How is the VT coming along

156 posts / 0 new
Last post
I haven't played DnD in 6months.  When I stopped playing the VT was in the testing phase.
think back 6 months to what you can remember about the VT .... now fast forward 6 months anf apply what you know from then ... nothing has changed and looks to not change for another 6 months ... slow!
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
That's rather harsh, lawnikky. I think the VTT has made great strides. It fully meshes with the online Character Builder, for example, and finding and managing games seems to be easier.

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Harsh, and not even close to accurate.  Sure, there are no new Big Flashy Features, but there are a lot of small steps that add up to a much improved experience.

It seems as if people are expecting something on par with ye olde 3D Visualizer to just appear in the VT, and in the absence of that "it hasn't changed at all."

Not bothering to look for a change doesn't deny their existence.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
nothing has changed

What did you know about the VTT six months ago?
Are you curently using the VTT?

I ask these two questions because I am trying to determine whether the inaccuracy of your response is because of complete ignorance of where development was six months ago or complete ignorance of where it is today.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I haven't played DnD in 6months.  When I stopped playing the VT was in the testing phase.



The VT is still in the testing phase.  It is still, and always will be, a 2d VT.  Hmm, as of 6 months ago... well, some of the changes/fixes are

tokens are sorted by size
healing starts from 0 now instead of whatever - you were at before
Importing is even smoother
  PCs import with magic items and utilities as powers
  PCs import with a summary listing of feats, gear, class abilities
  Monsters import with Action Points if they have them
  Monsters import with aura's as power listings now
  Monsters import with "Basic" listed in their basic attacks instead of you having to guess
There are sound effects (eh)
You no longer need to request passes


Hmmm, so many of the fixes we just take for granted, it is hard to remember all of them.

The main thing we need now, I think, is more memory.  The adventures get too big too fast.  More tiles and tokens would help too, but we can substitute for those we don't have, we can't really substitute for a lack of memory.
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
I haven't played DnD in 6months.  When I stopped playing the VT was in the testing phase.



The VT is still in the testing phase.  It is still, and always will be, a 2d VT.  Hmm, as of 6 months ago... well, some of the changes/fixes are

tokens are sorted by size
healing starts from 0 now instead of whatever - you were at before
Importing is even smoother
  PCs import with magic items and utilities as powers
  PCs import with a summary listing of feats, gear, class abilities
  Monsters import with Action Points if they have them
  Monsters import with aura's as power listings now
  Monsters import with "Basic" listed in their basic attacks instead of you having to guess
There are sound effects (eh)
You no longer need to request passes


Hmmm, so many of the fixes we just take for granted, it is hard to remember all of them.

The main thing we need now, I think, is more memory.  The adventures get too big too fast.  More tiles and tokens would help too, but we can substitute for those we don't have, we can't really substitute for a lack of memory.



Memory?  Are you telling me that this is a remote server for this?  Cannot host your own with custom maps?
At this stage, no you cannot do as you describe Malcapricornis
nothing has changed

What did you know about the VTT six months ago?
Are you curently using the VTT?

I ask these two questions because I am trying to determine whether the inaccuracy of your response is because of complete ignorance of where development was six months ago or complete ignorance of where it is today.




For starters, it takes a negative comment to bring the spiders to the centre of the web ...

I am using the vt, have been doing so for quite some time, and have run many games successfully (although the campaign I was running had to end due to time constraints with family)!

Why my comment ... I'd prefer more than the usual 'bug fix' message we are getting. Would prefer it if we are told 'what' bugs are being fixed and 'how far along' the developers are in making the vt we all want live to all.

I don't think my (and others) request for additional tiles and tokens to help liven up the vt is over the top. Either place them in or allow us to do it ourselves. I know this would go against what WotC have in plans to gain some financial benefit out of tokens and tiles but what we have in the vt now and been bashed close to death, as noted by the drop in numbers using it (as well as the noticable lack of dm's willing to run games).

I'm not saying what we have here is useless, no good and a waste of time. I quite like what I see and will be using it for some time to come but this has been in the wait for some years now and some 'impatience' has set in over the time.

It's time to push the baby into the real world and allow it room to move amongst the 'minions' waiting for it to arrive. 

Now you can flame me all you want!
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
I know this would go against what WotC have in plans to gain some financial benefit out of tokens and tiles

Has Wizards posted these "plans" somewhere?  I am sure that many of us would love to see that post if you could please provide a link.  Thanks.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.
I know this would go against what WotC have in plans to gain some financial benefit out of tokens and tiles

Has Wizards posted these "plans" somewhere?  I am sure that many of us would love to see that post if you could please provide a link.  Thanks.




There is no official notice, and you know so, so why ask. There are replies on various posts from WotC_Josh stating that they are presently looking at pricing and costings associated with the vt, and once they work it out, then they will release the vt to the general public.

Let's not kid ourselves! We all know that WotC is a business in the business of making money, of which I don't begrudge them if they can. The game business is big money; take a look at the millions that M:tg makes WotC every year.

Now ... take from that what you will but conversations within the games (involving Sages) I have run have 'speculated' that there will be costings associated with tiles and tokens ... so ... until they work out 'how' they are going to cost those (and other) things, the vt will remain in the beta stage.
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
I know this would go against what WotC have in plans to gain some financial benefit out of tokens and tiles

Has Wizards posted these "plans" somewhere?  I am sure that many of us would love to see that post if you could please provide a link.  Thanks.




There is no official notice, and you know so, so why ask. There are replies on various posts from WotC_Josh stating that they are presently looking at pricing and costings associated with the vt, and once they work it out, then they will release the vt to the general public

Why ask?  Because when people pass off speculation as fact, some people question it while other people believe it.  I questioned it. Since you are guessing and really have no actual idea what Wizards "plans" with regards to tokens and tiles, everyone should be aware of that.

Let's not kid ourselves! We all know that WotC is a business in the business of making money, of which I don't begrudge them if they can. The game business is big money; take a look at the millions that M:tg makes WotC every year.

Now ... take from that what you will but conversations within the games (involving Sages) I have run have 'speculated' that there will be costings associated with tiles and tokens ... so ... until they work out 'how' they are going to cost those (and other) things, the vt will remain in the beta stage.

Last I checked, Sages are not WotC employees, nor are they privvy to any more or different information than what we have.  Their guess is as good or bad as anyone's.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.
Since you are guessing and really have no actual idea what Wizards "plans" with regards to tokens and tiles, everyone should be aware of that.



It's more than a guess, less than a theory: it's a hypothesis with supporting evidence, in that dungeon tiles have been added to the program that are locked behind individual permissions, the sort of setup most often used for microtransactions.  This is not proof, and there are other possible explanations for this, like the tiles being used for rewards of various types (though those would most likely be using group-permissions, not individual).  My point is: why don't both sides of this argument stop exaggerating; we are neither guessing what the plans for these tiles are, nor do we know what the plans for the tiles are; there is evidence suggests that the implementation of microtransactions for dungeon tiles is currently being tested.  No more, no less.
Since you are guessing and really have no actual idea what Wizards "plans" with regards to tokens and tiles, everyone should be aware of that.



It's more than a guess, less than a theory: it's a hypothesis with supporting evidence, in that dungeon tiles have been added to the program that are locked behind individual permissions, the sort of setup most often used for microtransactions.  This is not proof, and there are other possible explanations for this, like the tiles being used for rewards of various types (though those would most likely be using group-permissions, not individual).  My point is: why don't both sides of this argument stop exaggerating; we are neither guessing what the plans for these tiles are, nor do we know what the plans for the tiles are; there is evidence suggests that the implementation of microtransactions for dungeon tiles is currently being tested.  No more, no less.

Considering that when asked, Lawnikky stated a few other "reasons," none of which were regarding the code and none of which can be considered evidence, I will stick with my assessment that he was guessing.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.
It's more than a guess, less than a theory: it's a hypothesis with supporting evidence

Damon, *you* provided a hypothesis, complete with supporting evidence. Lawnikky provided inaccurate information in his first reply, misdirection and evasion in his second, and speculation in his third. Would that Rian_king had received responses from agonar and you in place of any of lawnikky's, he would have both an answer to his original question and a plausible explanation for its current status as a closed beta.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Agonar made a pretty good summary. Lots of new things have changed in the last 6 month, quite a few new Features and apps were added too, CB & MB IMPORT being the biggest one.

What else ? The Campaign Manager was overhauled and is more clean, has more Filters and allow Table access without DM. They also have set up a Event Table for Organized Play Events and whats more. They also have set up a Chat, as inconvenient as it may be sometimes, to remain logged in. These are all new stuff that happened in the last 6 months, that are related to the BETA project, even though they are not all necessarly all directly tied to the VT. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

It's more than a guess, less than a theory: it's a hypothesis with supporting evidence

Damon, *you* provided a hypothesis, complete with supporting evidence. Lawnikky provided inaccurate information in his first reply, misdirection and evasion in his second, and speculation in his third. Would that Rian_king had received responses from agonar and you in place of any of lawnikky's, he would have both an answer to his original question and a plausible explanation for its current status as a closed beta.



Thanks everyone for the update.  I remember trying it in closed beta and it didn't feel user friendly and there was a bit of a learning curve.  Sounds like they fixed some of that and it's coming along good. 

If I find a game I want to play I hope to use it
If you didn't find the D&D VT user friendly, i wonder how user friendly you would find other VT's out there Fantasy Ground, Map Tool etc...

If ithere's one thing most people familiar with Virtual Tables have said, it was that the D&D VT was user friendly. Wink 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

If you didn't find the D&D VT user friendly, i wonder how user friendly you would find other VT's out there Fantasy Ground, Map Tool etc...

If ithere's one thing most people familiar with Virtual Tables have said, it was that the D&D VT was user friendly.  



User friendly is good. I just don't see WotC luring folks who can deal with Maptools etc. Mainly because the customisation, artwork, and macro making will most likely be 1/10 of what the free programs do. For the savvy customer this is no good.
I haven't played DnD in 6months.  When I stopped playing the VT was in the testing phase.



The VT is still in the testing phase.  It is still, and always will be, a 2d VT.  Hmm, as of 6 months ago... well, some of the changes/fixes are

tokens are sorted by size
healing starts from 0 now instead of whatever - you were at before
Importing is even smoother
  PCs import with magic items and utilities as powers
  PCs import with a summary listing of feats, gear, class abilities
  Monsters import with Action Points if they have them
  Monsters import with aura's as power listings now
  Monsters import with "Basic" listed in their basic attacks instead of you having to guess
There are sound effects (eh)
You no longer need to request passes


Hmmm, so many of the fixes we just take for granted, it is hard to remember all of them.

The main thing we need now, I think, is more memory.  The adventures get too big too fast.  More tiles and tokens would help too, but we can substitute for those we don't have, we can't really substitute for a lack of memory.


That sounds like very little done over the course of 6 months. Basic import bug fixes? Please. Sounds like there's at best of a crew of 3 people working on this.
Edit: I'm sure those three people are hard working individuals, but this is why you let software companies write software. If this had been propperly outsourced/contracted we'd have a working VT. 
If you didn't find the D&D VT user friendly, i wonder how user friendly you would find other VT's out there Fantasy Ground, Map Tool etc...

If ithere's one thing most people familiar with Virtual Tables have said, it was that the D&D VT was user friendly. Wink 



I have tried map tools and it was a hell of a lot more difficult.

I know I can learn once it comes out, but I look at average gamers who would like to just sit down and play without learning how to use a program.

I know some of my friends won't use it because it does take some learning to use.

Maybe they could have a in depth tutor on how to use it
Sounds like there's at best of a crew of 3 people working on this.


The dev team does appear to be rather small, yes.  But considering that the VT still may end up being included in the current DDI pricing, I'm not sure we can expect programmer legions.

(disclaimer: no information on pricing for the VT has been announed.  there exists the possibility of an additional fee)
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
If you didn't find the D&D VT user friendly, i wonder how user friendly you would find other VT's out there Fantasy Ground, Map Tool etc...

If ithere's one thing most people familiar with Virtual Tables have said, it was that the D&D VT was user friendly. Wink 



I have tried map tools and it was a hell of a lot more difficult.

I know I can learn once it comes out, but I look at average gamers who would like to just sit down and play without learning how to use a program.

I know some of my friends won't use it because it does take some learning to use.

Maybe they could have a in depth tutor on how to use it



There are video tutorials on youtube. Additionally, if interested I can always host a public table and show a lot of the functionality and how it's done.
I just don't see WotC luring folks who can deal with Maptools etc.

I suspect that WotC is not aiming solely at the MapTools population. Rather, WotC is aiming toward the entire D&D playing population, with far more targeting of never-played-onlin-before players than those already invested in other systems.

WotC has the advantage of adding brand recognition to its tool. And when it releases the Virtual Table it will be able to reach LOTS of players who didn't even know there were other tools already out there.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I just don't see WotC luring folks who can deal with Maptools etc.

I suspect that WotC is not aiming solely at the MapTools population. Rather, WotC is aiming toward the entire D&D playing population, with far more targeting of never-played-onlin-before players than those already invested in other systems.

WotC has the advantage of adding brand recognition to its tool. And when it releases the Virtual Table it will be able to reach LOTS of players who didn't even know there were other tools already out there.




I believe you are right. I just wish they would go the extra step with customization that appears to be lacking.
That sounds like very little done over the course of 6 months. Basic import bug fixes? Please. Sounds like there's at best of a crew of 3 people working on this.
Edit: I'm sure those three people are hard working individuals, but this is why you let software companies write software. If this had been propperly outsourced/contracted we'd have a working VT. 




They tried this once before with the 3d virtual table and they ended up getting screwed on the whole deal.  I'm sure they're more than a bit hesitant to outsource at this time.  Others more in the know can probably provide the details of what happened.
That sounds like very little done over the course of 6 months. Basic import bug fixes? Please. Sounds like there's at best of a crew of 3 people working on this.
Edit: I'm sure those three people are hard working individuals, but this is why you let software companies write software. If this had been propperly outsourced/contracted we'd have a working VT. 



Considering that prior to importing, we had to spend 30+ minutes manually entering in our PC info, and the DM had to manually enter the data for each and every monster used, importing is not a minor bug fix.

As for the rest, if you haven't been playing on the VT and simply read off a list that I provided (without copying/pasting weeks and weeks worth of updfate notes), then yeah, it might seem like not much.  Having been playing on the VT for 10 months now, some of these "minor" fixes are very significant to the usability of the VT


As for pricing.. all I have are rumors.  Rumors say that they might release the VT with the basic tilesets of Wilderness/City/Dungeon, and then offer the other specialized sets at a price point.  But this is rumor, I have heard nothing specific other than "we are still working out pricing details and will announce more as we know more"
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
That sounds like very little done over the course of 6 months. Basic import bug fixes? Please. Sounds like there's at best of a crew of 3 people working on this.
Edit: I'm sure those three people are hard working individuals, but this is why you let software companies write software. If this had been propperly outsourced/contracted we'd have a working VT. 



Considering that prior to importing, we had to spend 30+ minutes manually entering in our PC info, and the DM had to manually enter the data for each and every monster used, importing is not a minor bug fix.

As for the rest, if you haven't been playing on the VT and simply read off a list that I provided (without copying/pasting weeks and weeks worth of updfate notes), then yeah, it might seem like not much.  Having been playing on the VT for 10 months now, some of these "minor" fixes are very significant to the usability of the VT


As for pricing.. all I have are rumors.  Rumors say that they might release the VT with the basic tilesets of Wilderness/City/Dungeon, and then offer the other specialized sets at a price point.  But this is rumor, I have heard nothing specific other than "we are still working out pricing details and will announce more as we know more"



I draw your attention, to all those who say that I am guessing re the pricing, to the bolded section of the above quote as another is here saying the same thing!

Maybe Agonar could link where he got this from but never the less, stating that they are working on pricing issues does SPECULATE that either the COMPONENTS of the vt will be priced separately, the USE of the vt will be priced separately, or BOTH will be priced separately to your DDI Insider account. Either way, we'll be paying for SOMETHING when the vt finally goes live.

 
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
I know this would go against what WotC have in plans to gain some financial benefit out of tokens and tiles

Has Wizards posted these "plans" somewhere?  I am sure that many of us would love to see that post if you could please provide a link.  Thanks.




There is no official notice, and you know so, so why ask. There are replies on various posts from WotC_Josh stating that they are presently looking at pricing and costings associated with the vt, and once they work it out, then they will release the vt to the general public

Why ask?  Because when people pass off speculation as fact, some people question it while other people believe it.  I questioned it. Since you are guessing and really have no actual idea what Wizards "plans" with regards to tokens and tiles, everyone should be aware of that.

Let's not kid ourselves! We all know that WotC is a business in the business of making money, of which I don't begrudge them if they can. The game business is big money; take a look at the millions that M:tg makes WotC every year.

Now ... take from that what you will but conversations within the games (involving Sages) I have run have 'speculated' that there will be costings associated with tiles and tokens ... so ... until they work out 'how' they are going to cost those (and other) things, the vt will remain in the beta stage.

Last I checked, Sages are not WotC employees, nor are they privvy to any more or different information than what we have.  Their guess is as good or bad as anyone's.




I neither passed off speculation as fact nor was I guessing (to a degree). When WotC_Josh gets on the forum stating pricing, it's not a speculation or guess (see my reply above re paying for SOMETHING).

I'm fully aware that Sages don't work for WotC. I didn't say they did. I didn't imply they did. I didn't assume they did. In fact ... I know they don't.

Either way, I care not what you think I may or may not know. The forum is an outlet for speculation, and based on what I do know, we'll be paying inaddition to our DDI accounts for something (if not all) of the vt when released.
 
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
Your original post stated:
I know this would go against what WotC have in plans to gain some financial benefit out of tokens and tiles

That's a far stretch from what you are back pedalling to now, and is definitely not the same (although you somehow believe and say it is the same) as what Wizards says:

we are still working out pricing details and will announce more as we know more

Your original claim is quite specific.  What WotC has said is quite generic.  If you don't see the difference...  well, obviously you don't see the difference, otherwise you would not have said that was the same as what you had said before.

All I originally did was ask for a link to these "plans" that you claimed WotC had regarding charging for tiles and tilesets.  Sorry I called you on that, but that statement was passed off by you as fact when it indeed wasn't fact.  All you have to do is read what I quoted and there was anything but speculation in your sentence.

Regarding sages: If you knew all that, then I really don't know why you invoked their title.  Maybe you were trying to impress me or something.

I won't discuss this any longer with you.  It's obvious that your latest stance is infinitely more generic than your first, but you claiming that it was somehow the same statement just means to me that you're more interested in not being wrong than actually discussing the topic.
Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.
As I see it, the WOTC has one major suite of competitors in Hero Lab and D20Pro in terms of having a functional, integrated virtual table top experience.  The main issue being that Hero Lab and D20Pro are both supported by single purchase long licenses versus the monthly subscription fee that WOTC desires.  

I'm going to be blunt, the subscription based model fails utterly for the VTT for a variety of reasons.  First off, as an entry point to your product it prohibits users from playing and you need to get them playing to get their money.  Second off, if you are going to charge a monthly subscription fee for a product its going to have to be better than D20pro, or at least OpenRPG and while you might get equal I doubt that VTT will be vastly superior to either.  Third off, and quite bluntly, you make more money in a micro transaction level than on a subscription based because you can get more players which is what their objective seems to be.

To maximize profits, I'd start with the VTT being free and fully functional... for players.  I'd let you manually enter in a character from your book, I'd even help you out by calculating some of the numbers for you.  However, I'd make it far easier to import a character from the character builder.  The character builder would charge a one time fee for character slots, rather being subscription based as well.  Dungeon, Dragon and the rules compendium would all remain subscription based.

Then I would have a Dungeon store where you bought adventures with Dragon points.  Heck, I'd even set it up that users could put adventures in there and I'd have a system that if they were downloaded enough times WOTC would review them for possible sale.  

You see, the main issue with using a virtual table top is that building an adventure takes forever and is annoying.  If you built an adventure that I could run in a week and offered to sell it to me for $10, I'd buy it every weekend because the hour plus I save not building an adventure is worth it to me, especially if that adventure is built with all the monsters pre done, fog of war enabled and with a reasonable deal of spit and polish.   
To maximize profits, I'd start with the VTT being free and fully functional... for players.

Then I would have a Dungeon store where you bought adventures with Dragon points.

Wow, so you are saying that DM's should be charged and players should not be.

This sounds more and more like the real table top each and every day...

WOTC has one major suite of competitors in Hero Lab and D20Pro in terms of having a functional, integrated virtual table top experience.

Hero Labs/D20Pro is not a fully integrated VTT.  Maybe for the players, it is.

Oh wait, I think I see the trend now.  You're not a DM, are you?    

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.

Maybe Agonar could link where he got this from but never the less, stating that they are working on pricing issues does SPECULATE that either the COMPONENTS of the vt will be priced separately, the USE of the vt will be priced separately, or BOTH will be priced separately to your DDI Insider account. Either way, we'll be paying for SOMETHING when the vt finally goes live.




You forgot one posssibility. That they also simply make it part of DDi at no additional cost (except a little increase on next price revision). In your speculation, they will inevitably charge. Its not necessarly the outcome of every possibility. For your link:


From the Virtual Table FAQ:   wizards.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/...

Q: What is the pricing going to be on the finished product?
A: We have not finalized any pricing decisions at this time.  
  

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

let's not turn this into  debate at how good/bad the VTT wil.  I just wanted to know what was up with it

Problem with quotes is 8 months of forums to hunt through, and the search feature is not the best of tools here.

per WOTC_Josh

We've got a few ideas for allowing non-subscribers access, and we know it's something that has been requested a few times.  Nothing has been finalized yet though, so there's nothing to share. 



And in response to a question about selling tokens/tiles,
3 - Pricing is still something we are debating on.  As the product is not live, nor have we announced it going live any time soon, we've still got a lot of time to figure out what would be best for us, for the table, and for all of you.



And, back when they turned off passes, as per a Blog Post -
 Starting on June 1st, we will be turning off the pass code requirements for regular session tables; however, pass codes will continue to be required for paid events.  We have not yet decided if this is a permanent change and more information will be forthcoming regarding any final decisions.



So comments like these have led a lot of people into speculating that the VT will be relesed as part of DDi, and that there may be micro-transactions (12hr passes anyone?) in use for non-ddi members so that they can play as well.  No one is really certain what these "Paid events" are going to be, or anything like that.

For all we know, the VT could be an addition to DDi at no extra charge.  Tiles may be an addition at no extra charge.  Dungeon Magazine adventures/maps may be included at no extra charge.  Or, more memory, tiles, tokens, and like could all be 1 time fees, or additional fees added to your monthly DDI sub price. 

They just aren't saying anything for sure yet.  There has been a lot of "we're not ready to announce anything" posts, and a lot of speculation by the membership at large.  There are options I would like to see for free, there are options I would be willing to pay for.  I know what I want for free, others would be willing to pay for, and vise versa
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
Too late Rian ... sit back and enjoy the ride

Thx for the linked quote Plaguescarred ... you're a better man than me for finding it ... and true, they could just include the vt in the subcription cost, but I find this highly unlikely based on the number of hours spent developing this and tailor making it to a select audience. I truely hope I'm wrong.
 
Thx for the quotes Agonar. You're right in say that 8 months of searching back through forum posts is difficult and cuedos to to for doing it ... with their indexing system, I prefer to rely on memory.

I do believe I read somewhere that they did trial the use of credit cards deductions for an Event, where they deducted $0.00 for the trial, to ensure it worked. I'm sure they listed that this was in preparation for non-subscribers (?) to be able to play in the Events. Trialling this sort of system is paramont to charging someone for something in the vt ... but then again, my assumption 'could' be wrong ... again.

I can say that should they charge for this, based on the number of uses I have got out of this (1 hr of total play time / several hours of Dm time over a 6 month period), unless something changed, I don't think  I'd pay above my subscription to play on the vt.
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
Too late Rian ... sit back and enjoy the ride

Thx for the linked quote Plaguescarred ... you're a better man than me for finding it ... and true, they could just include the vt in the subcription cost, but I find this highly unlikely based on the number of hours spent developing this and tailor making it to a select audience. I truely hope I'm wrong.
 
Thx for the quotes Agonar but unless you supply the links (not needed here), I'm afraid Jharii won't accept them. You're right in say that 8 months of searching back through forum posts is difficult and cuedos to to for doing it ... with their indexing system, I prefer to rely on memory.

I do believe I read somewhere that they did trial the use of credit cards deductions for an Event, where they deducted $0.00 for the trial, to ensure it worked. I'm sure they listed that this was in preparation for non-subscribers (?) to be able to play in the Events. Trialling this sort of system is paramont to charging someone for something in the vt ... but then again, my assumption 'could' be wrong ... again.

I can say that should they charge for this, based on the number of uses I have got out of this (1 hr of total play time / several hours of Dm time over a 6 month period), unless something changed, I don't think  I'd pay above my subscription to play on the vt.



Yes but it can stop being one
As I see it, the WOTC has one major suite of competitors in Hero Lab and D20Pro in terms of having a functional, integrated virtual table top experience.  The main issue being that Hero Lab and D20Pro are both supported by single purchase long licenses versus the monthly subscription fee that WOTC desires.  

I'm going to be blunt, the subscription based model fails utterly for the VTT for a variety of reasons.  First off, as an entry point to your product it prohibits users from playing and you need to get them playing to get their money.  Second off, if you are going to charge a monthly subscription fee for a product its going to have to be better than D20pro, or at least OpenRPG and while you might get equal I doubt that VTT will be vastly superior to either.  Third off, and quite bluntly, you make more money in a micro transaction level than on a subscription based because you can get more players which is what their objective seems to be.

To maximize profits, I'd start with the VTT being free and fully functional... for players.  I'd let you manually enter in a character from your book, I'd even help you out by calculating some of the numbers for you.  However, I'd make it far easier to import a character from the character builder.  The character builder would charge a one time fee for character slots, rather being subscription based as well.  Dungeon, Dragon and the rules compendium would all remain subscription based.

Then I would have a Dungeon store where you bought adventures with Dragon points.  Heck, I'd even set it up that users could put adventures in there and I'd have a system that if they were downloaded enough times WOTC would review them for possible sale.  

You see, the main issue with using a virtual table top is that building an adventure takes forever and is annoying.  If you built an adventure that I could run in a week and offered to sell it to me for $10, I'd buy it every weekend because the hour plus I save not building an adventure is worth it to me, especially if that adventure is built with all the monsters pre done, fog of war enabled and with a reasonable deal of spit and polish.   

Yeah, my thoughts are along the same lines. I have players that I play with on Maptool. We would use VTT, but the other players aren't going to keep paying extra for a dubiously better VTT. Even if it was clearly somewhat superior I think I'd have trouble getting the whole group putting up money.

It seems like they have no great pricing options. If they have "basic VTT with added fees for the DM to use more tiles etc" then they're dinging their best audience, DMs. If they charge players or require everyone to have DDI then they're making it pretty tough for most groups to play together as someone won't be keen to pay to play.

Honestly I think their best bet would be to make the VTT free to play, DDI to DM. Note that this means you pretty much can have a few characters in the DM's account, but a lot of players will pay for DDI just so they can get CB and do their own characters.

They can charge for 'special events' and/or 'celebrity games' etc. They can also charge for pre-made 'premium' adventures (for instance VTT versions of published adventures). That would make them some money from the thing, allow it to be a nice added reason to get DDI, and still let pretty much any group play using the thing so it can act as a nice DDI loss leader.

I just don't see any kind of setup where Joe Player has to pay every week to play in a normal game working.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
let's not turn this into  debate at how good/bad the VTT wil.  I just wanted to know what was up with it



There has been a lot of refinement of the VT. However, it's still a very basic VT.

You can import characters and monsters. YOu can't export charcaters back out, but honestly, I don't know why you would need to, it's not like you can level or give out magic items or anything like that. So, what you would need to export I don't know.

But you can't share adventures, because WoTC wants to make money selling adventures (Nothing wrong with that). But why would you buy adventures, when players can make them faster, and then give them out for free?

So, the VT has improved some of it's features, hasn't really added anything, and now is working on getting the pay to play aspect working. Once that happens, it will most likely move into open beta, and then be released.

Forum policy states that we are not to discuss moderation. When we do perform moderation we either post an educational warn (like this one) or send an email to the address registered to the forum account.
To maximize profits, I'd start with the VTT being free and fully functional... for players.

Then I would have a Dungeon store where you bought adventures with Dragon points.

Wow, so you are saying that DM's should be charged and players should not be.

This sounds more and more like the real table top each and every day...

WOTC has one major suite of competitors in Hero Lab and D20Pro in terms of having a functional, integrated virtual table top experience.

Hero Labs/D20Pro is not a fully integrated VTT.  Maybe for the players, it is.

Oh wait, I think I see the trend now.  You're not a DM, are you?    




Lets just address these points.  

First off, DMing is always the most expensive role at the table.  Either the DM is expected to spend hours of their time planning out an adventure or they are expected to fork out cash to purchase one.  Now, sometimes a player might purchase an adventure for the DM or some system where the DM doesn't pay for snacks or something is worked out but that is as an offset.  This has been the way since first edition and I don't honestly ever remember it changing at all.  Heck, back in those days the DM was probably the only person with the books necessary to even play.  

Second off, I just finished a PF D20Pro game where everyone was able to send me their character files so I could impliment them a few minutes before the game started and I was able to use a combination of  planned and unplanned encounters to get them through my adventure with little difficulty.  I also DM 4th Edition, though since several of my players are not keen on DDI I have not gotten a subscription as of yet, I've debated hand coding the info into the system and appearntly the old character builder can be imported easily into it but the present builder doesn't seem to have that ability.  I also just finished up a OD&D game a few weeks ago from my original red box.  I'm currently DMing 2 games, and I spend alot on RPG products.  

You see, as an adult ten dollars to purchase an adventure respensents the price point where I buy an adventure as opposed to making one myself.  It is certainly less annoying to use a pre developed module and because I have more money than time I like to buy them.  You seem to be the reverse, and more power to you, but you aren't the audience that I had in mind in the first place.  At 10 dollars, I'd buy a new one each week which would be significantly more than DDI would be earning through its subscription model, especially if they implimented enough micro transactions to handle the new system.  Because I wouldn't buy the modules at all if they were subsciption based or limited to only members who were paying a subscription fee, WOTC would actually be making less money with their subscriptions than without.