Dragon and Dungeon Compilations

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Hey all. As you may have noticed by now (check out Bill's Ampersand article),The Dragon/Dungeon compilations we did at the end of Decmeber will be our last. I’m here to give you a little bit more information about the change.

So why did we decide to do this? It takes a lot of time to compile and reformat the articles for the end of month rollups and, unfortunately, the amount of downloads we’ve been seeing hasn’t been enough to justify the time it takes to put them together. By cutting that out of the equation, we free up more time to focus on other aspects of the D&D website. We’re not cutting back on content, we’re just eliminating an option that goes largely unused.

What does this mean for article updates? We will continue providing rules updates. However, rather than make the compilations the place where folks get errata, we’re going to update the individual articles whenever errata is called for. The goal is to eliminate confusion. We will no longer have two different versions of an article on our site — the compiled version with errata and the uncompiled version without errata. If an article needs errata, we’ll update the article and let folks know.

That’s about all I’ve got on those compilations – if you have any other questions just drop them in here and I’ll do my best to answer what I can.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Disappointed - I suspect you all would have seen an uptick in the downloads of the PDF's, as tablets like the iPad are becoming good at treating PDF's like books. For example, I download the compilations and read the PDF's on my iPad using GoodReader or iBooks - and it looks fantastic! I hope you all revisit this again in the future. Having to use a web browser to consume the articles is going to be a step down in value that I get as a subscriber.

One other idea would be to publish the compilations in an epub format and make it available to subscribers.

thanks

-Scott
Ugh. Getting copies of the magazines in complete form was one of my favorite ways of reading the magazine. I absolutely hate logging on to download individual articles.

I guess I can compile my own magazines, taking the articles each month and just using Acrobat to bind them together? Meh. I thoughts that what we were paying you guys for. If I wanted to write my own magazine, I would just do it. If you guys don't think you're getting payed enough to compile a magazien into an actual magazine, well, charge more.

Having a library of magazines on my computer or on my bookshelf was one of my favorite things. You have no idea how much I flip through those PDFs once I have them downloaded; I'm constantly designing D&D adventures or looking for inspiration, so rather than log on and reread the individual articles, I open the actual magazine PDFs. I don't read the compilations every day, but I do read the compilations every day that I'm designing adventures.

Maybe I'm unusual. But I think that if I had a subscription? The amount of time I would spend reading and enjoying Dragon and Dungeon just took an extremely rapid plummet.

Of course, I'm not an insider right now, and don't intend on being so until the magazine/CB quality goes up + I get some money... but since this represents a sudden drop in the quality of the magazine (in that, it's no longer a magazine...) I guess that's just a little later i'll be waiting for the CB to gain some quality? One day, when it meets the offline builder I still have installed on my computer, I'll consider it.

* * * *

All in all, I think it was a poor decision. Perhaps it saves Wizards some time at the end of each month, but honestly? I think it's a lazy decision, and it will negatively impact my decision when and if to resubscribe. The magazine was something I was paying good money for (until recently), and I'm disappointed that Wizards no longer sees it prudent to actually give me my happy little compilations at the end of each month. A better decision would have been to raise the price of D&DI so that you can afford the time each month to do your compilations.

Maybe it's just me? But meh, that's my vote, and since I'm not a subscriber, it has twice the value since unlike constant subscribers, I'm actually going to vote with my wallet.
...that's my vote, and since I'm not a subscriber, it has twice the value since unlike constant subscribers, I'm actually going to vote with my wallet.



...and this is where you lost all credability in your statements.
Matt James Freelance Game Designer Loremaster.org

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...that's my vote, and since I'm not a subscriber, it has twice the value since unlike constant subscribers, I'm actually going to vote with my wallet.



...and this is where you lost all credability in your statements.



Really? That doesn't make any sense.

You've already bought a subscription. Wizards could literally just stop putting out product, not give you a refund, and they would make exactly the same amount of money from you as if they kept up the good work.

Me? I haven't payed them yet. I'm eager to, I want to, I just don't have the money right now to. Between you and me, Wizards is more actively seeking my yet-to-be-payed subscription than your already-paid subscription.

My intentions were to pay them as soon as I had the money in the bank. Now I'm going to wait longer, possibly until next summer or even next fall. That's money they have lost as a result of this decision.

That's what speaking with your wallet means. It doesn't mean "I already paid, therefore my opinion matters!" no. The opposite is true. As most video game companies could tell you, once you pay? They don't care about your opinion at all. It's the people who have yet to pay but might who matter. 
I'm a bit disappointed as well. Though I can see the logic. I certainly haven't been downloading the compilations lately (I will now before they get taken down, I guess).
Here's an idea: since Wizards doesn't want to compile mags anymore, someone should start a Wizards community group (for insiders only!), and each month someone compiles the magazine themselves and distributes it amongst the group.

Not strictly legal since, even if it's redistributing to people who own the content, it's still redistributing... except, like, that's a product that I was (hypothetically) paying for, so, I'm going to get it one way or another...

Wizards might not believe I was paying for them to compile the magazines, but I certainly considered that part of the money dropped each month over the last two years, and had I been a subscriber this year I would consider it part of the money I dropped this year.

At least they should lower the price, if they're canceling so many books and decreasing the number of services they're providing... 
I'm a little disapointed by this. I typically downloaded any articles I found interesting during the week, read them, and deleted them. I always downloaded the compilation at the end of the month so I could have something convenient and compact for my digital library. I understand this makes it easier on your end, and it doesn't affect most subscribers(I guess I'm an outlier), but it still seems like it shifts the work over to my end.

I'm more concerned with the apparent lack of articles this week; I understand that there're changes being made on your end and it will take some time to iron the wrinkles out, but no articles for several days in a row and then news that my preffered method for saving articles is gone has made me a little edgy.
I'm a bit disappointed by the fact that compilations will no longer be offered, but I understand it from a logistics/manpower standpoint.  Could we get a small compromise in perhaps offering a zip of all the articles from an "issue" offered at the end of the month?
I'm a little disapointed by this. I typically downloaded any articles I found interesting during the week, read them, and deleted them. I always downloaded the compilation at the end of the month so I could have something convenient and compact for my digital library. I understand this makes it easier on your end, and it doesn't affect most subscribers(I guess I'm an outlier), but it still seems like it shifts the work over to my end.

I'm more concerned with the apparent lack of articles this week; I understand that there're changes being made on your end and it will take some time to iron the wrinkles out, but no articles for several days in a row and then news that my preffered method for saving articles is gone has made me a little edgy.



Heh, you have 1 post... at least this is making insiders register on the forums XD But yeah, I agree: It's making me a LOT more edgy about subscribing or even assuring people on the forums/real life that D&DI is a good investment... much less assuring myself it's a good investment... "Edgy" is a good word for my attitude about Wizard's decision-making ability as of late.

You know, I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories weaved by some people on these forums, about D&D ending or Wizards being the devil or anything. But I'd have to agree with them on one thing: Wizards seems Hell-bent on (unintentionally) removing every single thing about D&DI that I liked.

First they came for the Character Builder, making a less functional product... then they came for the Monster Builder, leaving it buggy and broken... then they came for the products, removing ones I was looking forward to... then they came for the magazines, removing one of the features I really liked, the compiled issue I could add proudly to my digital library and Kindle each month.

The only good I've seen Wizards do lately is announce the Virtual Tabletop beta, and publish Essentials (which I think is a fantastic, very nostalgic line of goods; I hope they enhance it with more stuff in the future). Everything else? Well... as I mentioned, even if I had the money to resubscribe, last year at this time I would have immediately done so without a second thought, but this year? ...well, Wizards, you've made me think twice.

Try putting out a press release with good news... heh.

I'm a bit disappointed by the fact that compilations will no longer be offered, but I understand it from a logistics/manpower standpoint.  Could we get a small compromise in perhaps offering a zip of all the articles from an "issue" offered at the end of the month?




This wouldn't be a bad compromise.  Actually, what I'd much rather prefer? They just do the compilations quick-and-dirty. Offer it on an obscure sub-link, not the main page (because that'd bad PR), but let me simply click a button and it downloads a PDF with the articles slapped together. No page numbers, table of contents, or smooth transitions necessary--basically, this takes 10 minutes to do (I could do it at home! just download articles, hit 'import multiple files' in Acrobat, and bam, cheap compilation), and would be infinitely superior to not having an option (1 Option / 0 Options = div 0 error, so the limit as x->0 is infinite. Infinitely superior =P)
I'm very suprised that the numbers pointed to no one downloading the monthly compilation. A large portion of the forum community considers the individual articles the "beta release" of new content, and the compilation being the definitive product. I know I, for one, only briefly look through the individual articles when they're released, and spend a lot of time reading the compilation when it comes out.

It doesn't help that the articles aren't actually on the website. In order to read a month's worth of Dragon, I'll have to download 10-14 PDFs, then redownload them later when they're fixed. That's almost too much to bother with. Perhaps a zip file containing all of the articles? That wouldn't be too much to ask, would it?

Now, if there were some kind of iPad app that allowed me to read the articles as they came out, I would be more than happy with this setup, but as it is, this is just another thing added to the growing pile of reasons I would consider not renewing my DDI subscription when it comes due in a few months.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
If I had to guess, I would say that many people were reading the articles as they were released and then relying on the CB or the Compendium to give them the "official" versions of the rules elements. After all, the non rules stuff doesn't get erratad.
I'm thinking their stats are correct, but they made the wrong assumptions with the data.  For example, during a typical month I will look at ~60-75% of the articles as they come out to see if it's worth reading,  delete the article, then at the end of the month I'll download the complete PDF to read on my iPad or something...  So as I count it, my account downloaded 10 single articles vs 1 compiled PDF which supports their statement, but failed to correctly interpret the data.

I say we just go back to no articles and just deliver the PDF at the end/start of the next month like the magazines used to be...
I'm thinking their stats are correct, but they made the wrong assumptions with the data.  For example, during a typical month I will look at ~60-75% of the articles as they come out to see if it's worth reading,  delete the article, then at the end of the month I'll download the complete PDF to read on my iPad or something...  So as I count it, my account downloaded 10 single articles vs 1 compiled PDF which supports their statement, but failed to correctly interpret the data.

I say we just go back to no articles and just deliver the PDF at the end/start of the next month like the magazines used to be...



Exactly.
For the record: I never ever download the compiled issue, and rely simply on RSS to tell me when new articles are available, only reading/downloading the ones of particular interest to me. So, meh, I'm a special snowflake.
I'm thinking their stats are correct, but they made the wrong assumptions with the data.  For example, during a typical month I will look at ~60-75% of the articles as they come out to see if it's worth reading,  delete the article, then at the end of the month I'll download the complete PDF to read on my iPad or something...  So as I count it, my account downloaded 10 single articles vs 1 compiled PDF which supports their statement, but failed to correctly interpret the data.

I say we just go back to no articles and just deliver the PDF at the end/start of the next month like the magazines used to be...



That wouldn't be a bad change.

And yeah. When I had a subscription? I would download articles 3, 4, or 5 times during a month each. NOT because I found it particularly useful or convenient; quite the opposite. I would lose track of which ones I had seen, redownload them because I don't archive individual non-errata'd articles, and so on. I can look at my Google Chrome 'Downloads' directory and see things like "Assassins.pdf" "Assassins(1).pdf" "Assasins(2).pdf" "Assasins(3).pdf" or stuff like it. Again, not because I really, really liked downloading the article, but because I would lose track of it because of how inconvenient individual articles are

And then at the end of the month I'd download a single compilation, archive it, and never have to download individual articles ever again. 

So for me? I'd really just rather prefer Wizards do as you mentioned: one compilation, end of month, I don't need daily articles. I'd willingly sacrifice daily articles for a single, cohesive compilation at the end of the month... 
I'm thinking their stats are correct, but they made the wrong assumptions with the data.  For example, during a typical month I will look at ~60-75% of the articles as they come out to see if it's worth reading,  delete the article, then at the end of the month I'll download the complete PDF to read on my iPad or something...  So as I count it, my account downloaded 10 single articles vs 1 compiled PDF which supports their statement, but failed to correctly interpret the data.

I say we just go back to no articles and just deliver the PDF at the end/start of the next month like the magazines used to be...



Exactly.




Add me to one of these.  I sometimes look at individual articles, but always download the compiled issues - sometimes months after release.  :-(

I haven't checked, but are the separate articles security free so that we can at least stitch together our own mag from the files?  If not... 
I am incredibly dissapointed at this announcement.  The compilations are currently the sole reason for me to subscribe.  As a user for who the current online tools offer no worthwhile investment, I'm at a loss for why I should bother to subscribe at all.  As someone who chooses to subscribe only once or twice per year, I have to wonder if this decision will encourage other "dippers" to discontinue subscribing in the future.  Perhaps when the Virtual Table is released for general use DDI will once more be an option for me to consider, but this announcement wipes away all of my current interest.  I feel like the bartender just stared me down and proclaimed "We don't serve your kind here."
"Man is made God's plaything, and that is the best part of him. Therefore every man and woman should live life accordingly, and play the noblest games... Life must be lived as play, playing certain games, making sacrifices, singing and dancing..." Plato, The Laws.

Very disappointed by this news. You take away the paper copies of our favourite magazines and now even dispense with compilations too! Sad day indeed. I for one, read the articles as posted.. and then download the compiled pdf. And it is this compiled version that sits on my pc and I refer too, not the individual articles. Re think this decision oh mighty Wizards.

I am very disappointed by the announcement. I expected not everyone was downloading them, but thought a fair number of subscribers did.  I have every single Dungeon and Dragon Magazines in compiled form in my computer. December being the last one really sads me.

WoTC will save ca$h on the art cover by not having to commission artwork anymore, at least for the cover. But how much time it really takes to gather 9-10 PDF files and put it into a single PDF file ? Less than an hour  ? is it really worth it ?

These magazines have run for a few decades. Going digital was already a hard blow. Killing them will be the final coup de grace. Please don't. Just come back on your decision.

Please continue Dungeon & Dragon Magazine compilations. Or you will loose more DDi subscribers than you were before. Thus loose more revenue than what it really cost to commission an Art cover and compile a dozen PDF files, by a single employee at the Studio.


Plague

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

A bit more information on the changes to the product line-up can be found in the following WotC Knowledge Base Article:

wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg...
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
If WoTC can't justify the expense of compiling the articles I would like to see them give Paizo back the job.
So why did we decide to do this? It takes a lot of time to compile and reformat the articles for the end of month rollups and, unfortunately, the amount of downloads we’ve been seeing hasn’t been enough to justify the time it takes to put them together. By cutting that out of the equation, we free up more time to focus on other aspects of the D&D website. We’re not cutting back on content, we’re just eliminating an option that goes largely unused.



This is a terrible decision.  Your right, content doesn't change but your taking away a level of service that you previously provided. 

This whole move throws reason to the wind.  Your not going to take the time to compile the ARTICLES for a MAGAZINE into a single ISSUE because it takes too much time?  Then what am I paying you for?  The last I checked I was subscribing to Dungeon and Dragon Magazines.  (E-zines, whatever.)  But now your telling me that I will have to download each article and somehow piece them together myself?  That would make me some kind of editor...right? 

$75 a year for a second-rate Character Builder product and two piecemeal digitial magazines?

Are you kidding?

 



I feel that the wrong conclusion is being drawn regarding the number of downloads for an individual article versus the number for the compiled issue of Dragon or Dungeon. I tend to download an individual article and open it immediately for viewing rather than saving it somewhere and then opening it. I do this because I know that the final version of the article will be coming out at the end of the month, so I don't need to clutter up my hard drive with product which is likely going to change before the "final" version.


As a result, if I want to look at that article multiple times during the month (maybe because I'm discussing it on the forums, or with friends at LFR), I download it again and open it for viewing. While it looks like I'm making more use out of the individual article by the downloads, I actually get much more out of the compiled issue.


I'm also concerned that the updates to individual articles will fall by the wayside with the new process. When there's no deadline for errata, there's less pressure to get that errata done in a timely fashion. The wording in Ampersand (updates will be made "a few weeks after the original posting") doesn't fill me with confidence. It's also going to require communicating the existence of those changes in a piecemeal fashion. Before, we knew to look for those changes at the end of the month.

If WoTC can't justify the expense of compiling the articles I would like to see them give Paizo back the job.



I can say, the act of compiling the PDFs into one file, isn't that hard or time consuming, at best, 5 minutes, worth of work for any one person.

How much work to get that up on the website, I can't say. But in my job, I've had to take many PDFs, and combine them into one file, and it's so easy. There is a combine PDFs option in Acrobat, which once you have all your files selected, you can make sure they are in the order you want them to combine, and click ok.

So I'm not sure why they feel not taking all the articles for that month, and combining them into one file can't happen.
If WoTC can't justify the expense of compiling the articles I would like to see them give Paizo back the job.



I can say, the act of compiling the PDFs into one file, isn't that hard or time consuming, at best, 5 minutes, worth of work for any one person.

How much work to get that up on the website, I can't say. But in my job, I've had to take many PDFs, and combine them into one file, and it's so easy. There is a combine PDFs option in Acrobat, which once you have all your files selected, you can make sure they are in the order you want them to combine, and click ok.

So I'm not sure why they feel not taking all the articles for that month, and combining them into one file can't happen.



Page numbers? Table of contents? Cover art? Transitions that don't include blank pages? Honestly, none of these really seem that time consuming either... I mean, the articles themselves don't include blank sections at the bottom, so the transitions aren't a big deal, page numbers are automatically inserted if you set it up right, and table of contents might be really easy or really hard, depending.

Also, disappointing, in another thread we were discussing how Wizards should be cut some slack on their obfuscation of the calendar because normal magazine companies don't show off their schedule to thousands of customers breathing down their neck... and, er, now Wizards has declared it's no longer a magazine publisher.

So there goes that argument. 

* * * * 

As a side thought.

Wizards, you know how you go through extensive effort hyperlinking the table of contents, and inserting URL links in your PDFs and all that jazz? .. .. .. If you find it too time-consuming to put out PDFs each month, maybe you should stop doing all of that useless stuff that nobody ever uses. Seriously. Table of contents: "This article is on page 5. Either type '5' onto the bottom of your PDF viewer, scroll down five pages, or click this dandy hyperlink we set up! Also, you could have just ignored the table of contents altogether, and just scrolled down until you saw pictures that looked like what you wanted."

We don't need them bookmarked either. Dunno if you still do that...

There seems to be a dial of effort, from 0 (None) to 11 (Super-interactive-awesomeness!), and Wizards was like "Wow, 11 is really high... time to turn it all the way to 0!"
Addendum: Though they have said they intend on adding errata to their articles 'some weeks later' on an individual basis (which makes me very nervous since already the quality of the errata was really, really low, and now they don't have a fixed schedule for it to force them to actually do the errata). This might mean that a significant amount of time was spent just before publication combing each article/the forums/QA/whatever to fix the articles up as much as possible in the very short amount of time between finishing the articles and release.

That's the biggest time-consumer I can think of however.  WOTC, feel free to chime in and tell us what was so time-consuming about compiling your PDFs that you had to abort the production of a 25-year-old magazine.

If that were the case, it's okay WotC: you don't have to give us errata the day of publication! Here, we can compromise: release compiled PDFs, no errata, and you have exactly one month to go over the previous month's magazine for errata. That gives you four weeks, instead of like 24 hours. We get our PDFs, you get your errata, everyone wins! Everyone!

...sounds like a better plan to me. And I'm not even getting paid for my plans. 
I'll add my voice to those who want the decision for compilations rethought. I have all the compilations of the 4E issues of Dragon, and 4E brought be back to playing after a dozen-year hiatus.

As for the products dropped from the schedule: the place for the answer that's in the FAQ mudbunny pointed us to is in the Ampersand article. Along with more specifics -- "I know I gave you a preview of the Class Compendium. We've dropped it from the schedule because X. You will instead get the information therein from Y."

You've already given us a tiles preview earlier this week (or was it last?).  A more complete explanation of the catalog changes would have been appreciated, especially for those of us for whom attending DDXP at the end of the month isn't an option.
If WoTC can't justify the expense of compiling the articles I would like to see them give Paizo back the job.



I can say, the act of compiling the PDFs into one file, isn't that hard or time consuming, at best, 5 minutes, worth of work for any one person.

How much work to get that up on the website, I can't say. But in my job, I've had to take many PDFs, and combine them into one file, and it's so easy. There is a combine PDFs option in Acrobat, which once you have all your files selected, you can make sure they are in the order you want them to combine, and click ok.

So I'm not sure why they feel not taking all the articles for that month, and combining them into one file can't happen.



This. If by trying to save work they are talking about just the effort to combine the PDFs, ... then there must a be lot of work that I don't get.

But, if they are trying to save the work of -correcting- and -editing- the content once it is out in the article form so that it isn't completely overpowered or broken or just plain ... bad, then yeah, I guess they could save some effort there. Or they could do it right the first time.

I suspect that this is solely to save themselves their content being re-distributed. And that's all well and good for them. But what that means is that once more we are not getting the straight story from WotC. Which would make me unable to believe any further words out of the machine.
I'm also disappointed that the compilations will no longer be available.  I appreciate the fact that I could load the entire PDF onto my IPad and then read it like I would a regular magazine.

I'm lucky though.  I have access to Adobe Acrobat so I will be able to create my own compilations.  I just wish I didn't have to.

I also wish to echo the sentiments of one of the other posters - I worry that they are misinterpreting their statistics.  I subscribe to the RSS feeds, and I usually view the articles as they become available.  I scan them to see if they are of immediate interest or of timely content (like ampersand).  If so, then I read them. If not, then I wait and read it later as part of the compilation.  My reading pattern means that I end up downloading both the article *and* the compilation PDF.   This means that the article download counts will always be higher than the compilation download counts.

It would be nice if someone posted the ratio of downloads of a single article vs. downloads of the compiled PDF that contains that article, just so that I could understand how big a gap there is.

One last note.  It seems to me that it wouldn't be hard to automate the compiling of the PDF, especially using Acrobat X's new "Actions" facility.  Surely it would be worth it for Wizards to automate the compilation and upload it for the customers who want the compilation but do not have access to Acrobat.

Rob 
If WoTC can't justify the expense of compiling the articles I would like to see them give Paizo back the job.



I can say, the act of compiling the PDFs into one file, isn't that hard or time consuming, at best, 5 minutes, worth of work for any one person.

How much work to get that up on the website, I can't say. But in my job, I've had to take many PDFs, and combine them into one file, and it's so easy. There is a combine PDFs option in Acrobat, which once you have all your files selected, you can make sure they are in the order you want them to combine, and click ok.

So I'm not sure why they feel not taking all the articles for that month, and combining them into one file can't happen.



It's frustating to see the answers they made up and then read you Dane. 

Not because not all their Paying customers don't consume or use a service they pay for means they can take the service away from other Paying customers who use or consume this service.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I'm very disappointed.  First, the print mags were canceled.  Digital formats are okay (they are what they are) but I much prefer print.  If I wanna handle and read a hard copy, I have to print it out myself.  As far as I'm concerned, a loss of service.  But, I learned to live with it, I moved on.

Having the various articles compiled was another service, now that's gone.  If the articles are ever to be compiled, I'll need to do the work.  Then (as always) if I want a hard copy for any reason, I'll need to print things out myself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not above doing this all myself; I've done it before and maybe I'll do it again in the future.  More and more though, I feel like I'm getting less and less service out of my subscription.  Less value, less enjoyment.  

That's how I feel about this.  When it comes time to re-new in April, that's  what I'm gonna remember. Do I really want to spend my hard-earned money on a product that was once print (but is now digital)?  is a product that used to be put together for me (but is now patchwork) really worth it?  Do I want this?  No, not at all.

I'm a huge fan of D&D but I can no longer call myself a fan of Dragon/Dungeon (they lie in ruins now).  More than just disappointing, it makes me sad.  I was a long-time, loyal reader of the magazines.

/\ Art

/\ Art
I'm also in the camp of people who, during the month, might download an article several times to read and re-read it, and then at the end of the month download the compilation for my personal archive.

The nebulousness of article updates is a point of concern for me.  What notification mechanism will be used to tell subscribers that an article has been updated?  A robust channel of communication for this needs to be established otherwise I'll have to revisit all of the articles I found most interesting or useful on a regular basis, wasting more of my time than looking for an updated version in the compilation at the end of the month.

This is the latest in a rapid series of degradations in the service quality for DDI, and while there are some promised future improvements (eg the online monster builder and the VTT), those aren't part of the subscription now and can't offset the reduced depth of magazine content and the reduced support for the available digital tools.
Tibis Refugee of many worlds
These magazines are a legacy to the game, spanning decades. It was a huge disservice to take them out of print and offer digital only (which increased the ease of piracy), and now to dissolve the magazines altogether into a bunch of articles. I refer to my downloaded (legitimately!!!) magazines on a daily basis. Has WotC forgotten that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts?

I turned off my auto-renew last week because I was really dissatisfied with how the DDI suite has been going since around August of 2010. I should lose my DDI icon sometime this week. After receiving the news about the magazines, I have great satisfaction in knowing that they will not be receiving another cent from me for their "online services." I will continue to peruse their printed material at the bookstore, and will make my purchasing decisions on a case-by-case basis, but they will no longer receive a monthly stipend from me.

Although the magazines weren't 100% of my activity in DDI, I would estimate that they held close to 90% of my interest. I will revise my subscription decision if they do go back to a compilation, or even better, back to print, but not before then. They had it relatively easy with me - maintain the current course. Unfortunately they weren't able to achieve that.

AD&D is powergaming – powergaming for the DM. And back then, DM stood for "Dire Munchkin."

 

I suppose people are entitled to their uninformed opinions; I just don’t see the point when that opinion won’t be respected. Proper research can be the difference in appearing a fool vs. a respectable dissident. 

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/3.jpg)

Okay, this move pisses me off.  I think that the complitations are extremely valuable and getting rid of them is a terrible mistake.  However, rather than bitch and moan I have an alteranative solution:

I'll do the final layout for free.  If you don't have the time to do it, well, I'll take up the torch and do your job for you.  I won't charge you a bloody dime, either.  Because I know for a fact that I could do the job in about 2 hours one evening.

And I'm not just blowing smoke.  I've worked on a good half-dozen ENnine nominated books.  I've done just about every layout job for Paradigm Concepts for about 6-7 years now.  The job isn't hard, it's valuable, and I'm volunteering to do it.

Like most opinions voiced here, I am also disappointed by this.  I usually read Dungeon/Dragon while I'm at work. Since the D&D website is behind the firewall, I download the compiled magazine, and upload it to Google documents so that I can access it.  I would be very much in favor of a zip file, or a way to select a number of files, and have them download in one shot.

The question I have in regards to all of the changes being made is this.  What is Wizards doing with this extra time and resources?  I understand the need to streamline and make the operation more efficient, but while they are doing that, the quality of the product is also declining. 

What I mean is, the articles are going through the full R&D process, just like the books do, so that by default should reduce the amount of mistakes and need for errata right there.  Now by eliminating the end of month compilation, they will just make the changes directly to the article. 

On a separate note, how will we be notified of a change to an article?  If I've downloaded an article, and then it receives an errata, will there be some notification system?  Perhaps an "Updated" tag or something. 

Now the content of Dragon/Dungeon has been on the decline for a while now (as evidenced by numerous threads, and general feedback about the articles as they are released).  We have a CB that is less functional than its predecessor (released to combat piracy).  A moderately functional Monster Builder, that is going to be replaced with an online Beta version that will probably, like the CB, be less functional than its offline counterpart (if that's even possible).  A Compendium that doesn't include everything that's been released, and a VT that won't be ready for general use for at least a year.  Oh yeah, and then there is the Suite of tools "NOW WITH ONLINE FORMAT!!"  that will be coming out "SOON", which is the same response we've been getting for a year and a half.

I really would like to hear a more candid response from Bill and others as to what the actual plan is to improve the D&D product (sort of like what Trevor has been doing with DDi), and not some heavily moderated sales pitch. (Piracy?! Who are you? Lars Ulrich? and when did we travel back in time to 2000?)

Will there be more adventures released?  Will the campaign worlds see more support, both in adventure form, and fluff articles that provide more specific information on a region/city/area?  Will we see an increase in support for classes/races that need it (Seeker, Runepriest, etc)? 

That is what I'm hoping (and most like a false one) for in the future.

Ramius

58074418 wrote:
I strive for the freedom from expectations so many enjoy here; I fear I have a long journey to that level of spiritual creaminess.
Fail.  Hard.

I look at the individual articles online, several times sometimes, to see what they're like, for comment and critique, and to suggest alterations.  I don't download them, permanently.

Then I download the compiled article, ONCE, and read it on my computer, infinitely.

At least, that's what I do when I have a subscription, and this is going a long way to persuade me not to freaking bother ever again.

Way to screw up interpreting your data.  Face it, this isn't going to be a magazine any more.  It's going to be a website masquerading as a magazine.  Just go the whole hog and change the format properly, don't do it by halves.

Yuck.

As I stated in the article thread about this month's Ampersand, I have the strong suspicion that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the stated reasons, and everything to do with making it more awkward for the pirates to post rips of the PDFs on file sharing sites.
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.
Can someone tell me how to contact customer services, (since the Email Us thing doesn't work) I need to ask for a refund for my remaining subscription. They have just found the straw that broke the camels back.

I'm curious how they got this data, since I download the complied issue once and keep it on my hard disk. Individual articles I will download several times as I read them in the browser. Hence it will always look like I download individual articles more than the complied issue. 
Or, another potential real reason: it's to stop people having such an easy time of subscribing once every few months and picking up the back issues they've missed.

Improving the quality and quantity of the content will make people more willing to pay for it.  Making it more difficult to use will make them less willing to pay for it.  Jeez.
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.
Why do they constantly make changes that will only drive away customer instead of making their offerings more interesting?

I mean who will be happy about NOT having compilations anymore?

The Articles were always nice to quench my curiosity and to have something new to brighten my day. But I never took them seriously until I had the finaly PDF. First because the PDF is the finished Version, second I can much better read them, third they felt like a Magazine and last but not least they were easier to store and search than using the Website.
I mean who will be happy about NOT having compilations anymore?



The chap that had to compile them, and WotC_Trevor?