one of my campaign folders with my players characters in...  The 15th level wizard (for example) has a file size of about 350kb. 

20 Characters comes in at about 7MB.

About 40,000 subscribers, comes in at about 267GB.

Remember that enterprise storage isn't quite as cheap as home storage space.  Remember that it will likely be being stored in multiple mirroring and load balancing machines across multiple clusters.

Remember that they have to have backup solutions that can cope with the quantity of data involved as well.

Remember that they will want to allow for storage for other upcoming tools as well, so some of the available storage space has to be allocated for future growth.

Finally, they've no idea how many people will store 1 character or 3 dozen.  So if they set a limit of 100 and everybody suddenly uploads 100 characters, they will be running at high capacity right away.

I believe the 'initially' in the statement absolutely.  Its something that will change over time, based on demand, usage and their experience with the service.

So while 20 might seem small, in the broader picture of offering a new service, I can understand where they're coming from.

Additionally, once they offer external storage (or expot/import or however they do it) this issue goes away.
Oh, absolutely. 20 sounds low, but I also thought about it in the same terms. It will be like 2012: who makes it on to the Ark? Who lives? Who dies?
I assume the number 20 was picked rather arbitrarily.

As a DM, I need copies of the characters for all of my players.  I also frequently like to create important NPCs using the CB first, before I NPC-ify them.

Like you, I also have lots of characters that I put together to explore concepts and optimization.  I find it fun to build characters like this, and even to build entire hypothetical adventuring parties.

20 slots just doesn't cut it, and I hope that WotC wises up and raises that number before Nov 16.
276GB.  They could host that on S3 for $40/month.  Or one tenth of one cent per subscriber, not including bandwidth.

Excuse me, I've got to go look behind my couch for some loose change, so they can buy a real harddrive.  I've currently got 70 characters in the directory structure for the old builder.  20's just silly.

Edit: To clarify, that's S3's 99.999999999% reliable solution, not anything as unreliable as normal enterprise RAID5.  0.14/Gig/Month.  The reduced reliability solution, only 99.99% reliable, is 9.3 cents/Gig/month.  And there are bulk discounts from there.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

This is a simple math issue from an infrastructure point of view.

I just nosed at one of my campaign folders with my players characters in...  The 15th level wizard (for example) has a file size of about 350kb. 

20 Characters comes in at about 7MB.

About 40,000 subscribers, comes in at about 267GB.

Remember that enterprise storage isn't quite as cheap as home storage space.  Remember that it will likely be being stored in multiple mirroring and load balancing machines across multiple clusters.

Remember that they have to have backup solutions that can cope with the quantity of data involved as well.

Remember that they will want to allow for storage for other upcoming tools as well, so some of the available storage space has to be allocated for future growth.

Finally, they've no idea how many people will store 1 character or 3 dozen.  So if they set a limit of 100 and everybody suddenly uploads 100 characters, they will be running at high capacity right away.

I believe the 'initially' in the statement absolutely.  Its something that will change over time, based on demand, usage and their experience with the service.

So while 20 might seem small, in the broader picture of offering a new service, I can understand where they're coming from.

Additionally, once they offer external storage (or expot/import or however they do it) this issue goes away.




Yes, 267 GB of storage?   I mean, its not like these 40000 subscribers are actually paying money or anything for this? You know, it makes me think that maybe they should consider an offline solution? That would be novel...
Mad Scientist
Yes, 267 GB of storage?   I mean, its not like these 40000 subscribers are actually paying money or anything for this? You know, it makes me think that maybe they should consider an offline solution? That would be novel...

At one tenth of a cent per subscriber per month... I think they can afford to up the limit.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

So, if you save your character at each level when you level up, does each copy of that character count towards the 20 character limit?
20 WTF? I have more players than that...IS this an official post from someone at WOTC?
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As an outsider who uses a CB on a friend's computer occasionally, when I can, and then saves the summaries so I can use them for pasting on the forums (my builds in my link) or for importing on someone else's machine, I have 40 chars....imagine if I was an Insider (which I'd have to be now) -- I'd prolly have 200 chars.

And when I DM I like to have summaries sent to me so I can pick magic items for my PCs, that's 5-6 of 20 right there.

50 is a more reasonable opening gambit, 100 even...but 20?  That's just pure spiteful.
I work in the industry - while enterprise storage is not as cheap as home storage it is not as expensive as you make it out to be. A 8TB NAS server running raid5 with a three year service plan will run you under $5k.

Assuming they have no better method to store the characters than the current uncompressed xml files that would be enough for 40000 people to each have nearly 600 characters each...

So storage cost is not really the issue.
I don't generally make characters for the sake of it (as I know some people do). I only really have characters in use  in one of the 3 games i play stored (1 I DM, 2 I play) saved. Even I'm going to be close to this limit.

Hell the game i DM will soon have 12 current characters. That's just one game. Storing the current characters at their current levels.
Conversly to most posters currently in this thread - my group, building our characters on a buddy's laptop, has less than 20 characters between the six of us and our 3 separate D&D campaigns.

Another thing... when I subscribe, I won't be limited at all by the 20 character limit - I will print all of the "just had an idea I wanted to check out," or just in case," sort of characters (all those not currently in an active campaign) into PDFs like I already do so that I can email them to myself or to a friend to check out without the "ugh... jeez... load already!" wait time from Character Builder.

If it turns out that many subscribers have over 20 active characters... I hope they up the limit.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

About 40,000 subscribers, comes in at about 267GB.

Remember that enterprise storage isn't quite as cheap as home storage space.  Remember that it will likely be being stored in multiple mirroring and load balancing machines across multiple clusters.


It's not as cheap as home storage, but it's still cheap.  Getting a SAN to store this much data is trivial.
About 40,000 subscribers, comes in at about 267GB.

Remember that enterprise storage isn't quite as cheap as home storage space.  Remember that it will likely be being stored in multiple mirroring and load balancing machines across multiple clusters.


It's not as cheap as home storage, but it's still cheap.  Getting a SAN to store this much data is trivial.



True enough, but that doesn't take into account multiple servers, support costs, licensing costs.  Yes, cloud services are an option, but its not always the best solution for many different reasons (all though I believe the usual reasons against it will become less and less relevant).  As a proportion of the money they have available, they no doubt haven't spent as much on infrastructure as they could have. 

Or to put it another way, you don't build a google sized data centre when you've no idea what the actual usage might be.
20 is low. I have 100's created and i didn' put my dirty hands on Essentials yet since they weren't CBed as of yet...

I guess limiting to 20 characters per account will be their way of making sure "Account Leasing" doesn't hurt them too much, this at the unfortune of paying customers again. Sad.

It's really like bringing a '73 Mustang Big Block 429 cu. in. to the dealer and get in return a '03 Mustang GT 4.6 L while being told that you're still getting your Mustang sports car back with a V8 in the belly. Laughing
20 WTF? I have more players than that...IS this an official post from someone at WOTC?



Yep - check community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... if you want to see the full post.
Limiting things to 20 "active" characters is an interesting idea, but I don't see how there would be a solution where the distinction meant anything. However, it would maybe be nice to have two tiers of storage, "I'm using this often and want it to be 'active'" and "I haven't touched this in a year, feel free to compress and archive the hell out of this and shunt it off to some dark corner of the server where I will not touch it for another year."

And that takes development. It'd probably be cheaper to just get more storage.
[Yes, cloud services are an option, but its not always the best solution for many different reasons (all though I believe the usual reasons against it will become less and less relevant).  As a proportion of the money they have available, they no doubt haven't spent as much on infrastructure as they could have.

My point, in bringing in S3 costs, is that S3 is actually idiotically expensive for bulk storage.  The S3 value proposition is that they distribute it for you, and they scale down much better. (down, not up.)

Just having ye-olde SAN is much much cheaper, if you can fill a fraction of it's space.

And my far more expensive cloud-storage fancy-buzzword solution STILL came to $40/month, for all subscribers using all 20 allotted characters.  $40 total for WotC, that is.  The expensive solution.



"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

20 does seem arbitrary and while probably more then enough for most people, lot's of char-op will be disapointed.

So what # do you think should it be capped at?

30?
40?
50? (enough for me)
75?
100?
256?

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my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Oh, and duh, once they have export, your hard drive becomes the long-term storage. Fair enough.

(That's a duh at my own reasoning, not anyone else on the thread, FYI.) 
I've been playing for I think 6 months (played when I was a kid in the 80s) I have 70 characters. So I'm completely on board for online CB, this limit, means I can't use the program because it will be full and I won't be able to save anything.

1. Raise the limit to 100 temporarily as a minimum.
2. Get exporting in very quickly
3. Allow the program to be pointed to a folder and access .dnd4e files.

True enough, but that doesn't take into account multiple servers, support costs, licensing costs.  Yes, cloud services are an option, but its not always the best solution for many different reasons (all though I believe the usual reasons against it will become less and less relevant).  As a proportion of the money they have available, they no doubt haven't spent as much on infrastructure as they could have. 

Or to put it another way, you don't build a google sized data centre when you've no idea what the actual usage might be.



No, it doesn't take all of that into account - but those costs are not really that high. (also they will not need that much storage - if they are storing characters in uncompressed xml then they deserve the storage costs ( a simple zip will compress those files to 1/10 their size)

And they had better have an idea what actual usage will be - that is what project management is all about. If they don't have any idea what usage will be then they have not done their due diligence.
Alright I just loaded my CB. I have 19 characters from my first two campaigns (admitedly some dead and some retired/ascended and used as npcs in my current campaign). 16 from the current ongoing campaign I am running (3 dead, 6 players that quit, 7 active) A second campaign currently ran with 5. My char 1 (admitedly with a save for each level currently 12th and 4 options for 13th).

I have 4 characters I played in a dead campaign. 2 LFR char (sans items

I have 1 more that I played in another campaing, two more from my brothers, 6 gladiators from a short time campaign while Spartacus aired. 127 concept characters that could be dumped but I pull ideas or NPCs from time to time. The default characters like Raistlin that came with the CB...

Puts me up to 172. The entire folder including the original instal program takes up 84 mb on a Gig hardrive. Insignificant storage for me to store my characters. Now we are going to be limited "at-all".

Don't even talk to me about numbers. Auto-renewal/cancelation sent to Customer Service done!
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Oh, and duh, once they have export, your hard drive becomes the long-term storage. Fair enough.

(That's a duh at my own reasoning, not anyone else on the thread, FYI.) 



That does defeat one of the selling points of it being cloud based. "here we have an online tool. Access your character anywhere!*

(*well 20 of them, the rest you'll have to store yourself when we finally get the export facility working)"
20 does seem arbitrary and while probably more then enough for most people, lot's of char-op will be disapointed.

No number worth mentioning.  4000 or some such.

Seriously. Storage is dirt cheap.  Even enterprise storage.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

I think 20 is ridiculously low.  I am fine with web-based but not happy with:

1.  No export feature;
2.  No sharing of characters (for DMs and groups);
3.  No ability for house rules; and now
4.  This ridiculously low 20 character limit.

Seriously, WotC please get your head out of the sand (or wherever else it might be) and smarten up.  Most people didn't think the CB, and instead of "fixing it" you are ruining it by implementing widely unpopular features.  It would have been nice if you had thought about these things before you decided to change the CB.  Now you must change things for the better ASAP.

Daren
I currently have 66 characters stored totally just under 7 MB.  By comparison, gmail (free) gives mail storage space around 7.5 GB right now, enough to store over 70,000 characters.  I'm sorry WotC, but 20 characters is completely unacceptable.  Completely.
Oh, and duh, once they have export, your hard drive becomes the long-term storage. Fair enough.

(That's a duh at my own reasoning, not anyone else on the thread, FYI.) 



That does defeat one of the selling points of it being cloud based. "here we have an online tool. Access your character anywhere!*

(*well 20 of them, the rest you'll have to store yourself when we finally get the export facility working)"



I agree, and absolutely hope that they just do away with the limit eventually (once they get a better estimate of heavy users vs. light users?). But, I'm struggling to think of a case where I'd be on the road and need 21 characters.
That is to say that Wizard's sky is not much CLOUDY !!! Laughing

Yo Wizzy, what we want is a big fat Cumulonimbus Cloud ! 20 ??  Please put another 0 at least.

I agree, and absolutely hope that they just do away with the limit eventually (once they get a better estimate of heavy users vs. light users?). But, I'm struggling to think of a case where I'd be on the road and need 21 characters.


But since you also can't export the characters yet it's not a time when you'd need 21 characters at once, but if you'd ever want 21 characters ever total.
This type of statement is what makes me think they are shooting for a graphically intensive character builder.  Not unlike an MMO, where you can choose not just the feats and class, but also what your character looks like in 3D.  Think about something like the City of Heroes character creation, and it makes a lot more sense if we are talking about 20 characters.

Or...they could just be completely arbitrary.

I agree, and absolutely hope that they just do away with the limit eventually (once they get a better estimate of heavy users vs. light users?). But, I'm struggling to think of a case where I'd be on the road and need 21 characters.


But since you also can't export the characters yet it's not a time when you'd need 21 characters at once, but if you'd ever want 21 characters ever total.



Yeah, for now it's 21 characters total. But, I believe them when they say export is coming soon.
I think this is a great time to cancel my subscription.
What does it say when your first post is a cancelation notice after 2 years?

Just waiting on my confirmation email folks.

Here is analogy maybe Hasbro can understand

Every little girl in america can only have 1 Barbie 10 dresses and a barbie car (But no ken).
You have to give all the rest back and you can pay for it Forever or we take your barbie away.

(Sry for the Nerd Rage I am off to other things with my free time)
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Yeah, for now it's 21 characters total. But, I believe them when they say export is coming soon.



I don't think anyone has said it is coming soon - just that it is a high priority. (besides - soon is a dirty word around here)
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