How we like our products...

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This is similar to another thread that has been pulled off track so let's keep this edition (real or imagined) neutral.

How do people prefer their products;

Hardcovers

Paperbacks

Boxes

I was weaned on a combination of all three with AD&D but have to admit I do quite like boxes, the ability to include tokens, maps and categorise books really works for me.

How about you?

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Hardcover, either full or digest size. Box sets are occasionally amusing, too, but if I had to choose, hardcover (I guess hardcover always said to me "now that's a nice game book," where softcover generally says "cheap").
This is similar to another thread that has been pulled off track so let's keep this edition (real or imagined) neutral.

How do people prefer their products;

Hardcovers

Paperbacks

Boxes

I was weaned on a combination of all three with AD&D but have to admit I do quite like boxes, the ability to include tokens, maps and categorise books really works for me.

How about you?

Hardbacks last much better then either of the others.   My manuals from 1st edition days still are in great shape, the 2nd edition box sets, show much more wear as do the softbound books.   I love the Rules Compendium, bought a copy for every one of my players, because I thought the book was that useful, but at age 9 months or so now, its in worse shape for everyone in the group vs the 4th edition PH1 which are much older and frankly worse shape then any of my hardbacks.
Hardcover. Lasts long, I still have my 3.0 books looking sturdy.

Softcover wears out, as the poster above me mentions. Boxs are cool, but I play online so the other stuff with it is mostly useless to me, and I have a fun enough time transporting all my 4e books without needing a box or two.
I prefer Hardbacks but I rather like the boxed sets as I love the maps and tokens in them. I don't care for the softbacks as I really bet the heck out of 'em.

Oh yes,I like tokens but I do prefer minis to tokens;)
A good box set (DM's kit, Monster Vault, and similarly "strong" boxes with useful contents) will always have a special place in my heart, preferred even over hard back books.

Binding on books really comes down to the size of the book for me... I do not want 120 or less pages in a hard cover (if the AD&D 2nd edition Complete Handbook series were hardcover, I'd have never bought them) because it is a wasted expense. A book that size will last plenty long enough in softcover (like the above mentioned series which are all still holding together magnificently).

...and I never want to see a softcover with more than 400 pages, because even a hard binding can have some troubles trying to keep that big of a book together.

Really I like boxes a lot (firm boxes, not flimsy Shadowfell sorts of boxes) and then prefer hardcover for high page count and softcover for low page count, more so for series of smaller books so that buying them all is more affordable.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

i prefer digest sized, because i can stuff them in my backpack easier when i go to play. 

i cant say if i like boxes or not since i never baught one, but if i ever get a suddun influx of income im sure i would check em out 
i prefer digest sized, because i can stuff them in my backpack easier when i go to play.



A good point here... though my backpack has no trouble holding full size books, but the idea holds true since I can put a digest sized book into a pocket when walking over to a game.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

i prefer digest sized, because i can stuff them in my backpack easier when i go to play.



A good point here... though my backpack has no trouble holding full size books, but the idea holds true since I can put a digest sized book into a pocket when walking over to a game.



though i have the large sized books, i prefer digest but in all honesty i dont really care.

never judge a book by its cover!  
prefer large hardcovers, and sturdy boxes. softcovers are fine for smaller pagecounts or digest size, as long as the binding is done well. as far as boxes, these thin and flimsy top-openers have to go; if im going to be forced to buy a boxed product, i expect to be able to USE the box to store game materiels.
Bane of Gnomes. "An angel of snuggles is a bad match for evil gods." -Mike Mearls (Worlds&Monsters, p.72)
Hardcover only.  Softcovers and boxes have no shelf-life in my hands.  Well, not longer than a week for paperbacks and about a month for boxes.

Even badly bound Hardcovers can at least survive 6 months around me.  Paperbacks can't claim anything close to that lifetime.



In a not unrelated note, this is how much I kick the ass of novels.  I'm not counting what happens to my video game guides.  My FF 7 game guide is in five pieces.  It lasted a week before it was torn in two from folding, bending, etc.  Give me something that can survive me, or give me nothing at all.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I am a fan of Hardcover. I buy hardcover for my D&D books, my comic books and my non fiction casual reading. I just like the feel and look of them.
Aside from that, Ive come around on the digest size, its nice on my night stand, or taking up less space on the table.
I am not a fan however of the Shadowfell book, becasue from what Ive seen of it, and correct me if Im wrong, it is softcover and not in digest size. Meaning a third format for books... So now I have 3 different kinds of books on my self. The Shadowfell book doesn't even match the Heroes of Shadow book? Really?
So in my collection players handbooks are on the left, followed by settings in the middle, after that is monster books and DM books at the end. Essencials is on a different books with novels as the digest size had them fit in more there. But now if I get Shadowfell I have to either have it off to the end, or have this softcover right in the middle of an otherwise uniformly hardcover shelf...

I know thats really picky, but that is the topic, and I don't mind paying an extra $10 to have things printed in hardcover. But mostly I just want Uniformity!
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
Reference material that has to travel should be built to travel, whatever it's format.
When I say "reference material" I mean properly indexed PHB, DMG and maps & tiles (I'll never understand why they don't print chess-like references on them).

Many players travel to a friends house to play - you've really got to think about what we're lugging around and how, it's an intrinsic part of the PnP gaming experience (and generally to its detriment).

Quick reference rules for an Essentials style game that you can play with just a couple of books and character sheets that you can write up in moments on blank paper should be made in a digest format.

Content books like those that go into detail about a particular subject like those for a single race or region should be hardcover because they'll spend most of their life on a shelf and be expected to last for many years.

I prefer hardcover only for the fact that they look great on a bookshelf.  I do like boxed editions when it is worth the value (Shadowfell left me feeling a little ripped off).

What I really would love to start seeing is e-book format (Nook, Kindle, etc.).   

Celebrate our differences.

I like all forms, really.

Hardcovers look good on the shelf. I never understood the need to bring every single book owned to games. I did start that habit in the 1e days, but I realized I didn't need all the books there at the table. All your character information should be on the character sheet. DMs just need the DM screen and a notebook, where he has his notes. Copying the info from the books lets you make adjustments as well. You could stare at the book all day, but that entry on bunnies will always be the same whereas my notebook would have fire breathing bunnies.

When you have all your books with you, do you read them all? You should be playing, not reading. As DM, your job is to make a ruling on the spot, then look it up later.

As was pointed out, hardcovers are more durable. I clench less when handing over a hard cover, as I see the damage that some players do to soft covers. (Actually, I think I clench more since hardcovers feel more "permanent", and are more expensive to replace.)

Come to think of it, I choose to bring less books based on watching people abuse my books. Eating/drinking right over them, eating/drinking something particularly messy, using a pen or pencil to "follow along" while reading, licking fingers to turn pages, creating folds/dents/tears in pages as they're turned, breaking the spine so the book can lay flat, using a pen/pencil as a bookmark, (I haven't seen, but I'm sure it exists where people dogear the pages...), laying the book open facedown on the table next to food/drinks or on the floor, and generally mistreating the book as if it weren't theirs (because it isn't...) so they figure it can be handled roughly.

Er, back on point.... Yeah, hardcovers are generally more durable, but that's no excuse to mistreat the books.

Softcovers are great as they are cheaper. Indeed, one great thing about the Essentials line is the price point as well as the size of the books. Very portable.

The other thing about soft cover books is you can have more of them on your shelf.

I always loved box sets. You get more "goodies" packed in. Sure, the content can be about the same as a hardcover, but they can throw in lots of bits and pieces in there that you can't do with other formats.

That is, you shouldn't do. Who wants to pull out a poster map that's been stapled to a book? Or even a part of it. (The map is in the binding, and yes, you can tear it out, but they never come out neatly.)

Boxed sets allow not only poster maps, but tokens, refrence cards, and loose sheets of paper with say hand drawn maps, or ransom notes and the like. They could have something extra, though I doubt it could be done cheaply. (Perhps as card stock like dungeon tiles...) Wouldn't it be neat to get something like say ... a holy symbol that the bad guys are carrying around? Or a special d20 (or any other type of die for that matter) that has the boxed set's symbol/theme on it? What about a replica of the ring the characters have to find in the campaign? (Could even be cheap molded plastic.) Personally, I'd love to see a cloth map come with a boxed set someday.

Boxed sets allow multiple soft cover books to be put in, which is handy to separate player material from DM material.

They're also great for extra storage space of loose bits and pieces. My 2e FR boxed set holds not only the original material, but all the FR maps I've collected from Dragon magazine as well as 3e books.

... I see now how you got the name Paradox ...  Laughing

Celebrate our differences.

Each product made according to its needs.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Speaking of the new Monster Vault, printed in the same format as Gloomwroght.
"The only downside is the price tag, as $30 formerly got you a hardcover book with almost a hundred extra pages. If you like tokens then it definitely makes it worthwhile. Otherwise, not so much."
Quoted from the Points of Light blog found here.

So sure the price is cheaper but for who? For me? No, not really, its only cheaper for WofC.
I don't want or need tokens so for the Monster Vault, which Im very excited for as far as content goes, I get 130 pages, with 4 monsters, far less then any of the monster manuals or the monster vault before it.
I get a Monster Vault 2 that does not look like the Monster Vault 1 in size color or style.
I get Tokens to give to my cousin who can't afford minis.

I want hardcover. I don't want cheaper books. I like paying money for high quality.
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
I love the hardcover books. Can't stand the new essentials direction the game is taking and am pissed at the withdrawal of miniature support. Not sure if this is the right thread for all of that, but I needed to get it off my chest. I'm a long time D&D player (though I don't post around here) and the essentials feel like they are catering to a non D&D market. From a business standpoint, I just don't get it. Let's completely ignore our target demographic and go for people who have never historically played table top.

WHY?

I don't know what their sales numbers are nationwide, but when I see the same 15 essentials books on the shelves at all of my local gaming/book stores, I can't imagine it's doing very well. There is a layer of dust on them at one store.

OK my rant is over.
From a business standpoint, I just don't get it. Let's completely ignore our target demographic and go for people who have never historically played table top.



I will preface this by stating, unambiguously, that I dislike the Essentials style "direction going forward," but it stands to reason that marketing to the target demographic of the original 4th edition format was insufficiently profitable by the standards of Hasbro and/or WotC, and that the powers that be, therefore, determined to reach out to those who have never played tabletop RPGs (or, at the very least, those who have never played 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons.) At the end of the day, if the "direction going forward" loses WotC (to choose arbitrary figures) 15% of D&D's present customers, but in so doing gains the company twice that many new customers, then it is, from a financial perspective, a resounding success.

To survive and thrive, an RPG must expand its customer base, making tabletop gamers out of non-tabletop-gamers, as well as gaining converts from other gaming systems and its own older editions. The only indication of whether or not a given design team's strategies for doing so are successful is the impact of said strategies upon the bottom line.

That said, there is a upper limit to the realistic standard of what a tabletop RPG reasonably can earn, in terms of investment versus return. Having worked in this industry for well over a decade, now, I can safely say that it is a thing done for love, not money, and trying to turn a serious profit on it is doomed to be an exercise in perpetual disappointment.
From a business standpoint, I just don't get it. Let's completely ignore our target demographic and go for people who have never historically played table top.



I will preface this by stating, unambiguously, that I dislike the Essentials style "direction going forward," but it stands to reason that marketing to the target demographic of the original 4th edition format was insufficiently profitable by the standards of Hasbro and/or WotC, and that the powers that be, therefore, determined to reach out to those who have never played tabletop RPGs (or, at the very least, those who have never played 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons.) At the end of the day, if the "direction going forward" loses WotC (to choose arbitrary figures) 15% of D&D's present customers, but in so doing gains the company twice that many new customers, then it is, from a financial perspective, a resounding success.

To survive and thrive, an RPG must expand its customer base, making tabletop gamers out of non-tabletop-gamers, as well as gaining converts from other gaming systems and its own older editions. The only indication of whether or not a given design team's strategies for doing so are successful is the impact of said strategies upon the bottom line.

That said, there is a upper limit to the realistic standard of what a tabletop RPG reasonably can earn, in terms of investment versus return. Having worked in this industry for well over a decade, now, I can safely say that it is a thing done for love, not money, and trying to turn a serious profit on it is doomed to be an exercise in perpetual disappointment.


I don't disagree with anything you've said and I understand the point, it's just...as a loyal D&D Customer who has a full library of books dating back to the AD&D days, I feel betrayed. None of this new content is for me. They say it's more ways to customize your characters, I feel that it is nothing but stripped down versions of the characters I've grown to know over the years. I'm really tired of it.

Am I being rational? Probably not. But those are my opinions and feelings and I'm entitled to them. Regardless of how rational they are.

Cheers.
I also enjoy the hardcover books. Each media type has its own merits though. I agree with the poster that it is more functional to be able to fit smaller softcovers in a backpack rather than try and tote a hardcover library around. These days I'm actually finding a lot of players toting netbooks around and logging in for their information which places the burden on the net connection and the content provider.
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I probably stated this in another thread but if WotC is listening I will state it again. Full sized hardcover books. I am willing to pay for quality product. Oh and for the record I do not buy "virtual" product such as pdfs or monthly subscriptions to websites. If I can't put it on my shelf and look at it, I don't want it.
The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas
I prefer hardcover only for the fact that they look great on a bookshelf.  I do like boxed editions when it is worth the value (Shadowfell left me feeling a little ripped off).

What I really would love to start seeing is e-book format (Nook, Kindle, etc.).   


 
I am with Jharii on all counts, and i'd add  PDF !
Hardcover
I also enjoy the hardcover books. Each media type has its own merits though. I agree with the poster that it is more functional to be able to fit smaller softcovers in a backpack rather than try and tote a hardcover library around. These days I'm actually finding a lot of players toting netbooks around and logging in for their information which places the burden on the net connection and the content provider.



/rant
I have to disagree that each format has its merits. Ill explain, the small digest size fits in most bags yes, but size does not dictate cover, so they could easily make a hardcover digest size, still I get the digest, the hardcover is larger but sturdy, it is not a D&D specific format and most backpacks or messenger bags will fit this format just fine, while it is a bit heavier its also heavy duty so its to be expected.
The newest format from WotC is large soft cover, this format has the downsides of both soft and large. It fits in only the bags that can handle hardcover and tears and rips like a softcover. Most annoying is that they used this large weak style for the newest monster vault, monster manuals and vaults in my opinion being the book that takes the most damage (no pun intended).

Conclusion, while digest has merits it can still be hardcover, and if you love to take everybook you own everywhere you go I suggest buying a regular size backpack which are made for the large hardcover books. And to WotC, I Hate that you are experimenting with different formats using my bookshelf as your testing grounds. Please pick one and stick with it, and don't change format mid edition... Monster Vault and Monster Vault 2 not being the same format, Terrible!

/end rant
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
Hardcover!  
Traditional D&D size!  Just like (almost) all the other books produced over the last 30+ years!  (OK, so some were softcover, but at least they were the same size!)

I too, am boggled by the mid-edition format change.  I was a little confused by it the first time, but TWICE?  I really think there is something wrong at the top over there at WotC HQ.  There have been more direction changes than I can keep up with.  Annoying. 

Hopefully, they go back to hardcover for the majority of books, and then, if they have a product that they really want to save costs on, go ahead and make it a paperback.  BUT WotC, pass the savings along to US.  If you're going to sell us a cheap product, there is no need to pad it with tokens and such.  Knock $5-$10 of the cover price of the paperback, and I'll bet people would be praising WotC for "adjusting to the economy". 
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