Hand Us the Reins

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Give us an API so we, the community, can develop our own software which requires a valid DDI subscription and login.  At this point, this is all I want anymore.

To me, this will be worth the DDI subscription price.  The community can handle the rest.

Celebrate our differences.

Give us an API so we, the community, can develop our own software which requires a valid DDI subscription and login.  At this point, this is all I want anymore.

To me, this will be worth the DDI subscription price.  The community can handle the rest.



Oh, hell yes.
I don't even care if it looks nice, as long as it works.

Let us make it work, than we can work on making it shiny.
Never going to happen.








But yes please.
Never going to happen.


But yes please.


Quote for truth.  On both counts.  Sadly.
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.
I have way less faith in what the public would come up with then WoTC.

Seriously. Being able to make something that works is one thing.

Being able to make something that works, and is worth buying is completely different. Take Masterplan.

It works. But even the guy that makes it admits, it's not a product for selling, since it's not perfect. It's not fancy, it's not at all intutive or easy to use, or to understand.

I've yet to see anything on these boards put out by anyone that resemebles a cost worthy product.

Let us make it work, than we can work on making it shiny.



I weep for any graphic artist that would get roped into do this. As it would have to be for free.
Give us an API so we, the community, can develop our own software which requires a valid DDI subscription and login.  At this point, this is all I want anymore.

To me, this will be worth the DDI subscription price.  The community can handle the rest.



This just gave me an evilgasm.  I love this idea.  Too bad it will never ever happen.
WotC should, in theory, be able to deliver a product with a higher degree of polish and better design than what a bunch of hobbyists could put together. The original character builder, when it was at its peak, is a pretty good example.

That being said, I have no doubt that from a pure funcitonality standpoint, the community could do a great job. Masterplan is the obvious example - it's not a polished product, or a pretty one. There are interface issues, it's not intuitive, and some of the funcitonality is obfuscated by the layout and so forth. But damn, it *works* and it works great. Give that product access to some api hooks to import content from the compendium (again), give the interface a makeover by someone who really knows something about UI design, and you'd really be on the way to something special.
The Online CB isn't perfect, that's for sure, but same for the offline one.

You would have to be able to deliver a CB that was better then both.

You honestly think a bunch of people doing it for free on their own can do that? Because after all, you are asking people to spend money on it.

It would have to have everything it's missing that people have complained about. It can't have any mistakes, or at least, none that people have pointed out. It can have a single miss spelled word. It has to have graphics equal to what there is now.

Can you PROMISE me that? Oh, and since I've been waiting for this, I would like it ASAP. I can be resonable, and give you what, 3-5 months to achieve this?
I most certainly could not deliver something like the Old CB, or even the new one. But that's okay, because if there was an API like Jharii proposed, I'd just be writing tools for myself. That would be exciting.

Got no interest in writing the Great American Character Builder. Just something that does neat tricks with, say, MapTool.
I have way less faith in what the public would come up with then WoTC.

We all already know that about you and you obviously have not experienced what can be done via community projects.  Go visit nwvault.ign.com or civfanatics.com for some high quality community production value.

Celebrate our differences.

I most certainly could not deliver something like the Old CB, or even the new one. But that's okay, because if there was an API like Jharii proposed, I'd just be writing tools for myself. That would be exciting.

Got no interest in writing the Great American Character Builder. Just something that does neat tricks with, say, MapTool.



I agree.  I work with API's a whole lot with my job.  Having the ability to use an API doesn't mean I'll create something that I will sell.  Hell, I may give it away for free as open source and let others develop on it as well.  Hobbyists aren't the only ones that play D&D.

And for the record, Firefox started as an open source project.  And we all know how that turned out.

www.mozilla.org/
But that's okay, because if there was an API like Jharii proposed, I'd just be writing tools for myself. That would be exciting.

Ah, someone that actually does not limit their thoughts to a very restrictive mindset.  You get the concept quite nicely and have presented one of infinite possibilities. 

Celebrate our differences.

So basically you want open access to all their data, without having to go through their system.

Uh...I see a problem with that.
I have way less faith in what the public would come up with then WoTC.



Man, you need to check out some of the stuff out there. I am constantly amazed by some of the quality bits of software created by folks in their spare time, and use at least two of them regularly both in planning and during my games. Cool

Of course, I am willing to accept that what we both find useful and awesome may be completely different.

And I have to entirely second what Jharii said about nwvault.ign.com. Some of that stuff is amazing.

(My campaigns log blog) http://sefotron.blogspot.com/ I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
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So basically you want open access to all their data, without having to go through their system.

Uh...I see a problem with that.

You don't unsterdand how an API works, I imagine.  It would require a login in order to make use of a subset of commands that is provided to us.

And FYI, the Compendium does something similar already, just far more clunky.

Celebrate our differences.

So basically you want open access to all their data, without having to go through their system.

Uh...I see a problem with that.


No I don't think you understand what an API is.  Essentially for the price of admission (a DDI subscription fee), I can build an application that allows me to request information from them.  For this information I have to supply my DDI account username and password to the software (there are multiple ways to do this securely) and their servers will provide the requested data. 

Using their API tools, I can make my own version of a character builder that will be supporting their DDI subscription fees.  It might even be beneficial to them as well.

So yes, I will be getting open access to all their data (which I have on paper anyway in all the books I purchase), and I will absolutely need to go through their system to do it, and pay my subscription fee.
And I have to entirely second what Jharii said about nwvault.ign.com. Some of that stuff is amazing.

It is.  They wrote complete database integration so persistent worlds could be supported, not to mention full blown sophisticated AI's that learned (memetic AI kit) and mimicked community behavior.  Revolutionary stuff, to be sure.

Dude that wrote the memetic AI kit (William Bull) got snatched up by Apple, he was so damn talented.

Celebrate our differences.

So basically you want open access to all their data, without having to go through their system.

Uh...I see a problem with that.


No I don't think you understand what an API is.  Essentially for the price of admission (a DDI subscription fee), I can build an application that allows me to request information from them.  For this information I have to supply my DDI account username and password to the software (there are multiple ways to do this securely) and their servers will provide the requested data. 

Using their API tools, I can make my own version of a character builder that will be supporting their DDI subscription fees.  It might even be beneficial to them as well.

So yes, I will be getting open access to all their data (which I have on paper anyway in all the books I purchase), and I will absolutely need to go through their system to do it, and pay my subscription fee.



I think you don't see how this puts their IP at risk.
They might make and license such an API to a few select companies, if the demand was there.

However, a release of an API of any kind to the entire DDi membership seems very unlikely at best.
I think you don't see how this puts their IP at risk.

If you understood how API's work through secure login, you wouldn't say such things.

You said your peace, now let us get back on track.

Celebrate our differences.

So basically you want open access to all their data, without having to go through their system.

Uh...I see a problem with that.

You don't unsterdand how an API works, I imagine.  It would require a login in order to make use of a subset of commands that is provided to us.

And FYI, the Compendium does something similar already, just far more clunky.



And they have stopped people from doing just that, unless they buy a LICENSE for the permission to do that. Like Masterplan.

How much do you think a license for that costs? Which comes with the responsiblity that what you develop doesn't put their IP at any risk to being easily pirated?

And of course, none of these tools would EVER be sold or given for free or hacked or used to scam.

Oh no.
So basically you want open access to all their data, without having to go through their system.

Uh...I see a problem with that.


No I don't think you understand what an API is.  Essentially for the price of admission (a DDI subscription fee), I can build an application that allows me to request information from them.  For this information I have to supply my DDI account username and password to the software (there are multiple ways to do this securely) and their servers will provide the requested data. 

Using their API tools, I can make my own version of a character builder that will be supporting their DDI subscription fees.  It might even be beneficial to them as well.

So yes, I will be getting open access to all their data (which I have on paper anyway in all the books I purchase), and I will absolutely need to go through their system to do it, and pay my subscription fee.



I think you don't see how this puts their IP at risk.



What?!!  Really?  How does this put their IP at any more risk than the Compendium or their old and current CB?  This provides no more or less risk than any of the other half assed ventures they've attempted and failed at miserably.  About the only value I have in my DDI subscription right now is the articles to their Dragon and Dungeon magazines (which also puts their IP at risk through downloadable content).  When your business is in providing your IP to the public, you risk putting that in jeopardy every day.

Providing an API for us to build our own tools that will REQUIRE a DDI subscription will actually do more to BENEFIT their IP than anything else they've attempted to do.

And they have stopped people from doing just that, unless they buy a LICENSE for the permission to do that. Like Masterplan.

How much do you think a license for that costs? Which comes with the responsiblity that what you develop doesn't put their IP at any risk to being easily pirated?

And of course, none of these tools would EVER be sold or given for free or hacked or used to scam.

Oh no.

Masterplan and Hero Labs take advantage of a hole in the current compendium system. 

An API is designed specifically for this functionality.  It is done all the time, securely. 

Please do not confuse the two.


Celebrate our differences.

Give us an API so we, the community, can develop our own software which requires a valid DDI subscription and login.  At this point, this is all I want anymore.

To me, this will be worth the DDI subscription price.  The community can handle the rest.




While I think the new character builder will be fine soon enough and that third party software will be supported.  There is nothing wrong with giving us, the consumer, more options.

So, I agree with the OP.


EDIT: pre coffee fixes.
. Now<--------------Very Soon--------Soon--------------->End of Time

And they have stopped people from doing just that, unless they buy a LICENSE for the permission to do that. Like Masterplan.

How much do you think a license for that costs? Which comes with the responsiblity that what you develop doesn't put their IP at any risk to being easily pirated?

And of course, none of these tools would EVER be sold or given for free or hacked or used to scam.

Oh no.

Masterplan and Hero Labs take advantage of a hole in the current compendium system. 

An API is designed specifically for this functionality.  It is done all the time, securely. 

Please do not confuse the two.



Masterplan didn't have the license to do so. Hero Lab does. Big difference.



Masterplan didn't have the license to do so. Hero Lab does. Big difference.


Hero Labs does NOT.  Rob from Lone Wolf has has even admitted that he doesn't, in these very forums, from my direct questioning of him.

You can find all of that here, as well as on the Lone Wolf site.

Celebrate our differences.


Masterplan didn't have the license to do so. Hero Lab does. Big difference.


Hero Labs does NOT.  Rob from Lone Wolf has has even admitted that he doesn't, in these very forums, from my direct questioning of him.


It's really not worth arguing with him about API's and how they work.  Just let it go.


Do I even really need to say why I am stepping in here??
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere

Do I even really need to say why I am stepping in here??

Not at all. Thank you. 

Celebrate our differences.

I've altered ot removed content from this thread because Biaitng and flaming are  Code of Conduct violations.  You can review the Code of Conduct here: wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg...
Please keep your posts polite, respectful, and on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.
Take a deep breath guys. Smile

For their own sake Wizards very much should provide a public API in some fashion, but whether they will end up doing so is another question. Emails from them have expressed a desire to do so, but made no promises due to the management issues we all know about. Even in the last podcast it was referenced and mentioned that agreements should be made with third-party devs. So yes it's possible, and yes its safe, and yes some people on both sides would like to see it happen. We'll just wait to see what happens, that's all.
What?!!  Really?  How does this put their IP at any more risk than the Compendium or their old and current CB?  This provides no more or less risk than any of the other half assed ventures they've attempted and failed at miserably.

You forgot the books.  True, they would require more effort to put the IP into a format for exploitation, but they are certainly not immune.
======= Balesir
What?!!  Really?  How does this put their IP at any more risk than the Compendium or their old and current CB?  This provides no more or less risk than any of the other half assed ventures they've attempted and failed at miserably.

You forgot the books.  True, they would require more effort to put the IP into a format for exploitation, but they are certainly not immune.


One of my former players came to one of my games with almost the entire library on pdf format that he had gotten from one torrent site or another.  Not really sure which one.  He's not allowed in my campaigns anymore because I don't support piracy.  I didn't forget them, I just didn't want to give them dignity

I really think that DDI's direction should switch to maintaining the community, not the utilities.  Their duties would include:

- Maintaining the official database.
- Maintain an official standard for content (i.e. Monsters are formatted this way, Skill Challenges are formatted this way, Characters are formatted this way, etc.)
- Maintaining the API to communicate with the database, securely.
- Provide us a mechanism to display and share our own creations with the community.

Anything after this that they may want to provide (Character Builder, Monster Creator, etc.), fantastic.  This is just additional value of the service.

Those four items, however, would be invaluable and providing them would see this community blossom and thrive in so many ways.

Celebrate our differences.


I really think that DDI's direction should switch to maintaining the community, not the utilities.  Their duties would include:

- Maintaining the official database.
- Maintain an official standard for content (i.e. Monsters are formatted this way, Skill Challenges are formatted this way, Characters are formatted this way, etc.)
- Maintaining the API to communicate with the database, securely.
- Provide us a mechanism to display and share our own creations with the community.

Anything after this that they may want to provide (Character Builder, Monster Creator, etc.), fantastic.  This is just additional value of the service.

Those four items, however, would be invaluable and providing them would see this community blossom and thrive in so many ways.



Agreed.

I really think that DDI's direction should switch to maintaining the community, not the utilities.  Their duties would include:

- Maintaining the official database.
- Maintain an official standard for content (i.e. Monsters are formatted this way, Skill Challenges are formatted this way, Characters are formatted this way, etc.)
- Maintaining the API to communicate with the database, securely.
- Provide us a mechanism to display and share our own creations with the community.

Anything after this that they may want to provide (Character Builder, Monster Creator, etc.), fantastic.  This is just additional value of the service.

Those four items, however, would be invaluable and providing them would see this community blossom and thrive in so many ways.




I would support this.

. Now<--------------Very Soon--------Soon--------------->End of Time
So basically you want open access to all their data, without having to go through their system.

Uh...I see a problem with that.


No I don't think you understand what an API is.  Essentially for the price of admission (a DDI subscription fee), I can build an application that allows me to request information from them.  For this information I have to supply my DDI account username and password to the software (there are multiple ways to do this securely) and their servers will provide the requested data. 

Using their API tools, I can make my own version of a character builder that will be supporting their DDI subscription fees.  It might even be beneficial to them as well.

So yes, I will be getting open access to all their data (which I have on paper anyway in all the books I purchase), and I will absolutely need to go through their system to do it, and pay my subscription fee.



I think you don't see how this puts their IP at risk.


Oh yes, I see.  That's why blizzard doesn't give access to their data... oh wait.  They do.  Ok, that's why LOTRO doesn't give access to their data... oh wait.  They do.  You can give access to data through an API without putting your IP at risk.  And if they don't know how to do that, then they need to hire new lawyers.  Seriously.  (And yes, I know that those two are MMOs.  But the same rules apply to the situation, even if the product is a bit different, since you're talking about IPs)
actually, you can pirate their whole ip in under an hour. just go to any torrent site, enter dungeons & Dragons, hit "download torrent".

but that's really not the point. but i highly doubt wotc gets the point, either.

API is the way to go. google, yahoo, ebay, amazon - they all have them. and are not at all afraid of piracy against their data. If you want to pirate, you can. takes about 1-5 minutes to find it for pretty much every need.
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.
actually, you can pirate their whole ip in under an hour. just go to any torrent site, enter dungeons & Dragons, hit "download torrent".

but that's really not the point. but i highly doubt wotc gets the point, either.

API is the way to go. google, yahoo, ebay, amazon - they all have them. and are not at all afraid of piracy against their data. If you want to pirate, you can. takes about 1-5 minutes to find it for pretty much every need.



As an even handed response, he wasn't referring to pirating the IP; he was referring to diluting the IP so much that you can't defend it.
As an even handed response, he wasn't referring to pirating the IP; he was referring to diluting the IP so much that you can't defend it.



well, just tell me: how would an API with fixed Terms of Use Concerning the IP dilute the rights or the possibilities to enforce those rights?

If you grant a license to use all that stuff online, when collected from their servers, but not offline or save it off, you retain every right there is.
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.
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