What am I paying for?

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Really? Right now I want someone to explain to me what the value of my dollar is buying, because in the last 5 months, it seems like I've been investing in hopes and dreams that will never come.

So let's list what we get, and how I use the various services:



  1. 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.




  2. 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.




  3. 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).



  4. 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.

So... If the Compendium should be free, CharBuilder has been made unusable, Monster Builder is on the same dooming path, and D&D Magazines can't provide content on time, much less with substance... WHY AM I PAYING FOR THIS?
I'd say the value of the service is about $2 a month at the moment. When I see it costing that much, I'll resubscribe.
Really? Right now I want someone to explain to me what the value of my dollar is buying, because in the last 5 months, it seems like I've been investing in hopes and dreams that will never come.

So let's list what we get, and how I use the various services:



  1. 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.




While i agree with all the other arguments, i cant see the logic of this one.

Here is a tool that has ALL the crunch in pretty much ALL the products, printed or otherwise, updated regularly and with good search tools.

If you go by the printed value alone, the Compendium by itself is worth the subscription value alone.

And regarding d20srd.org, it contains Open Content alone (i hope, otherwise its just another pirate site), a license that allows distribution of that content; 4th ed content does NOT use that licence.

Why should it be free?!
The Compendium definitely doesn't have all the crunch.  It has the vast majority yes, but by no means all.
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'm pretty much in agreement. Start of last year we were getting 20+ of the larger crunch heavy articles per magazine. We had a working and up to date character builder, monster builder and supposedly more adventure tools on the way.

Then they dropped to more frequent smaller articles, then they dropped from more chrunch to more fluff, then they cut the frequency back. Now they cut the relyablity.

Now we have a barely functional CB, an out of date MB (at least they fixed most of the bugs, but we've got all that to go through when they take it online), and thinning sickly magazines that can't even update on time. December's dragon output was down to 16 articles with the excuse that they were changing it in the new year and needed to get that in place, that would fix things. We get to January and we're down to 13 articles in Dragon, and they can't even stick to a weekly schedule as opposed to the monthly one we're used to.

So this is supposed to be a transition month? (another one) but when it's done given that we're still on the smaller fluffier articles will we see more articles? will have more than 20 articles in dragon in February? 

Rubbish. 
Yeah, this week was an epic failure.  Another one.  I completely understand the whole "bear with us while we work out the kinks/get a new project rolling" thing, but we're now up to, what, 5 or 6 months straight of it?  New tools with less functionality that require a current subscription to use... possibly a way to force people to maintain a subscription despite the fact that there's no longer a reason to do so for content?  I think so.
[20:53] [SadisticFish] yeah Llamas convinced me
Honestly, it's clear that the entirety of DDI is in flux. If paying for something that's in flux is anethema to you then I suggest you don't.

In my estimation I'm still getting my money's worth so I'm still subscribed.

and the SRD is an open source document so, yes. It's free.
and the SRD is an open source document so, yes. It's free.



One does not mean the other necessarily, nor does being open source gives it a license to use copyrighted material.
I don't agree that the compendium should be free. DDI's real worth, and it's only saving grace against the competition is the data itself.

But yeah, the rest I agree with. DDI has been a series of disappointments, from the very start, but unacceptably so for the last 6-5 months. If I was ready to put up with it in the beginning for what convenience it offered, this is no longer the case. My patience and hope for improvement ran out with the step back that is the online CB, but really, they had been steadily eroded for longer than that.

Sadly, the DDI management correctly evaluated that their customers would accept a 6 months standstill in the upgrade and evolution of the applications they are continuously paying for, and a decline in magazine content while the DDI staff remade everything to suit their needs with no net benefit to the customer.

DDI was supposed to be:


  • Great apps, with full data.


But after nearly 3 years, our options are:


  • Great apps but no data, by 3rd parties;

  • Almost full data but apps that aren't worth shitte, by WotC.


Not a whole lot to be enthused about. And to me, not worth the money.
Sebby
"I'm a bonster. Rawr!"
and the SRD is an open source document so, yes. It's free.



One does not mean the other necessarily, nor does being open source gives it a license to use copyrighted material.



Come on now. Let's not put too fine a point on it. I was painting it with a broad brush because the specifics of RPG licensing are a bit beyond the scope of this thread (IMHO of course)
Why should it be free?!



Because WotC security is so lax that anyone can get a free SRD off of their site through the new online character builder if you know what you are doing?(or at least you could a few months ago, I'm assuming you still can) So all you are really paying for is the "search" functionality?
In my estimation I'm still getting my money's worth so I'm still subscribed.



Really because the lack of a little red box seems to indicate you are no longer subscribed.

*sigh*

So, for the fourth of fifth time: I have another account for my DDI. The reason is because when I first signed up two years ago I didn't know it could be linked to my (already existing) forum account. I haven't switched accounts because it's not worth dealing with Customer Service.

I will probably switch when I reup so that I will be able to play on the VT with my forum account.

True Story:

I used WotC's online communication method to send an enquiry to Bill Slaviscek after the recent & article.   I put his name in the subject and body field.   I wanted to let him know my opinion on some of the things he'd recently announced related to DDi.   I received the auto confirm that my enquiry was sent.

A day later, I received a response from a person that indicated my communication was being forwarded to the "Magic the Gathering Online Team" for resolution.

Foot in mouth

Now, I understand that is not the most effective feedback channel, but sheesh. 

I've turned "auto-renew" off.

Why should it be free?!



Because WotC security is so lax that anyone can get a free SRD off of their site through the new online character builder if you know what you are doing?(or at least you could a few months ago, I'm assuming you still can) So all you are really paying for is the "search" functionality?



And that is a reason to steal?

Because that is all it is; and if you are stealing the content, you DEFINITILY dont get any reason to complain, since you are part of the problem.

True Story:

I used WotC's online communication method to send an enquiry to Bill Slaviscek after the recent & article.   I put his name in the subject and body field.   I wanted to let him know my opinion on some of the things he'd recently announced related to DDi.   I received the auto confirm that my enquiry was sent.

A day later, I received a response from a person that indicated my communication was being forwarded to the "Magic the Gathering Online Team" for resolution.



Now, I understand that is not the most effective feedback channel, but sheesh. 

I've turned "auto-renew" off.




Did you see my response on EN World to the identical post?? In case you didn't, allow me to repeat the gist of it here.

If you are comfortable doing so, PM me the info in your letter and I will try sending it through my contact.
Another option is to send it to dndinsider@wizards.com - That is the email address to use for feedback to the DDI team.
Still another option is to go to your support ticket and add more info indicating that it (the communication) was to go to Bill S, not Magic Online.

In any case, I would appreciate it if you would let me know what drop-down options that you chose, so I can poke WotC about it.

Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere


  1. 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




I find it hard to believe that you think you are entitled to the info you are renting through a subscription, even after you are no longer paying for it.


  1. 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




I find it hard to believe that you think you are entitled to the info you are renting through a subscription, even after you are no longer paying for it.


Wow, that's... pretty obnoxious.  I can't speak for anyone else, but when I signed up for Insider, I could download an update and use that content indefinitely in the CB.  This may come as a shock, but I actually thought that was really cool.  I'll bet I'm not the only one.  I liked it so much that it was a factor in my decision to continue my subscription for a second year, as a matter of fact.

How dare I--and how dare the OP--have my own priorities in deciding whether to spend $60/year, much less expect to get what was being offered when I first gave them my money.

"Entitlement" is a term thrown around a lot by the folks who get all up in arms when people complain here about the decrease in quality and extent of services and products.  If you don't feel entitled to something you pay for, you're apparently a much better man/woman than I (since people upset about the sense of entitlement consistently seem to attach an element of moral judgment to it).

On a completely unrelated note, I've got a wonderful piece of swamp land to sell you at a great price.  It's guaranteed to triple in value in a year!
[20:53] [SadisticFish] yeah Llamas convinced me
So all you are really paying for is the "search" functionality?



Not even that. You can go to the compendium and use the search for free. You only need the sub to check the rules with one click. If you are confortable in only know where something is and check your own books later, you dont need to sub.

[<()>]Proud Brazilian. Typos are free bonuses. 


*sigh*

So, for the fourth of fifth time: I have another account for my DDI. The reason is because when I first signed up two years ago I didn't know it could be linked to my (already existing) forum account. I haven't switched accounts because it's not worth dealing with Customer Service.

I will probably switch when I reup so that I will be able to play on the VT with my forum account.




You should put that in your sig so people will quit complaining, or better yet put "My other forum account is also a DDi member" or something along those lines...



  1. 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




I find it hard to believe that you think you are entitled to the info you are renting through a subscription, even after you are no longer paying for it.



I find it hard to believe that you think we aren't entitled to the info when we pay 3x as much as others pay for the books.

That's like renting a DVD for $10 a night instead of buying it for $20...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.


  1. 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




I find it hard to believe that you think you are entitled to the info you are renting through a subscription, even after you are no longer paying for it.



Uh... In case you didn't notice the red box under my screen name, I AM still paying for it. If anything, I think I'm entitled to having a product/service that WORKS when I am paying for it. I still have the classic CB, and it still works, but I am NOT getting any current/new information for it, and I refuse to waste my time with the online version. And honestly, if you think you were "renting" the Classic CB and the info that was downloaded to it, I imagine all the MP3s you downloaded through iTunes are due to be returned now. I'm sure you only paid for them once. You can return them to Apple by dragging them all into your Recycle Bin, while holding the Shift Key.

If you don't believe you are entitled to functional goods/services when you pay for them, see LlamasNotSheep's offer for the Swamp Land.

Don't forget about Duke Nukem Forever, to be released "soon". Just pay our monthly service fee and you will be the first one to receive a copy. Best deal in town...except for the swamp land, of course.
Don't believe everything you think Ranger.jpg
And that is a reason to steal?

Because that is all it is; and if you are stealing the content, you DEFINITILY dont get any reason to complain, since you are part of the problem.




Is it really stealing when they are offering the file to the world with absolutely no protection?

And yes I am the problem when I own more than 30 4ed books and have been a yearly subscriber since D&Di first launched. How dare I give them money when I was happy with what they were producing and then stop that money flow when I start to think they are messing up. How dare I be so cruel.

[Not even that. You can go to the compendium and use the search for free. You only need the sub to check the rules with one click. If you are confortable in only know where something is and check your own books later, you dont need to sub.



....Okay thenyou aren't paying for anything.
DDi is such a failure that WOTC sould be paying the customers to use it.

Is it really stealing when they are offering the file to the world with absolutely no protection?



Technically similar to stealing, yes, in the same way that it is really stealing if you walk into any building that has lax security and take something that is not yours to take.

Of course in actual fact it is not stealing, it is copyright infringement.

It's an important topic here because D&D 4E is mostly content (or other copyrighted IP in the software).

WoTC were foolish to of not put in basic DRM, that would have at least made copying a hackers task, and more actionable by them. But it's still not right to take candy from a baby, just because it's easy  . . . (somewhat mixed metaphors but I hope you get my point).



And that is a reason to steal?

Because that is all it is; and if you are stealing the content, you DEFINITILY dont get any reason to complain, since you are part of the problem.




Is it really stealing when they are offering the file to the world with absolutely no protection?


Is it stealing if you forget to lock your car or your house and someone takes of with it or takes somethings from it?

Of course it is, their ineptitude (and i agree with you on that) notwithstanding.
[

....Okay thenyou aren't paying for anything.



You are paying for the ease of use and time saved.

You dont need the CB for anything, plenty played D&D before it or any other program appeared, but its danm convenient and a time saver.

Its like changing the oil from a car: anyone can do it, but most dont and pay to do it, since the hassle and the mess isnt worth it.
DDi is such a failure that WOTC sould be paying the customers to use it.


Yes, you are probably right.
[

....Okay thenyou aren't paying for anything.



You are paying for the ease of use and time saved.

You dont need the CB for anything, plenty played D&D before it or any other program appeared, but its danm convenient and a time saver.

Its like changing the oil from a car: anyone can do it, but most dont and pay to do it, since the hassle and the mess isnt worth it.



This. DDi is a service, which is why it has a monthly account fee attached to it.

One of the side benefits of the service fee is access to material you didn't buy.


Its like changing the oil from a car: anyone can do it, but most dont and pay to do it, since the hassle and the mess isnt worth it.




  Also, when you bring your car to get your oil change and pay someone for the service, you expect them to know what they are doing. When I bring my car in they always tell me excatly what they are doing to my car, why they are doing it, ect..  

  Last I knew, a customer asks what they are paying for for DDi and WOTC does not say anything. But they still take your money.

Last I knew, a customer asks what they are paying for for DDi and WOTC does not say anything. But they still take your money.




Wow! You must have gone through the suuper seeekrit top shelf probationary magic handshake only access subscription route. Everyone else went through a route that showed them (and told them) what they were paying for.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere

Its like changing the oil from a car: anyone can do it, but most dont and pay to do it, since the hassle and the mess isnt worth it.


  Also, when you bring your car to get your oil change and pay someone for the service, you expect them to know what they are doing. When I bring my car in they always tell me excatly what they are doing to my car, why they are doing it, ect..  

  Last I knew, a customer asks what they are paying for for DDi and WOTC does not say anything. But they still take your money.


None of the examples or analogies so far justify stealing or copyright infringement. Stop paying if you don't feel you're getting enough in return. This entitlement to pirate just because you feel that what you're given is not enough is ridiculous.

If the mechanic makes a mess of my car on the oil change, a valid response is having him clean and repair the car, or withhold payment, not to spraypaint his shop or steal his tools.
Saludos Adriano

Its like changing the oil from a car: anyone can do it, but most dont and pay to do it, since the hassle and the mess isnt worth it.


  Also, when you bring your car to get your oil change and pay someone for the service, you expect them to know what they are doing. When I bring my car in they always tell me excatly what they are doing to my car, why they are doing it, ect..  

  Last I knew, a customer asks what they are paying for for DDi and WOTC does not say anything. But they still take your money.


None of the examples or analogies so far justify stealing or copyright infringement. Stop paying if you don't feel you're getting enough in return. This entitlement to pirate just because you feel that what you're given is not enough is ridiculous.

If the mechanic makes a mess of my car on the oil change, a valid response is having him clean and repair the car, or withhold payment, not to spraypaint his shop or steal his tools.




I'm sorry, I did not mean to say that stealing is ok. The point I was trying to make was that when you pay for a service, you expect the person that provides the service to know how to do what you are paying them for. With everything I have seen with DDi, it seems to me that WOTC has no idea what they are doing. But  they still expect  people to give them money.


Its like changing the oil from a car: anyone can do it, but most dont and pay to do it, since the hassle and the mess isnt worth it.


  Also, when you bring your car to get your oil change and pay someone for the service, you expect them to know what they are doing. When I bring my car in they always tell me excatly what they are doing to my car, why they are doing it, ect..  

  Last I knew, a customer asks what they are paying for for DDi and WOTC does not say anything. But they still take your money.


None of the examples or analogies so far justify stealing or copyright infringement. Stop paying if you don't feel you're getting enough in return. This entitlement to pirate just because you feel that what you're given is not enough is ridiculous.

If the mechanic makes a mess of my car on the oil change, a valid response is having him clean and repair the car, or withhold payment, not to spraypaint his shop or steal his tools.




I'm sorry, I did not mean to say that stealing is ok. The point I was trying to make was that when you pay for a service, you expect the person that provides the service to know how to do what you are paying them for. With everything I have seen with DDi, it seems to me that WOTC has no idea what they are doing. But  they still expect  people to give them money.




Well, until you actually experience DDi, and the service they provide, for the cost, it seems your opinions are based on a lack of any first hand knowledge.

So I suggest giving it a try and then when you speak, at least you have actual knowledge to base that off of.
But  they still expect  people to give them money.




And they quite readily provide refunds to people who request them.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere

I'm sorry, I did not mean to say that stealing is ok. The point I was trying to make was that when you pay for a service, you expect the person that provides the service to know how to do what you are paying them for. With everything I have seen with DDi, it seems to me that WOTC has no idea what they are doing. But  they still expect  people to give them money.


And, as a non-subscriber, I don't plan on subscribing anytime soon.
- I disagree with most of the conspiracy theories here,
- I really don't mind that the magazines are ex-magazines (seriously, subscribing to a digital service to get a monthly magazine instead of a corrected up-front copy? "organizing" everything by dumping every monthly into the same folder? And what's the difference in any case, if I still have to use a 3rd party service to search PDFs, because opening each article or magazine quickly becomes not fun at all?).
- I don't have an opinion on the cancelled books (I'll note that, if you want to cancel a line because the next big thing is coming, you don't change the format of a book that's ready and postpone its launch by a month, you just publish and are done with it).

On the other hand, I'd rather wait until
- they actually publish the articles they said they're going to publish every month, and
- do the stuff they promised to do with their online offerings.

Even then, it's actually rather hard that I'll invest because
- I can't afford the luxury
- I don't want to play online: I got the books to meet people at a table and do real social interaction. if I wanted to play online, I'd go WoW, that's already stable and playtested.
- I actually like using paper and pencil.
- I like having the books. Saves electricity, saves my vision.
Saludos Adriano
Wizards is experimenting, and in my opinion, their real issue is they may not have a solid goal.

Assuming that everything was working (cb, mt, vt, etc, compendium) they have released products that basically give you access to *everything* in their books, without the need to buy books.  So, to cover this, you pay $14/mo.  For me, this $14/mo is about what I pay yearly on books, maybe a little less.

On the flip side, I no longer by books.  I buy adventures, but my need for the books is basically gone.

As a result, they cannot or will not, give it away for free.  Because of this, we are required to pay while they learn and experiment.  Not saying its right, but I understand why they are charging.

Its a double edged sword really.  If the compendium and cb were free, like the old SRD, then you wouldn't really need to by books to play. If you don't buy books, they get no money.  No money, no products.  So by that account, they cannot offer it free while they design and develope.   Unfortunately, like many of you, this pisses me off as I feel cheated that they are basically beta testing with my money.  I paid for a year, I will let my account go till it expires; but still, it doesn't make me happy.

Now they opted not to take this route, but I'll simply offer my opinion.

If the CB and MB were free, but they required you have a DDi account, to enter in book codes to *your* account, that then unlocked more than just the free first 3 PHB & MM levels, they would not only be ablew to offer this product free, but also still give a need for book purchases.  Same goes for the monster builder.  They don't even need to charge more, as you are already paying 34.95 (or whatever) for the book, you're simply unlocking the content.  This, my opinion, would have been the way to go.  On top of this, if you don't want Dark Sun, don't by the darn books or unlock the content.  Then the 4e folks and the 4e Essentials folks can play together or separate.

It's not without issue.  Book stores might need to now have their books shrinkwrapped. So?  Put 1 book out for folks to look at, a special copy Wizards gives each store without a code.  But, you can protect your codes.

Heck at this point, they can offer you the opportunity to unlock the content online only, for the same cost as a book in the store.  I think it's nutts to pay $34.95 for the unlock code only but to keep FLGS happy and not pull from business, they could do it.  In this way, when you buy the code, they simply unlock the content.  You never actually get the code, so you cannot share the code, but even if they did give it to you, it's 1 time use, linked to your account with your name, address and cc information.  

Long winded, but were paying for the content and the testing all that the same time because of the business model they selected.

EDIT:

I forgot my Dungeon and Dragon magazine comments.

I realize the folks who write the material are working, I understand this.  I personally have never found the content to be earth shattering, and 50% of it isn't even rules based (ie something that need to go into the CB. MB, etc) material but yes... I do use parts of it, especially the adventures.  You have many options with this.  Continue to offer them as magazines online and also inlclude the content in the CB/MB/Comp.  This works, but not sure its great.

Or offer them as free online content, let the new players see it, let the current players see it.  Heck if you play off line with paper, feel free to use it.  But, if you want the content electronically, and when the VT comes out you want the adventures built in and ready to go, then.... *THEN* allow us to subscribe a small amount each month to get the content added to our MB, CB, VT and Comp.

Again, all my opinion, unfounded and opinionated as it may be!

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

Its a double edged sword really.  If the compendium and cb were free, like the old SRD, then you wouldn't really need to by books to play. If you don't buy books, they get no money.  No money, no products.



The problem with this (and the last straw for me) is that this year, they aren't selling that many books. I don't want to buy board games and if I did, I don't need a D&DI subscription to have electronic tools that support them.

For me, at the end of the day, if the service from D&DI is once again dropping away then fine, I can still use the tools, assuming these are delivered since this gives me electronic support for the latest releases.

If the service from D&DI is dropping away and there are no new books then why should I re-subscribe. It seems to me that it's a flawed business model. I have bought every book since the release of 4E so I've spent something in the order of $700-$800 a year on print products (forgive my currency conversions since I paid in £s). This year, from the current product schedule, I will likely spend a quarter of that, if I even bother. In addition, I've been paying $6-$7 a month since day one for D&DI. What's the point in paying that now in order to get tools that may not happen and updates for four or five books. How can that be worth my money?

I have been loyal to the D&D brand for nearly 30 years but this might be the last year I spend money on this. That saddens me a lot but I will not pay for the poor D&DI service and half-baked publication schedule that they are peddling to us.

And before anyone jumps on this telling me to put my money where my mouth is, I have e-mailed Customer Service stating exactly what I have said above and have had a stock response saying my feedback has been passed on. I have responded and requested a proportional reduction for the remainder of my subscription to cover what I consider to be a stripped back D&DI service.

I think this might be the end of D&DCry. If not, we can expect 5E much quicker than most people thought.

EDIT: In case any WotC accountants pay attention to these threads, I usually spend a portion of my pay cheque every month on WotC D&D products. The first penny / cent that Wizards will get of my money this year will be in April (if at all) since there are no D&D books being published until then. Guess who gets my January to March book spend - Paizo! Someone dropped the ball here!


Uh... In case you didn't notice the red box under my screen name, I AM still paying for it. If anything, I think I'm entitled to having a product/service that WORKS when I am paying for it. I still have the classic CB, and it still works, but I am NOT getting any current/new information for it, and I refuse to waste my time with the online version. And honestly, if you think you were "renting" the Classic CB and the info that was downloaded to it, I imagine all the MP3s you downloaded through iTunes are due to be returned now. I'm sure you only paid for them once. You can return them to Apple by dragging them all into your Recycle Bin, while holding the Shift Key.

If you don't believe you are entitled to functional goods/services when you pay for them, see LlamasNotSheep's offer for the Swamp Land.





Yes, you ARE in fact paying for DDI. I saw that. However, you are NO LONGER paying for the Desktop version of the software. They are NO LONGER offering that product. It is obsolete. They will not update it, nor should they. They have moved it online. You are using the software through a loophole. It's something of an issue from where I stand.

With the old system, you could pay for a month, and enjoy the content for however long you wanted, without paying. Bad business model. Huge loss of money.

You DO have a product/ service that works. It's online and it works just fine. The fact that you refuse to use the online CB is a moot point. It's there, and it works. Simple as that.

As for the MP3s I download from Itunes. That's a retail transaction that gives me the song. I dont have to return it. It's mine forever. Theres a difference between that and a subscription to this D&D content. If you go to a bookstore and buy a D&D book, it's your book. You don't ever return it. If you pay them a monthly subscription fee to use the content, the day you decide you no longer want to pay, you no longer get access to the content. I don't see how hard that is for you to grasp.

You are not buying the content. In essence, you are renting the use of it for as long as you pay them.



Uh... In case you didn't notice the red box under my screen name, I AM still paying for it. If anything, I think I'm entitled to having a product/service that WORKS when I am paying for it. I still have the classic CB, and it still works, but I am NOT getting any current/new information for it, and I refuse to waste my time with the online version. And honestly, if you think you were "renting" the Classic CB and the info that was downloaded to it, I imagine all the MP3s you downloaded through iTunes are due to be returned now. I'm sure you only paid for them once. You can return them to Apple by dragging them all into your Recycle Bin, while holding the Shift Key.

If you don't believe you are entitled to functional goods/services when you pay for them, see LlamasNotSheep's offer for the Swamp Land.





Yes, you ARE in fact paying for DDI. I saw that. However, you are NO LONGER paying for the Desktop version of the software. They are NO LONGER offering that product. It is obsolete. They will not update it, nor should they. They have moved it online. You are using the software through a loophole. It's something of an issue from where I stand.

With the old system, you could pay for a month, and enjoy the content for however long you wanted, without paying. Bad business model. Huge loss of money.

You DO have a product/ service that works. It's online and it works just fine. The fact that you refuse to use the online CB is a moot point. It's there, and it works. Simple as that.

As for the MP3s I download from Itunes. That's a retail transaction that gives me the song. I dont have to return it. It's mine forever. Theres a difference between that and a subscription to this D&D content. If you go to a bookstore and buy a D&D book, it's your book. You don't ever return it. If you pay them a monthly subscription fee to use the content, the day you decide you no longer want to pay, you no longer get access to the content. I don't see how hard that is for you to grasp.

You are not buying the content. In essence, you are renting the use of it for as long as you pay them.



Just to add:  This does not mean you are required to like these changes to the services provided.  You are free to dislike the changes and (if the service is no longer of value to you) cancel.
You DO have a product/ service that works. It's online and it works just fine. The fact that you refuse to use the online CB is a moot point. It's there, and it works. Simple as that.



Shame that isn't actually true. Neither the current MB or the current online CB work. The current character builder for example can't even print correctly after the last update, there are numerous bugs and that's before we even look at the features that were in the old builder that the new one cannot do.