No full magazine download anymore, or?

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In the latest Dungeon and Dragon magazines  there is no option to download the full issue, only articles. Why is that? Seems stupid! Has there been any announcement that they are abandoning the magazine format, that I have missed?
yeah they stopped compiling the magazines
Out of pure laziness, or what? Is it too much to ask for to get a professional looking magazine to flip through with proper numbering and an index for easy navigation?
Their strategy is getting stranger and stranger....
Yeah, not being able to download complete issues really sucks. Fix it, WotC!
Their strategy is getting stranger and stranger....



Not if you look at the big picture.  If the theory doesn't match facts, get a new theory.  Can you thnk of a situation where they would slowly wind down a product line but not tell us anything about why?

Out of pure laziness, or what?



You got it right the first time.

Although it also could have been to try and hide the fact they have halved the content of the magazines. Or that they can't even manage to meet the publishing deadlines for a half-sized magazine.

But their excuse "not worth the effort" sounded like pure laziness.


I summed up the recent changes to Dragon and Dungeon here pretty well, with links to WotC offical posts on the subject.

But their excuse "not worth the effort" sounded like pure laziness.



I don't know. It seems pretty clear that the magazine staff is crazy overworked at the moment - I don't know if that is due to reduced staff, resources being diverted elsewhere, or what. But either way, I think they honestly felt that removing the compilations wouldn't be a big deal and would save them time they could use on other things.

It was absolutely the wrong call, and if the staff is in such a state, that's a bad sign in and of itself - but I don't think there is any evidence worth dismissing it as simply laziness and nothing more. Given all the issues the magazine is happening, something much more serious is clearly going on.
You get the feeling that there is some downsizing happening. Is there nobody in the industry around or in the US who have heard if they are firing staff?
Who knows, maybe they are working on a 5th Edition  Laughing.....
You get the feeling that there is some downsizing happening. Is there nobody in the industry around or in the US who have heard if they are firing staff?
Who knows, maybe they are working on a 5th Edition  .....



There are three conclusions: 1, yes, they are working on 5e.  2, Hasbro is canceling D&D PnP products altogether,  3, Hasbro is canceling D&D PnP products but licensing out the IP to a 3rd party to develop 5e.

My favorite is #3.  Since Paizo is apparently flush with cash and projectless writers right now, I can't help but think (hope) that's not a coincidence.  I can't see any reasonable explanation for what's going on right now that allows for Hasbro continuing to publish 4e.
Another possibility is that the fiasco with the online character builder caused enough damage to the subscription base that the magazines are being starved of funds, which is causing further damage to the subscription base, which is further starving the magazines and DDI in general, and we are now in the middle of a death spiral.
The data I've been collecting on member count (via the "members of the dndinsider group on the forums" proxy) doesn't support that theory.

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

The data I've been collecting on member count (via the "members of the dndinsider group on the forums" proxy) doesn't support that theory.



The data you've collected doesn't support the concept of a business model that requires changes of any kind: if those numbers are accurate, there would have been no move to an online CB and no change in production for the magaznes.
Well, while the growth rate is ... very nice ... the total revenue probably isn't at break-even yet.  50k subscribers, $5/month is $250k/month, or 30M/year.  That's only enough to support 15 well-paid people ($100k salary, $100k overhead).  Figure 5 in mgmt, just cause.  Figure 10 in customer service who are not well paid (and thus count as 5 for the purpose of this back of the envelope calculation), 5 actually doing the Dungeon/Dragon content (including Schwalb writing all of Dragon as a freelancer, the two editors, a Graphics layout person, and a game designer to double-check the power level stuff), and a team of 5 doing the dot-Net development for the Character and Monster Buildsers.  And you're running a loss.  Before you start paying for a VT development group.

And regarding the move to online: This wouldn't exactly be the first time that WotC has reacted in a counterproductive way to the information that someone, somewhere, was getting their intellectual property without paying for it.  Nor is that reaction unheard of in other industries.

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

Another possibility is that the fiasco with the online character builder caused enough damage to the subscription base that the magazines are being starved of funds, which is causing further damage to the subscription base, which is further starving the magazines and DDI in general, and we are now in the middle of a death spiral.

I could see this as a genuine possibility. I know with each passing month I'm regretting purchasing a subscription to DDI and am closer and closer to cancelling it.
Another possibility is that the fiasco with the online character builder caused enough damage to the subscription base that the magazines are being starved of funds, which is causing further damage to the subscription base, which is further starving the magazines and DDI in general, and we are now in the middle of a death spiral.

I could see this as a genuine possibility. I know with each passing month I'm regretting purchasing a subscription to DDI and am closer and closer to cancelling it.



I just wanted to throw my two cents in here. I just subscribed to DDI and was really enthusiastic about downloading the full issues of dungeon, along with them maps. I realized I couldn't download full issues after 185 and came on here looking for an answer. I assumed that you could still download the issues in one pdf file, but that they had just moved the link. But even before coming on this thread, I had decided that if they had stopped compiling the issues of dungeon, I would be canceling my subscription.

I'm not sure exactly what they were thinking... they aren't going to be getting into the black by cutting value to their product. That directly translates into an additional loss of revenue - my subscription fees.

Grrr... so annoying. I just logged on for the first time in months (been busy due to moving and changing jobs) to find that Wizards aren’t compiling issues anymore. I only have an insider subscription to access the magazines, so now they no longer exist outside of a website, well.. it's not good is it.

Perhaps I will write an email to them describing my distaste.


Grrr... so annoying. I just logged on for the first time in months (been busy due to moving and changing jobs) to find that Wizards aren’t compiling issues anymore. I only have an insider subscription to access the magazines, so now they no longer exist outside of a website, well.. it's not good is it.

Perhaps I will write an email to them describing my distaste.




Call them and talk to somebody in person to leave feedback - (800) 324-6496
Just adding my post to the "This is dumb, WotC.  Bring back full-issue PDF's" so they don't think there "aren't enough people who want it."

Bring back full-issue PDF's.

Grrr... so annoying. I just logged on for the first time in months (been busy due to moving and changing jobs) to find that Wizards aren’t compiling issues anymore. I only have an insider subscription to access the magazines, so now they no longer exist outside of a website, well.. it's not good is it.

Perhaps I will write an email to them describing my distaste.


I have the same situation.  Only real reason I keep my subscription is so I can download the full issues.  Like you, I often don't log on for a few months at a time, and so I just found out they aren't compiling them as full issues anymore.  Guess it might be time to end my subscription too (though I'll first call them to voice my concern).
I just called and the reasoning behind the change was that "most people were downloading the articles separately so we stopped compiling the issues". She also said that she'd pass along the info that we would still like a compiled version. I'll let you guys analyze that statement.
I just called and the reasoning behind the change was that "most people were downloading the articles separately so we stopped compiling the issues". She also said that she'd pass along the info that we would still like a compiled version. I'll let you guys analyze that statement.



Yes that's the crap they've been spouting. We've explained this to them a 100 times. We click the individual articles several times all week, but download the compilation at the end of the month once. Doesn't mean we still don't use the compilation more. I'm sorry they either
a) Don't have the software or knowledge of how to make PDFs (with up to date software this kinda stuff is completely automated)
b) Think that saving $12 a month and angering half their DDi customers is a good idea.

Either way they're screwed...
"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.
This is absolutely unacceptable. For the amount of money we're paying for a subscription they can at least put in the minimal work to compile the magazine as a complete PDF.

I work at a REAL print magazine that also publishes the same magazine for free on the web. It takes me virtually NO time at all to collect the magazine into a complete PDF. It's a pain in the balls for me to do it piece by piece as you pubish individual articles online.

Get on the ball Wizards. Stop half-assing the content you're producing and do it right!

Thanks.
I just called and the reasoning behind the change was that "most people were downloading the articles separately so we stopped compiling the issues". She also said that she'd pass along the info that we would still like a compiled version. I'll let you guys analyze that statement.



That was the first excuse they were using, but seems like she hasn't been briefed on the newer excuses they came up with since people pointed out that basically ment they were just saying they couldn't be bothered to provide the service anymore. 

Now they are saying it means they need to update in too many locations, the Compendium, the original article and the complied download. That would need to be reformated and renumbered if an errata changed the length of an article.... oh hold on that's because they are too lazy as well.

Sorry I don't mean lazy, they have probably fired the guy that use to do it in a cost cutting exercise and nobody else has taken over the responsibility. It seems clear now that the D&DI has had a significant reduction in funding (which is odd if it is getting more subscribers), and so can't afford to provide the service it use to.
I have to say in the defense of Wizards, it may have been an effort to stop people from paying $10 once, downloading every magazine, condensing them into a torrent or .zip, and then uploading it on freeware programs and/or torrent websites.

Albeit this could still be done by compiling the articles into a single PDF, but it would definitely be a deterent.

I still want those magazines to be in full PDF form. A lot. But I understand that there can be logical reasonings for them to stop compiling them.
I have to say in the defense of Wizards, it may have been an effort to stop people from paying $10 once, downloading every magazine, condensing them into a torrent or .zip, and then uploading it on freeware programs and/or torrent websites.

Albeit this could still be done by compiling the articles into a single PDF, but it would definitely be a deterent.

I still want those magazines to be in full PDF form. A lot. But I understand that there can be logical reasonings for them to stop compiling them.



Interestingly... this is how I first ran across the magazine. I liked what I saw and decided to support that.  I've now subscribed and found out I can't simply download the issues for easy viewing later.  

However - you're most likely right.  It seems they're making everything "online-only" Accessible only to monthly paying customers.  Ironically enough though, it'll be the inability to easily access the content offline that makes me cancel.
I've been away from D&D, and now have a total of 12 issues's worth of articles to download from Dragon and Dungeon...but can no longer click 12 times and wait. No, now I got to download - and sort/arrange - between 7-9 articles per issue. WTF?

Please, WotC, if you're to allow individual article downloads...why not LEAVE full-issue download alongside it? Why the 'or' instead of the 'and'? 
I plan on calling, but there's no one there on the weekend and appearantly no way to leave a message.

But here's my vote for the Full Issue Download. Its much easier to browse, than continuously going back to the archive scrolling to a paticular issue, and then scanning the web page. I'd much rather have the whole mag as a PDF.
I'm in 100% agreement of wanting the full pdf. I havn't downloaded the mags in a while and wanted to bring myself up to date today, when I saw that I couldn't get a compiled copy. I can see however that their thinking may be a possible theft deterrent as mentioned above. If that is the case and compiled pdf's will never happen again, then how about a continuously updated comprehensive index with links that can be sorted. The one currently on the site is not comprehensive enough. For example all of the published adventures do not list what levels the adventures are for unless you go to the link or in some cases download the adventure. If there was a better synopsis for each link that woudl make it easier for browsing and locating items.
It irks me quite a bit that I can't just download the entire magazine anymore - in fact this has caused me to pay less attention to the magazine period.  

I agree with Russian.Thunder that this is a deterrent against people who abuse the subscription, by paying for one month, uploading everything and then canceling.  And that just makes me feel like I am getting punished for someone else's abuse.  But honestly, its a mistake in the system WOTC has going for magazine download, the way I see it.  If WOTC made archived issue upload limited to a month or two, that would be a better way of halting any blitzkrieg-downloads from their one month subscribers. Catering to those who abuse the system is making multi-month and yearly subscribers be treated like fools.

I have been a subscriber for a year and a half, and the decision to shatter the cohesive downloadable magazine makes me feel like the value of my subscription is dropping.  I might not re-up, but this is not the only reason.
 

"Lost? Confused? Lacking direction? Need to find a purpose in your life?"

     -Welcome to Night Vale Proverb

I typically waited for the PDF to go online then would download it and read it on my iPad.  Since dicontinuing the download, I've not bothered to read any of the articles yet.  I miss the printed version, at least the PDF allowed me to take it with me, at the cost of being about a month behind.  As an IT professional I sit in front of a monitor alot already,I'd rather not spend "free time" doing much of it.
Compilation isn't the only thing they're considering cutting.  There's also been discussion in editorial of dropping PDFs altogether, along with any sort of distinction between 'dungeon' and 'dragon', and just having html pages that you needed to be logged in to access.  Possibly further self-destructive anti-piracy moves (if that was at all their intention in dropping compilations then its going to backfire - anti-piracy measures that make your product less convenient then a pirated version of the same are inherently self destructive), but I think it's more likely that they're just dealing with budget shortfalls.

While subscribers are on the rise, DDI and 4e in general seems to be in a death spiral.  It's unfortunate.  It seems they're underfunded & understaffed, given that every change they've made in the last year or so has been to reduce their workload (fewer releases, less art / more re-used art in paper products, design paradigms that require considerably less effort from designers, reductions in magazine content, stopping pdf compilations).

Seems 4e hasn't been donig too well, and it's not entirely surprising.  Much as I like the game better then 3e, in retrospect their customer base overall wasn't ready for a re-vamp.  And the DDI subscription has become for many a replacement for paper products altogether - especially with the rapid rate of errata making a DDI subscription a better product.  Between competition from themselves between DDI and their books, and competition from themselves between their current product and 3e thanks to OGL (which was a bold move - but in retrospect a mistaken one), I have to imagine that the departments profits are really in a bind.  This is a legendary product, something deep in the cultural conciousness, and I can't at all imagine that WotC, let alone Hasbro, is pleased with what the return has been on that investment in recent years.

This is of course compounded by the state of the economy on the whole (though, notably, the girls department at Hasbro is doing well off of petshop and pony toy sales.  Maybe cross promotion is in order?  I know I'd buy it).  While a next edition is always on the back burner for these kinds of games, given how recent Essentials was, it's unlikely that it's already in the works, and if it is, then it's only at the earliest stages, and likely won't be announced for at least another year or so due to obvious fatigue from the customer base, regardless of whether it's being done in house or liscenced out to a third party.

Also notable, Hasbro definitely will not be selling the brand, but while liscencing out the name is possible, it's also a common tactic at hasbro to shelve a flagging brand for a few years then reintroduce it (and that's not a terrible strategy, honestly, would 3e have been so quickly accepted if 2e had still been fresh in the community's mind?), and while that's not generally WotC's style, it's certainly possible that they might take this route, in which case you might see a draw down of 4e support without any new edition to replace it.  The main reasoning why this wouldn't be the case is that there's a strong competitor ready to snatch up what market there is, and between OGL and pdf releases, anybody can take up that mantle whenever for very little cost, meaning the demand for D&D might never have a chance to rebuild itself the way WotC would want.
That was.... Just fantastic. You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.
FWIW, this is me throwing my hat into the 'back to full downloadable pdf magazines please' ring. 

'How D&D's new business model is improving the experience for all players!' 

Next week, 'How to nail jelly to the ceiling'. 
Just wanted to put my vote in, i try to read these pdfs on the ipad and it is very annoying to have them broken up.  I also would like to ask D&D to look into publishing their magazines on the ipad.  Apple will take a cut, but you will hit a very large audiance for cheap.  They also help with publishing (not just pdf issues)

My two cents

Thanks!
Kyle 
And I'll just add that I agree that full downloads of the issues was the only thing keeping me a paid subscriber.  The online character builder has been annoying me greatly since the switched to it and the dungeon/dragon issue download was the only thing keeping me a subscriber.  But I stop downloading for a while because I'm busy, come back and find I can't download full issues anymore?  That and the character builder's print interface is getting worse over time rather than better?

So for the record, the inability to download full issues was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.  My subscription is cancelled.

I fully understand that WoTC/Hasbro may not see a way to get a good business model going around DDI and may be winding things down.  That's fine.  But I'm not going to subsidize that any longer. 
What makes me mad is that I am new to this site. I looked around. Did the try feature of the Dragon magazine and saw that I can download the full magazine. I sign up and do I get a suprise. What they advertised is not what I am paying for. I would never had signed up if they showed me the download articles features instead of the magazine. This website is way too slow to download individual articles. I rather just click on one link and wait for it to download. I figured I could read the full magazines on my new tablet. But nope Have to do articles. Wonder if that is false advertising? Show an example of one thing (full magazine downloads) but when you pay you get individual articles? Either way I am not happy. Glad I only did one month. I almost thought of signing up for the year. I would have been royally pissed if I did that.


I don't know why they don't do something similar to the Dragon magazine articles going digital long time ago. Create a program that is fine tuned to allow you to read the magazines offline. To get the current issues and any updates you have to have a subscription. The only way to update this would be to go online and log in with username and password. That way no one can upload the magazines to a torrent. I for one would be happy to buy the initial program and then keep a membership to download the full magazines. 

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