What happens to 4e support when Next ships?

Let me expand on my question.  I play 4e without any printed rulebooks.  I maintain an annual subscription to DDI and rely on Compendium and Character Builder to play.  One of the Top 3 reasons I have an iPad with cellular data is to participate in Play-by-Post campaigns and to have access to Compendium at the drop of a hat (sadly, Apple removed support for CB some time ago).

My concern is that Next/5e will ship and my access to 4e materials will vanish.  But I'm not about to buy the physical books, the on-line access via my iPad is just so much easier than lugging books around.  Almost 30 years of playing D&D and another system off and on has taught me that one.

Has there been any info provided yet that indicates...
1) On-line access to 4e materials will be maintained
2) 4e materials would be available to purchase from services like iBooks or similar either before or after Next/5e ships?

[rant]
I really don't the reluctance of RPG publishers to release full books electronically (Wizards or another company I monitor from time to time).  I can't imagine that price point is the problem.  I'm willing to pay the same rates I would pay at my local bookstore, which runs from 10% to 30% off MSRP, plus applicable taxes.  I doubt that Apple, Amazon, or the like would take a larger cut than printing and distribution costs do.
[/rant]

So, what will my options be to continue playing 4e after the next edition launch?
The same thing that happened to Ol' Yeller.

Edit for specifics:
1.  You'll start to see fewer and fewer articles for 4e.
2.  You'll see fewer and fewer books published for 4e.

Will the online databases go down?  Probably not at first, but I can't say for certain how long they will remain up.  To be honest, 4e is really the first time any RPG (that I know of) had such strong internet media support.

It is possible that as long as there is a large enough subscriber base that they will continue to provide articles and database support.
they said they intend to keep supporting 4e ddi but acted wishy washy about it

i definitely encourage 4e players to mention it in their feedback and i would even ask others to support the tools being left up too, even if you hate 4e

i think next can be good. i like 4e, 1e, 2e, etc; i want everybody to be happy. so my opinion is that if all dnd gamers, even those that dont play 4e, can be supportive of the idea to keep 4e support up, it would help a lot, as they might just ignore 4e players alone. no edition lasts forever as being 'officially supported', so even if you hate 4e, 5es tools could be next in a few years, if (and when) they make another edition. in other words it could be you next so lets set a good precedent now

personally i think going forward each editions online support should be maintained with more than one subscription package, but i would still happily subscribe to 5e tools if only i could keep getting 4e tools

in the end all i can do is what i have been doing since the first day they announced 5e: beg wizards to please leave up the 4e tools; dont screw your loyal customers over, please
Either a) They are nice and print the material so that when the databases go down (and they will eventually even if they say they won't) you aren't left high and dry or
b) You get to enjoy it just as long as those databases exist (which to be fair they likely will for years) 
There's no guarantee they will stay up one day past the release of 5e actually.

I'll definitely state that I want to continue to have support for 4e. Who knows if it will continue to be our game of choice or not, but having those materials available with DDI subscription is certainly something that will factor into future purchase decisions.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
There's no guarantee they will stay up one day past the release of 5e actually.

I'll definitely state that I want to continue to have support for 4e. Who knows if it will continue to be our game of choice or not, but having those materials available with DDI subscription is certainly something that will factor into future purchase decisions.




While there is no guarantee, I would put money on them being around for a while.

It is my belief that at this point Wizards is very worried about keeping players happy. They alienated a huge group of people with 4e they are trying to get back while keeping the 4e folks happy. 

4e was the shortest lived of any edition, but I think it did manage to bring new players (perhaps not enough to justify the losses but still). 5e is young and may turn out to work for 4e players but if it doesn't I really doubt they will want to lose your right away,

That said I still think it will slowly ebb in support.
There's no guarantee they will stay up one day past the release of 5e actually.

I'll definitely state that I want to continue to have support for 4e. Who knows if it will continue to be our game of choice or not, but having those materials available with DDI subscription is certainly something that will factor into future purchase decisions.




While there is no guarantee, I would put money on them being around for a while.

It is my belief that at this point Wizards is very worried about keeping players happy. They alienated a huge group of people with 4e they are trying to get back while keeping the 4e folks happy. 

4e was the shortest lived of any edition, but I think it did manage to bring new players (perhaps not enough to justify the losses but still). 5e is young and may turn out to work for 4e players but if it doesn't I really doubt they will want to lose your right away,

That said I still think it will slowly ebb in support.

Probably. Frankly there's nothing WotC can say that amounts to a guarantee anyway, so it is not like I'm complaining. Clearly there's also no way support for any edition can literally last forever either. There's basically a year and half till 5e releases anyway. Who knows what people will want at that point?
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Pretty much. No way of knowing, I am just saying.... I would want as much as I could in print.
To clarify my original post, I'm not asking about any new articles or data after Next/5e.  That would be foolish.  I'm simply interested in continued access via some method to data for 4e. 

I participate in a PbP campaign that has been running for nearly 4 years with no sign of slowing down any time soon.  And I don't want to see the campaign end just because some of us can't access data any longer.
I actually think it'd be beneficial to keep the material up, although I'm not any kind of business guru or whatever. I didn't immediately convert to 4e by any stretch of the imagination; it took me some time. Part of what eventually lured me in was seeing and reading some of the 4e stuff on the website, which I had reasons to continue to visit because there was still 3.5 stuff available. Not NEW 3.5 stuff, but 3.5 stuff. (Plus whatever new stuff people were doing in the forums.) What I would do - and this could be the dumbest decision ever, but it makes sense to me - is keep all the 4e online resources and tools available, and then just put Next stuff where it'll be seen by people using it. It worked before on me. While the damage caused by how they handled the 3.5 -> 4e edition might sometimes be overstated, I'm sure they learned some things from it, and it certainly could have gone better. In particular, if there are still people paying for access, I'd be surprised if it becomes unworth it to keep that material up. Server space and maintenance aren't free, but neither are D&Di subscriptions.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
*Shrug*  This is a business to WoTC.  So as long as they think they can squeeze more subscription dollars out of 4e DDI than they think they lose by not encouraging those subscribers to switch to 5e by discontinuing DDI support for 4e, they will continue to support 4e. 
My gut instinct (I could be wrong on this of couse) is they are going to want you to have ddi for 5e too though. It is the modle they have adopted. So unless they charge you a different fee for 4e stuff (maybe they will who knows?) the suscription fee is irrevelant.

Never trust a company to make the smart call. The people making the call are usually people looking at abstract numbers. I am not saying they won't make the smart call because I think what Lesp is saying is actually the smart thing to do, just don't expect them to.

p.s. Even if they take the servers down there is enough printed/digital copies of book that your campaign shouldn't have to end. There are still people playing 1st edition (granted there was no ddi back then) so you should be alright.
All I ask is if they stop the support for DDI, at least give us one last updated downloadable character builder.  I understand if they don't want to keep the cloud up and everything for a version they are going to abondan, but it would be nice if they let us download it one last time so we could still have it
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I'm counting on Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine switching completely to only have D&D Next material. But I don't see why the online character builder or monster database or virtual table would have to be removed. I really hope there will just be a simple edition choice button in these online applications.

Note that a lot of these application have been designed for 4th edition, for tactical combat with lots of different powers from players and monsters. Not all of them make a lot of sense for D&D Next, because character sheets or monster descriptions in D&D Next are so much shorter.
I expect they will keep the 4E tools up for at least a year or so after 5e ships. Maybe only a couple months, who know?

What I would REALLY like to see, though, is for them to compile these tools and databases into a complete 4E package that is downloadable by D&DI subscribers. The character builder used to be downloadable, and I liked that plenty. So maybe, before pulling the plug on the online support completely (whenever that happens, because it will eventually) they could be super awesome and give us the databases and tools in a downloadable form that those of us who continue to play 4E can continue to use. I consider the tools and databases to be a part of 4th Edition, something really intrinsic to the experince, and it would be sad to see that aspect go away completely.

Could we get support for this idea? It's something I think we should let them know. I know I'll be writing them about it. 
I don't expect them to continue to support 4e's online tools a day past the release of the new edition. They might not take them down immediately, but given the disaster that DDI in general has been, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Wizards decides to jettison the whole effort and start over from scratch. If they do, that means goodbye 4e support.
well kalranya, can you mention in your feedback you would like to see it kept up? thats what can help

if everyone can just mention 'btw, plz keep the 4e tools up; i dont want that to happen me in 4 or 5 years when you do the new edition thing again'
I could, but considering I'm not using them now... 

At the time of the changeover to the current CB, I wasn't gaming at a place that had wifi, making DDI fairly useless to me. To this day, CB lacks functions that I consider to be of essential importance. And the original 4e character sheet may have been terrible, but at least it was readable; the CB character sheets were pretty, but useless, and I couldn't even edit them to make them work for me.

Suffice it to say I found alternatives. 
well kalranya, can you mention in your feedback you would like to see it kept up? thats what can help

if everyone can just mention 'btw, plz keep the 4e tools up; i dont want that to happen me in 4 or 5 years when you do the new edition thing again'


This I will do. The way WotC handles 4E DDI after 5E comes out will set an example for 5E DDI.
Then again, if almost nobody uses 4E DDI anymore because we are all playing 5E, they will stop offering access to it.
My instinct is that they will monitor the use of the 4e online information and make their decision based upon that.  If the 4e databases continue to have people accessing them in significant numbers, they will probably remain up.  If they drop off to the point where it appears there are only a small number using it, they will probably shut it down.  In that case as others said, hopefully they make the information available as a download before they close it down.
If there's no money in supporting it, they will stop, simple as that. 

Remember what they did with 4e as well, they tried to force designers to stop making 3e materials completely. It may not get that extreme this go around, since it looks like that was a big factor in Piazo's decision to release pathfinder, but who knows. Papa Hasbro might flex thier muscles at some point. 
I suspect there is far more money to be made with the 4E database than with any potential D&D Next application. The 4E databases and applications are already paid for and programmed, so everybody paying for them is pure profit.

But even more importantly: A 4E character sheet has 5+ pages, while the D&D Next character sheet of the fighter has just one (and the other classes mostly have two because they printed the class rules on them). 4E being so much more complex, having the D&D Insider applications really help. I'm not sure I would need any help to design a character or monster in D&D Next, they are so much simpler.
even in 1e, i like the dragonsfoot sheet, its like 5 pages
I suspect there is far more money to be made with the 4E database than with any potential D&D Next application. The 4E databases and applications are already paid for and programmed, so everybody paying for them is pure profit.

But even more importantly: A 4E character sheet has 5+ pages, while the D&D Next character sheet of the fighter has just one (and the other classes mostly have two because they printed the class rules on them). 4E being so much more complex, having the D&D Insider applications really help. I'm not sure I would need any help to design a character or monster in D&D Next, they are so much simpler.



Patching, server maintance, and bandwidth are all not free. And you can bet that if people are paying for it, they will be demanding upgrades, feature enchancements, support, etc. 

If you are a 4e player, I would plan for the inevitible. Within a year of 5e's release you will prob see 4e's tools end of lifed. There is not enough money in 4e to sustain it and not alot of sense in promoting an old product that's not making you a profit.
 


I think 4E will have more players than 5E for quite a while after the latter's release. From what I've seen so far, 5E looks pretty ordinary compared to when KotSF came out. I know there are going to be a lot of 'modular' things that can be done, but the change from 3E to 4E was a big bonus to DMs. I don't see anything that improves the lot of DMs in 5E. 
As a DM, I don't want to have to make a lot of in-game decisions.  Having RAW that has already judged something allows me to end long rules discussions before they start. 4E has that. It looks like an aim of 5E is to remove some of that. I can recall far too much time being spent on players making a case for doing something that I, as a DM, really didn't like. 3E alleviated a lot of that, but was unbalanced. 4E is balanced and has a lot of situations covered. I spent a lot of money on things like battlemats, minis, and tokens. I don't mind a system that uses them. Losing them isn't an improvement to me (and a lot of DMs who are in the same boat.)
So if a high percentage of DMs prefer to stay with 4E,  and WotC shuts down support for it (especially in re the CB), I think a lot of us will lose the reason to keep a subscription going. 
oh i will def cancel my sub if it is 5e only. you dont need much by way of digital tools to run a retro-clone. i would like to stay subbed to the vt, but ill have to see what the sub options look like
I think subscription numbers for D&D Insider would come crashing down if WotC removed 4E support. Many 4E players won't be buying D&D Next anyway, as it is clearly targeted towards a very different audience.
i hope youre right tobold, i think being able to sub to both in a package would be nice too
Well, if the split happens yet again, I wouldn't be surprised if an independent company like Paizo makes a 4e clone, just like the 3e clone, Pathfinder.  But, who knows?  Maybe Wizards will allow 4e content to continue... that or release one final offline package of all the 4e content for subscribers.  Only time will tell, after all...  Plus, I have no ability to tell the future.  That would imply psychic potential!

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
What happens to 4e support when Next ships?



This.
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.



I think 4E will have more players than 5E for quite a while after the latter's release. From what I've seen so far, 5E looks pretty ordinary compared to when KotSF came out. I know there are going to be a lot of 'modular' things that can be done, but the change from 3E to 4E was a big bonus to DMs. I don't see anything that improves the lot of DMs in 5E. 
As a DM, I don't want to have to make a lot of in-game decisions.  Having RAW that has already judged something allows me to end long rules discussions before they start. 4E has that. It looks like an aim of 5E is to remove some of that. I can recall far too much time being spent on players making a case for doing something that I, as a DM, really didn't like. 3E alleviated a lot of that, but was unbalanced. 4E is balanced and has a lot of situations covered. I spent a lot of money on things like battlemats, minis, and tokens. I don't mind a system that uses them. Losing them isn't an improvement to me (and a lot of DMs who are in the same boat.)
So if a high percentage of DMs prefer to stay with 4E,  and WotC shuts down support for it (especially in re the CB), I think a lot of us will lose the reason to keep a subscription going. 



I am sure that in creating DnD next this was a huge area of concern.  I can understand a DM not wanting to have to go through the hassle of assembling their version of the game and having to remember what rule sets they've combined, which house rules they are going to use, etc.  

Which is why I believe that even though they will assuredly discontinue all 4.0 support (including the insider content) that they will have an easy to implement module  that will be able to incorporate most if not all of 4.0 rule set and its later content.

I wouldn't be surprised if what was released within the last 2 years isn't actually directly from this 'tactical battle module' of the game.


I think 4E will have more players than 5E for quite a while after the latter's release. From what I've seen so far, 5E looks pretty ordinary compared to when KotSF came out. I know there are going to be a lot of 'modular' things that can be done, but the change from 3E to 4E was a big bonus to DMs. I don't see anything that improves the lot of DMs in 5E. 
As a DM, I don't want to have to make a lot of in-game decisions.  Having RAW that has already judged something allows me to end long rules discussions before they start. 4E has that. It looks like an aim of 5E is to remove some of that. I can recall far too much time being spent on players making a case for doing something that I, as a DM, really didn't like. 3E alleviated a lot of that, but was unbalanced. 4E is balanced and has a lot of situations covered. I spent a lot of money on things like battlemats, minis, and tokens. I don't mind a system that uses them. Losing them isn't an improvement to me (and a lot of DMs who are in the same boat.)
So if a high percentage of DMs prefer to stay with 4E,  and WotC shuts down support for it (especially in re the CB), I think a lot of us will lose the reason to keep a subscription going. 



I am sure that in creating DnD next this was a huge area of concern.  I can understand a DM not wanting to have to go through the hassle of assembling their version of the game and having to remember what rule sets they've combined, which house rules they are going to use, etc.  

Which is why I believe that even though they will assuredly discontinue all 4.0 support (including the insider content) that they will have an easy to implement module  that will be able to incorporate most if not all of 4.0 rule set and its later content.

I wouldn't be surprised if what was released within the last 2 years isn't actually directly from this 'tactical battle module' of the game.




Call this complete madness, but I have a solution!  Something for those who felt 4th Ed. was their D&D and for others who felt 4E wasn't D&D...  "Points of Light: A D&D Roleplaying Game".  If they continued as a separate D&D product line, it would still be available for 4E fans to continue their stories and worlds while allowing people who didn't like it to completely ignore it, dismissing it as a side product of sorts... or perhaps sample it for fluff ideas!  (Even though I've ignored the cosmology, I've sampled the Elemental Chaos, FeyWild, ShadowFell, and Astral Seas for tons of ideas)  So, this way Returned Abeir can exist in one reality while Clerics of Mystra battle vile beings of dark magicks in another Realms reality.  Though, Wizards will probably ignore this or call this idea silly.

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
The same thing that has happened with every other version of D&D when a new one comes out - support gets dropped almost immediately and they pretend it never existed.  Yes, they've said in a very cautious doublespeak kind of way that they promise to continue to support 4e, but they also said that with every other edition change, and every time, it was false.  I think they'll probably keep the 4e generator online for a few months after the 5e books ship, since we all know the 5e digital tools won't actually work until a year after they're supposed to, but once the 5e digital tools are up, they will pull the 4e stuff down.
but makeshift, 4e is the first edition that they have ever really had good working online tools for
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