So let's list what we get, and how I use the various services:
Compendium: Used to be, something like this was provided for free. I don't see why it isn't. There used to be a site called d20srd.org(It's still there, btw) that had all the information for any reference you needed to look up. It was cumbersome to build a character or anything from it, but if you needed to look up a rule, or see the stats for something quick, you just found it and then went on with your day. I use this service all the time. Seriously, this is the last thing I have in my DDI content that I use with any regularity. But I am having a hard time with the concept of having to pay for it.
Character Builder: It's been beaten to death, and then some, I know, but it must be tread again here. I loved the Classic Character builder. Used it all the time. to make characters for fun, even if I didn't have a game to play them in. It had its bugs, sure, but most of them got fixed with relative promptness. the Online Builder is clunky, counter-intuitive, and cumbersome, not to mention slow as fresh molasses in December. I have built one character. I've imported one character. And I've experimented with one character. I cannot bear to deal with the OCB any more. This whole entire service is null and void to me, but I doubt I will get a "reduced subscription price" for not using this piece of trash. I use the Classic version that I have on my PCs, that I've already paid for in full, and is more functional(houserules) and faster(not fed through a slow as molasses server). And when/if I ever replace my computers, I will no doubt have to source a pirated version so that I can reinstall the software that I have already paid for, but is no longer provided for me by the publisher.
Monster Builder: At the moment, it's alright. As a player, I don't use it much anyway, but for the time being, it's there if I need it. Of course, I know that WOTC is developing an Online version, that will most certainly be plagued by all of the drawbacks of their OCB(Slow, Cumbersome, No Customization).
- D&D Magazine: This week's article selection was the clincher for me posting this thread. For the past few months, the articles in both Dungeon and Dragon have been severely lacking in substance. This month, the way their scheduled release was revealed to the subscribers was changed. I was not happy about this. I can understand that last minute delays can come up and dates pushed back. This happens. But at least I had some idea of when something would be available, and depending on what the article was, I could be excited or nonchalant about it. I still read everything, but my excitement was built when it was a "Class Act" or "Winning Races" or something that directly related to one of my active characters, or an upcoming concept. As it is now, we get a post on Monday that says what is "expected" to come out in the following week. This week, I see five(5) articles scheduled for release. How many did we get? Two. TWO. TWO(2)! DOS! NEE! DEUX! ZWEI! For you math minors, that's less than half of the projected amount. Less than 50% on just about any spectrum of completion is a FAILURE.