Playtest 2?

    Am I missing something?  Or have we only had the one playtest?  With the 2nd yet to be announced?
    There is still time to do a fair amount of revision of 5e, but it would seem playtesting should be pretty much done by the end of August and they should be doing mostly detail work on the system after that.
They did a friends and family test prior to this one but are talking 6-8 months of playtest material before they conclude.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Next update should be by early July, according to the D&D Next Podcast 05/24. Every 5 weeks (or so) WoTC said they would like to roll out new Playtest materials, but then again the Legends & Lore: Playtest Update column seems now to say they are pushing it a bit longer:

So What's Next?
We're working on the first wave of rules modules, expanding the range of levels, dealing with character creation, and fixing known issues. In addition, we want to make sure that everyone can download future files without encountering errors. As it turns out, a lot more of you wanted to playtest the game than we anticipated. Our goal is to have something to you before the end of the summer if not sooner.

it would seem playtesting should be pretty much done by the end of August

Why would it seem like that?

August of what year?

If the open-playtest portion, which we have had one packet of, does not at least last a full year before WotC says "thanks everybody, we are going to get all the data collected sorted into useful form and finish up from here," then it will have been a great deal of wasted time for them considering it will not possibly have given them enough information to make the product they claim they wish to make.

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.

it would seem playtesting should be pretty much done by the end of August

Why would it seem like that?

August of what year?

If the open-playtest portion, which we have had one packet of, does not at least last a full year before WotC says "thanks everybody, we are going to get all the data collected sorted into useful form and finish up from here," then it will have been a great deal of wasted time for them considering it will not possibly have given them enough information to make the product they claim they wish to make.


Agreed.

I would like to see new playtest material offered about every three months initially (say the first three sets), maybe increasing the frequency as the open playtest goes along (say every other month, once the basics are nailed down) with even more focused material; for at least a year.

I do think it would be nice to have the official release in 2014, celebrating the 40th anniversary with the new edition.
We should blame ourselves.  We can't live with a snippet of a game and review those parts or we go nerdrage about some thing we want being missing.   So now they've slowed up and are trying to rush in some stuff to make people happy.   It may very well fubar the whole process because an ideal test strategy would be a class by class system by system gradual unleashing of material.   Such an approach though is unacceptable to too many sadly.

 
We should blame ourselves.  We can't live with a snippet of a game and review those parts or we go nerdrage about some thing we want being missing.   So now they've slowed up and are trying to rush in some stuff to make people happy.   It may very well fubar the whole process because an ideal test strategy would be a class by class system by system gradual unleashing of material.   Such an approach though is unacceptable to too many sadly.

 


True.  However I do think that feedback was going to surprise them regardless.  There are just such varied opinions and with us all feeling strongly about the game it is difficult not to put in our advice.

I know this one was more toward style so I specifically chose to address that most heavily in my feedback. 

On this they did a wonderful job in my opinion.

They invalidated the Healer's Temple Services ability with cure all overnight healing but other than that they didn't realy do too bad at providing workable options for all the classes.

Despite my feelings on auto damage I was able to reflavor and turn it into something fun.

All in all I'm more excited to see what else is on the way than I am upset about anything provided so far.

I hope that came through in my feedback.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Next update should be by early July, according to the D&D Next Podcast 05/24.


But it is early July, almost mid in fact.  And apparently we have heard nothing.


 the Legends & Lore: Playtest Update column seems now to say they are pushing it a bit longer:

So What's Next?
We're working on the first wave of rules modules, expanding the range of levels, dealing with character creation, and fixing known issues. In addition, we want to make sure that everyone can download future files without encountering errors. As it turns out, a lot more of you wanted to playtest the game than we anticipated. Our goal is to have something to you before the end of the summer if not sooner.



       But 4e was pretty much ready to roll in August.  And the longer they work on developing 5e, the more sales they are losing.  An end of Summer "goal" suggests D&D will be in limbo for all too long.
Just out of curiosity, where are you getting a publish date of August 2012?  As fas I know, they've never said anything of the sort...  I'm actually quite glad they haven't promised any dates, because it means they are taking the time to do it right, instead of rushing to meet a deadline with a sub-par system. 

There's no sales to lose, because there's nothing to sell yet...  Not to be offensive, but are you honestly saying "If it's not ready by August I'm not going to buy it at all"?  That's a bit...  short-sighted...

If you really really need something new to do in August, look into Guild Wars 2, another product that had a release date of "When It's Ready (tm)" and after 5 years of development is finally going live.  There's not a single person out there who's saying "it took them 5 years to make an awesome game, so I'm not going to play it", I guarentee it.

Nor should anyone have that attitude towards DDN.  Lets give WotC the benefit of the doubt that they are doing their best to make a good game, and understand that it takes time to do so.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just as stoked for the next playtest as you are.  But I also want something good to test, that I can give useful feedback on.  Not something they slapped together last minute to meet an unrealistic schedule, that we're going to shred and tell them to start over again.  That's just a waste of all of our time.
To be fair, the missed sales could well come from 4e being in limbo with no 5e on the horizon.  Why buy 4e material if 5e will be out 'soon'?  So yeah, I think that's what he's getting at with the missed sales stuff.  And it's true, too.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

To be fair, the missed sales could well come from 4e being in limbo with no 5e on the horizon.  Why buy 4e material if 5e will be out 'soon'?  So yeah, I think that's what he's getting at with the missed sales stuff.  And it's true, too.



Ah, that interpretation didn't stand out to me, but you could be on to something...  Makes sense. 
At the moment, WOTC is betting and polanning for the future.
If,just IF,the product is of the uttermost quality(no glaring math errors/30 pages of errata's),innovative,simple, AND fun,then they will collect all the older grognards and a generation of new players...and they will capitalize WAY more,for longer years, than any 4ed sales could produce.
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
I agree that they're going to end up losing a lot of sales between now and launch.  The first playtest packet suggests that they are still at a pretty early stage of the design process.  I think it would have been smarter to have something a lot closer to a finished product before they announced 5e and started the playtest.  Going into Christmas with nothing to sell seems crazy.  

I'd also seen a noticeable increase in first time players at our meetup in the ~6 months prior to the 5e announcement; most coming through the 'bored of video games>discover penny arcade podcasts>buy red box' route.  Many of them are going down the Pathfinder or retroclone routes now and general interest seems to have fallen off.

WotC just doesn't seem to be very good at the commercial side of things...
Just out of curiosity, where are you getting a publish date of August 2012? 


      My estimate of the publication date is closer to August 2013.  I get this by looking at 4e, which was anounced in August and then published the following June.  By that August, 4e was largely finished, but it still took 10 months to do the final stages.  Applying that calendar to 5e, it is either almost done or it won't be ready before Fall 13.
      Actually, almost done is a real possibility.  The playtest might have been a "playtest", intended to publicize 5e and get a measure of interest rather than actually correct the rules.  In that case, a 2nd "playtest" might not be useful.  I'm inclined to doubt the theory, but ... 

 

There's no sales to lose, because there's nothing to sell yet...  Not to be offensive, but are you honestly saying "If it's not ready by August I'm not going to buy it at all"?  That's a bit...  short-sighted...


    I'm not.  [I tend to be very slow about changing games.]  But effectively, there may well be a large number of players that are.  There are players out there asking "Do I wait for 5e? or do I go Pathfinder/13th Age/whatever now?"  The longer WOTC waits, the more likely these players are to try a different game, and to stick with it.  Sales delayed are sales lost.



Here's a question for you folks. Would you prefer several small playtest updates or another adventure? Meaning... level 4, revised rules, a few monsters, and a plothook (for a town?). Or would you want to see 4-6 w/ some heavily engineered rules (maybe some modules in there) and a large quest/area/town (even if retrofitted from a previous edition)? ...and oh yeah... more monsters and unique magical items.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
I do think it would be nice to have the official release in 2014, celebrating the 40th anniversary with the new edition.

+1
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
Personally, I believe in the “however long it takes” strategy.

I want WotC to integrate the concerns of the player feedback. Not just my feedback, but everyones.

That makes the time table unpredictable.



At the same time, 2014 seems far enough away to consolidate at least something substantial from the playtests and feedback. And if this date is possible, the 40th anniversary would be a nice tribute to the history of the game.
I do think it would be nice to have the official release in 2014, celebrating the 40th anniversary with the new edition.

+1


     How many of you would be willing to spend a year's income to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary?  No doubt that would be a grand gesture, but practical?
     That is what you would be asking of D&D, delaying the new edition for a year in which time, there would be pretty much no sales.  Maybe enough money coming in to meet the payroll, but that would be about that.  By contrast, you are expecting [wishing?] 5e to be a massive success and you are going to let that money stay in the customer's pockets?
     It's a nice little gesture, but it just doesn't fit the calendar.  Maybe 7e in 2024 for the 50th.
How many of you would be willing to spend a year's income to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary?  No doubt that would be a grand gesture, but practical?

Yeah, if that is possible at all, that is an amazing thing to do. And for sure, that kind of wedding will last!
The latest "In the Works" article suggests that several 5ed adventures will be held at GenCon in mid-August. The last playtest came after the Caves of Chaos were held at two big conventions, so I think that end of August might be reasonable. Gives the guys some time to clear up some bugs before showing the public.

And I'm also for releasing 5ed in 2014. 

"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

I want just to add that WOTC is not only D&D. It has also other sources of income, so i really doubt WOTC is going to fall if they dont sell many books.
And given the current state of 4ed sales(you can buy used 4ed books for 1/3 of their nominal value) i dont think they are missing so much..
They are aiming high (catch old grognard and  let the brand shine as the first trpg again)..but to meet so high standards time and massive efforts are needed. Rushing is only nocive for a quality product.
Every errata that come out spoil a bit of faith of the community in the brand.
I'd like to see the 3 core books completely errata free(at least in the mechanics).
If it's needed to check them word for word, let it be.
Give the books pdf to the shark of CharOp board, and they will find every error. Who is better of this than a munchkin?
Promise that  the first person to report a bug will get  his name in the book credits, and u will have a incredible amount of playtesting for free !
Sure, giving the 3 core books almost done betas for free could seems a bad market move,but remember than today,in the internet age,people first check pdf/mp3 and after,if they like them ,buy the original.
WOTC need to buy momentum..and what's better of a almost done beta for that?
D&D is not only the 3 core books,and more people you drag into the game,the better for their sales!
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
Personally, I believe in the “however long it takes” strategy.

I want WotC to integrate the concerns of the player feedback. Not just my feedback, but everyones.

That makes the time table unpredictable.



At the same time, 2014 seems far enough away to consolidate at least something substantial from the playtests and feedback. And if this date is possible, the 40th anniversary would be a nice tribute to the history of the game.



Yeah, have you seen how WotC handles 'however long it takes' deadlines? If not go look at the train crash that is DDi...
"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.
How many of you would be willing to spend a year's income to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary?  No doubt that would be a grand gesture, but practical?

Yeah, if that is possible at all, that is an amazing thing to do. And for sure, that kind of wedding will last!



Yeah, that wedding will sure last as long as the couple can look forward to grand vacations every 10 years or so... instead of you know, doing the right thing...

Wife "He lies about staying out late, he leave the house messy and refuses to help clean, he won't cook no matter what, he's not romantic, but I'm not going to divorce him because every 10 years we go all out and take a month long vacation at some exotic spot around the world."
"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.
Here's a question for you folks. Would you prefer several small playtest updates or another adventure? Meaning... level 4, revised rules, a few monsters, and a plothook (for a town?). Or would you want to see 4-6 w/ some heavily engineered rules (maybe some modules in there) and a large quest/area/town (even if retrofitted from a previous edition)? ...and oh yeah... more monsters and unique magical items.


I'd like to see the current version of all PHB races and classes up through around level 5-6, themes, backgrounds, feats, and spells for said characters so we could really put character creation through it's paces.  I'd like to see the bare bones combat chapter and maybe the tac module so we could run them some, too.  Monsters and magic items would be nice, but I prefer pitting baseline PCs against other baseline NPCs for playtesting.

After we get all the kinks worked out at those levels we could work our way up the level ladder to 20 or 30, which ever is the arbitrary line between non- and epic nowdays.  Now would be the time to start working on monsters, magic items, and other modules.

That's how I'd run it if I were in charge.  So far Mearles hasn't asked though. 
Personally, I believe in the “however long it takes” strategy.

I want WotC to integrate the concerns of the player feedback. Not just my feedback, but everyones.

That makes the time table unpredictable.



At the same time, 2014 seems far enough away to consolidate at least something substantial from the playtests and feedback. And if this date is possible, the 40th anniversary would be a nice tribute to the history of the game.



Yep.
I do think it would be nice to have the official release in 2014, celebrating the 40th anniversary with the new edition.

+1


     How many of you would be willing to spend a year's income to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary?  No doubt that would be a grand gesture, but practical?
     That is what you would be asking of D&D, delaying the new edition for a year in which time, there would be pretty much no sales.  Maybe enough money coming in to meet the payroll, but that would be about that.  By contrast, you are expecting [wishing?] 5e to be a massive success and you are going to let that money stay in the customer's pockets?
     It's a nice little gesture, but it just doesn't fit the calendar.  Maybe 7e in 2024 for the 50th.


Except that D&D isn't the whole of WotCs income.  Not even half IIRC.  And you're forgetting all the 4e fans that have already written off 5e.  I'm sure they'll keep buying 4e products as long as they come out.
I do think it would be nice to have the official release in 2014, celebrating the 40th anniversary with the new edition.

+1


     How many of you would be willing to spend a year's income to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary?  No doubt that would be a grand gesture, but practical?
     That is what you would be asking of D&D, delaying the new edition for a year in which time, there would be pretty much no sales.  Maybe enough money coming in to meet the payroll, but that would be about that.  By contrast, you are expecting [wishing?] 5e to be a massive success and you are going to let that money stay in the customer's pockets?
     It's a nice little gesture, but it just doesn't fit the calendar.  Maybe 7e in 2024 for the 50th.


Except that D&D isn't the whole of WotCs income.  Not even half IIRC.  And you're forgetting all the 4e fans that have already written off 5e.  I'm sure they'll keep buying 4e products as long as they come out.



I think the relevant point here is that D&D's revenue isn't steady year on year, but peaks when there is a new edition.  So if you're late in an edition you've probably already seen it fall off significantly.  Very similar to the video game industry.  There is a good argument to say that you want to take your time to make sure that the next peak (i.e. 5e launch) is as big as possible.  Blizzard are a great example of a company that have been immensely successful through taking the approach that they won't release something until it's well and truly a polished product.

But I still think they made the announcement and released the new playtest too early in the development process.  It's not just the hit on revenue, but the number of players that you'll lose to other systems.  Playtesting is great, but design by committee simply doesn't work.  Providing a series of polished playtest packets that showcase a range of options would be far more useful for both the playtesters and WotC.

 
Let's do the math.

5e needs to be out around GenCon next year.
They need to have books being sold then so they can announce what's next. Plus, they cannot afford not to be releasing books longer than half of 2013.  There's a little bit of wiggle room where they could have the books out in July 2013 so everyone has a copy for GenCon and they can sell and hype the first expansion book. Or they could have 5e out a little after GenCon for September 2013 and make GenCon all about early sales of the books, or the first look at playing the final version of the game. "Play the finished version of 5e early @ GenCon '13" or something. 

Regardless, there is no way they're missing Christmas of 2013. They're going into the holiday season of 2012 with few products (although I'm super excited for Dungeon! under my tree) and that will hurt their bottom line. 
With few books this year that will be runaway hits, high production costs for staff not producing any product and few sales for the holidays there are going to be some serious lay-offs this year. 

So August 2013 is out "ballpark" figure. There's a 3-5 month turn around time for getting books printed. It takes up to 5 months from when they send in the files to when copies of books arrive in stores. Working with the larger figure and assuming July for the books that means they need to be finished by February of 2013. The start of Febrary is the first deadline, but there's probably a two-week bit of wiggle room for last minute disastors where they notice a horrible flaw but can still get the books out to store in the same month. 

They need time to write the rules. They're working modules right now, but really need time to absorb feedback and really look at the changes that need to be made. That's a couple good months of solid revisions and fine-tuning when they only want to be tweaking ideas and math and not actually adding mechanics (other than modules) and leaving the bulk of Core rules pretty much alone. 
So the start of December then. However, given no one gets any work done during the holidays, they really need to "end" playtesting in the middle of November for the full two-months. 

That leaves from now to mid-November for them to test, well, everything.
Roughly five months.

If they release a new playtest every month-and-a-half, that leaves us with three more rounds of testing. One soon (easly-July), one late August to early September (taking the feedback from GenCon), and one in mid-October that might be a little shoter. 

I imagine they're finalizing things for the next playtest already. I doubt we'll see character creation but character customization might be an option. Where they give you a couple options to take at first level and when levelling so you can tweak your character. And the level range will likely increase, so they can test more monsters and more magic and generally more stuff.

After that we'll likely see some character creation (as that does need to be tested) but still limited options. We'll likely see some different classes at that point. It's possible they might mix character gen of the big classes with pre-gens of the newer classes to see how the later actually work. 
This would be a good place to slip in a few rules modules to test how they work. Mostly the crunchier ones that need testing for balance and the like. 

I imagine the final test will expand the level range, to test higher level content. With character gen tested, they'll likely go back to pre-gens (possibly customizable) to make character creation easier given the higher levels. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.


Except that D&D isn't the whole of WotCs income.  Not even half IIRC.  And you're forgetting all the 4e fans that have already written off 5e.  I'm sure they'll keep buying 4e products as long as they come out.


     Which means very little.  True, WOTC can survive for years without a new edition of D&D, but why would they want to?  They are a profit making company owned by a profit making company.  And since the big profits are in the year of a new edition, they still have lots of incentive to have a new edition quickly.

Except that D&D isn't the whole of WotCs income.  Not even half IIRC.  And you're forgetting all the 4e fans that have already written off 5e.  I'm sure they'll keep buying 4e products as long as they come out.


     Which means very little.  True, WOTC can survive for years without a new edition of D&D, but why would they want to?  They are a profit making company owned by a profit making company.  And since the big profits are in the year of a new edition, they still have lots of incentive to have a new edition quickly.


True.  And even more incentive to do it well.  Afterall, you'll want to be able to do the same trick with 6e when the time is right.
What everyone is failing to take into account is that WotC has a monthly income from 4E players. Its called DDi. They are making a tidy sum off of that, so they actually can afford to take the time and do this right, they still have a nice income if they don't sell anything.

Anyone that is a member of DDi could post the number of members so we can guesstimate the income?
"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.
The group has over 70 thousand members, but I wonder how many have active DDI accounts?
Chelsea FC - winner of 2012 FA Cup and Champions League Champions of Europe! Three Lions Resident Footie
The group has over 70 thousand members, but I wonder how many have active DDI accounts?



All of them. You are automatically removed when your account ends, it may take a day or two, but we verified it last year when this question came up.

So 70,000 * $9.99 = $699,300 per month... Yeah, I'd say they definitely are in gravy train territory...
"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.
The group has over 70 thousand members, but I wonder how many have active DDI accounts?



All of them. You are automatically removed when your account ends, it may take a day or two, but we verified it last year when this question came up.

So 70,000 * $9.99 = $699,300 per month... Yeah, I'd say they definitely are in gravy train territory...

You appear to be right...I just clicked on about 20 random members, and they were all insiders.

Chelsea FC - winner of 2012 FA Cup and Champions League Champions of Europe! Three Lions Resident Footie
But there are two other points to consider:  The monthly rate varies depending on whether you signed up for one month, three months, or a whole year -- I am pretty sure that the annual fee I have been paying works out to less than $9.99 a month.  (Then again, month by month does appear to be the most common plan.)  Also, is it possible to have an active DDI Insider account without being a member of the D&D Insiders group? 
 
Yeah, I suspect the group includes anyone who has ever subscribed, so all that we can assume based on that number is that it isn't more than 70k and it's probably quite a lot less.  Regardless, there aren't too many businesses out there that can afford to take a big hit to their revenue for a couple of years (and even a 10% decline is huge if it's coming straight off your bottom line).
Yeah, I suspect the group includes anyone who has ever subscribed, so all that we can assume based on that number is that it isn't more than 70k and it's probably quite a lot less.  Regardless, there aren't too many businesses out there that can afford to take a big hit to their revenue for a couple of years (and even a 10% decline is huge if it's coming straight off your bottom line).



Not necessarily.  If the current number of subscribers is hovering around 70K, that is about the same number that folks were saying were speculating were subscibers 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years ago (granted from what little information we can glean).  As such, that is some evidence that there has not been a drop off in DDi revenue.

There has almost certainly been a drop in revenue from book sales.  I would speculate that book sales are far less profitable on a per-sale basis, though it is completely unknown what the total revenue and cost of goods sold for book sales would be.

Factor in that there are virtually no R&D costs for 4e, and it appears that DDi revenue is more profitable on a per-subscriber basis right now then it has ever been.  Thusly, if there has not been a drop off in DDi subscriptions, and DDi is more profitable per subscriber, it is possible that such increased profitability has offset most if not all of the additional profit that would be gained from book sales.
Search for my name and see if I'm on the list. I subscribed a few times for a month at a time...
"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.
I'm pretty sure because they have a monthly income stream, even if its less than what we estimate, that is the reason they are able to go almost a year without selling a book. Generally the profit margin on a monthly interent service is going to be leaps and bounds higher than book sales, even though they may sell less and make less money.

If they could sell the core books as a physical digital product (i.e. a physical book with pages that show different things based on what the binder has programmed into it, and expandable), then additional products would be super cheap to make. The idea is to get people to transition over.

Electronic Paper
"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.
Search for my name and see if I'm on the list. I subscribed a few times for a month at a time...



Just checked, I'm not part of the DDi group.

That tells me that it should be fairly accurate. There might be a delay before you are taken off the list, but generally it should be up to date...
"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.
If they really gave some of you what you asked for it would be the equivalent of saying - here is what you are getting and any comments you have will be ignored because we've already written the game.

You can't deliver a complete game and then test it.  They can't spend double the money.  They have to playtest as they go. 
Sign In to post comments