VTT Question

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With the recent announcement that the VTT was being shut down, I have a question for those who used it. 

How much support was there for the VTT since its launch?
How many new features or options were added?
How often were major bugs fixed?
How many improvements were made over its lifespan.

Just doing a blog piece and I might mention it, but want to get some facts from people who used it. 

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there were quite a few additions...AND subtractions


in the beginning, you had to manually enter pcs and monsters. there were no tiles, just drawing tools. BUT you could share your adventures and save them to your cpu. so, while there was more work involoved, it only had to be done once. almost all of the dungeon delve book, as well as keep on the shadowfell, etc were already built and a new dm only had to import it and everything was ready. the combat was crude; you had to manually do everything. still, many will tell you that these were the best days, as the community could share with each other and you werent required to be a ddi subscriber

fast forward a bit; they add tiles and tokens (but very few), but take away the ability to save pcs and adventures to your own cpu. they took away the ability to share them entirely. it changes to cloud based storage and limits are placed on how many you can have. this is where many people quit

fast forward and they allow for importing pcs and monsters from the tools. eventually they add combat automation, at least the basics. things are looking hopeful again

then no word for 7 months

then cancelled


so they added a lot, and it worked great with the tools. sadly they did not listen to the testers when it came to the most important things: customibility and the ability to share (ease of use). they will always have had major complaints if they didnt fix these things, and if they try to make another vt without these features they will deserve every drop of poison the community can spit at them


thats the story of the vt; they never made a real effort to sell it for what it was. i played multiple editions of d&d on it as well as other games; there was a built in community. and they could have EASILY had 5e in there, hell groups were testing 5e anyway on it behind their backs. the vt failed bc of wizards ineptitude and inability to listen to their customers. a fool could have made a mint on it


i only wish they had some talent in their marketing department; they could have really done something revolutionary. it is really a shame; they simply do not have enough talent; this should have been the easiest 'sell' in the world
Furthermore, many of us told them clearly and in no uncertain terms what we were looking for, what we wanted, and what could really make VT into something that was the cornerstone of a community, rather than an experimental tool with a few dozen regulars.

And nothing.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
This is precisely why I am moving on. I'm tired of this. They have a product that they can move into the future with and they're tossing it aside. Nice job corporate. I hope someone makes the tool im looking for cause I will be paying them instead.

Please remember to keep your comments positive, productive, and on topic. Remember we are trying to create a
mutually beneficial and productive community for everyone to take part in. At the end of the day we are all in this thing together,
and if we don't work together we will never get anywhere!


If you have any questions or would like to read the CoC you can find it here:


company.wizards.com/conduct


Remember, Keep it clean, Keep it nice, and of course Keep it fun!


Thank you for your understanding!

there were quite a few additions...AND subtractions


in the beginning, you had to manually enter pcs and monsters. there were no tiles, just drawing tools. BUT you could share your adventures and save them to your cpu. so, while there was more work involoved, it only had to be done once. almost all of the dungeon delve book, as well as keep on the shadowfell, etc were already built and a new dm only had to import it and everything was ready. the combat was crude; you had to manually do everything. still, many will tell you that these were the best days, as the community could share with each other and you werent required to be a ddi subscriber

so they added a lot, and it worked great with the tools. sadly they did not listen to the testers when it came to the most important things: customibility and the ability to share (ease of use). they will always have had major complaints if they didnt fix these things, and if they try to make another vt without these features they will deserve every drop of poison the community can spit at them


thats the story of the vt; they never made a real effort to sell it for what it was. i played multiple editions of d&d on it as well as other games; there was a built in community. and they could have EASILY had 5e in there, hell groups were testing 5e anyway on it behind their backs. the vt failed bc of wizards ineptitude and inability to listen to their customers. a fool could have made a mint on it


i only wish they had some talent in their marketing department; they could have really done something revolutionary. it is really a shame; they simply do not have enough talent; this should have been the easiest 'sell' in the world




I have to agree.

In the beginning days of the F&F Beta, we could export PCs and Maps/Adventures to our HDs.  What this meant, was that we could manually edit our PCs.  A Lot of DMs don't like to see a long list of "Attack 1d20 [15]" etc...   we like to see what it is people are rolling..  MBA, Cleave, Magic Missile. .  whatever.  One reason, is that it keeps people honest.  Another reason is that if I, as a player, forget whether I used an encounter or daily, I could scroll up and see if it was there in the chat log.  So anyway, a lot of us would open up a table, edit our PCs for an upcomign game, and then export it.  When we got to the game, in a matter of 10-15 seconds, we had our PCs on the table and ready to go.    

Being able to import from the CB was VERY nice, but they never got the format right.  Attack powers were never listed in the roll line (remember that disdain for "attack 1d20..." etc. .   So now, when we joined a table, and imported a character, it took 5-10 minutes (or more, depending on level) to edit our PCs into suitable shape...  So while we gained the convenience of not having to manually enter the entire PC, we lost the convenience of being able to prep ahead of time so that PCs would be ready on import.  Yes, if the DM has the table up earlier than game time, we can always go in and do it then, but it's not quite the same.

As for Maps.
As recently as 2 weeks ago, we had new people show up in the IRC Chat*, that were new to the VT.  They wanted to run a game, but had no clue what to do.  The best we can tell them now, is basically load up a table, and start playing with it, and try to familiarize yourself with mapping and monster importing..   back in the day, we asked what level game they wanted to run, referred them to the wiki (where we had an entire database set up with the Dungeon Delves, Keep on the Shadowfell, etc) and had them download an adventure, load it into the VT, and they had a fully mapped and populated adventure to go.  New people were running games the same night they showed up.  Pick up games happened with little to no notice.  There was practically no learning curve.  Now, it might take someone a few hours, to a few days, to possibly a few weeks before they are comfortable with creating their own maps/adventures.

*IRC Chat.  An IRC chat had to be set up, because the community chat in the VT Beta site would kick people out after a few minutes of inactivity.  Many of us Regulars are logged into the IRC chat for several hours a day.  When people find their way into the IRC Chat, we are able to help them, answer questions, direct them to places they need to be.  Since the Community chat didn't let people remain logged in, people that found their way there usually left frustrated.



So, as for things added..  a lot was added.  It was turning out to be a very nice tool, and if it had been promoted, it could have boomed.  In the beginning, we had to manually enter all our PCs, all our monsters, draw all our maps, make sure we pointed to which monster/PC was being attacked so that damage could be applied correctly.

Now, we can import monsters from the compendium, even custom monsters built in the Adventure tools (though there are still several bugs.. monsters not listing failed saving throw effects for example), we have the Master Sets of tiles for City, Dungeon and Wilderness.  We can click the attack line in our power, click our target, roll the attack.  It will tell us if we hit, and then we can roll damage and it auto-applies.  Table memory was greatly increased (before a little drawing would fill a table, and now you can have a lot more stuff on a map/adventure before it fills).  Tokens are sorted by size.  A lot of things may seem minor, but quite a lot was done.  However. . . 

The retractions.  Back in the day, the amount of PCs we could have save saved was limited by our Hard Drives, since we exported the files to our PC.  Now, it's limited to what they allow us in the cloud.  Back in the day, we could have potentially unlimited maps or adventures saved to our hard drives, now we are limited to what they allow us to have saved on the cloud (used to be 20, now I think it is 50, but still not potentially unlimited like it used to be).  Back in the day, we could share adventures, maps, PCs, Monsters.  Now, since it's all cloud based, no can do.

The retractiosn hurt the most, I think.. the ability to do those things were there. We were able to share these things.  We were able to help new members by pointing them to quick adventures that they could download and start playing immediately.

Those things were taken away, with really no reason provided.  The choice to take those things away actually resulted in less customer service.  It resulted in hindering the possibility of new members playing immediately.  It resulted in people leaving for other Virtual Tables where limits like those weren't present. 


"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
The word I received was that the VT was closing down on the 31st July 2012.

It is only the 12th July 2012.

I've logging in to 'attempt' to save what maps I have on the system BEFORE they close it down and I lose everything, and what do I find .... the VT has already been closed down!

Thx a bloody lot ... for nothing!     
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
Game Table Online has a thread within the forum for those DDI refugees who do join up on their site.

May pay to visit it and pay your regards when you register.
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)


I've logging in to 'attempt' to save what maps I have on the system BEFORE they close it down and I lose everything, and what do I find .... the VT has already been closed down!

   


no it hasnt
The word I received was that the VT was closing down on the 31st July 2012.

It is only the 12th July 2012.

I've logging in to 'attempt' to save what maps I have on the system BEFORE they close it down and I lose everything, and what do I find .... the VT has already been closed down!

Thx a bloody lot ... for nothing!     



That's funny, since I was just now able to log into the VT and load up one of my tables.  The VT hasn't already been closed down, please don't try to scare people more than they already have reason to be scared.
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler

Please remember to keep your comments positive, productive, and on topic. Remember we are trying to create a
mutually beneficial and productive community for everyone to take part in. At the end of the day we are all in this thing together,
and if we don't work together we will never get anywhere!


If you have any questions or would like to read the CoC you can find it here:


company.wizards.com/conduct


Remember, Keep it clean, Keep it nice, and of course Keep it fun!


Thank you for your understanding!



Keep comments positive? Why? A lot of us predicted that this would happen. The excuse for shutting it down was about as lame a thing as I've seen. The CB got moved to a slow, clumsy on-line service, but the promise of the VTT was used as a distraction. 


I don't think many of us doubt the 4E on-line CB will go the same way when 5E finally launches. And I also have no doubt that there'll be no last chance to download it with a then current version.


There are no positive comments to be made about yet another thing promised amid much fanfare ultimately being shown to be a chimera.


The CB I still have on 2 computers will end up being the last thing my gang uses from WotC.


 

its typical wizards. every cliche is true. every seemingly wild complaint is valid. every conspiracy theory is eventually proven. they ARE as inept at marketing as they seem. they ARE as money grubbing as they appear. they really DONT care about you at all. they have ZERO loyalty to 4e players. ZERO. its all true

it all plays out like some never-ending nightmare, repeating itself, over and over, always the same no matter how many chances you give them, no matter what you do. but you love d&d so you cant stop watching, you cant turn away

soon, they will shut off the 4e tools, so if we DO get lucky and GTO happens, import EVERYTHING. they will claim there isnt enough support to keep them up...just like they did for the vt, just like they did for the compiled mags. they will blame 4e players with a straight face, then stick out a slimy palm and ask you to buy 5e, and start the whole thing over again


there isnt anything positive to say about them, unless you count "they are great at ripping the d&d fanbase off and screwing them over repeatedly" as a compliment
Wizards can positively EABOD and DIAF. **** you Wizards.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

I've played around with the VT a little bit, but did not like it. I had one game on the VT with a guild who use it to support there online rpg's. The VT just is not what WotC promised and it was very basic programming. I had many technical problems with it and it's rather hard to pick up how to use it. It was old technology that many products already use and they cost less or nothing. I can't see this move being smart on WotC part, no matter the reason.
its typical wizards. every cliche is true. every seemingly wild complaint is valid. every conspiracy theory is eventually proven. they ARE as inept at marketing as they seem. they ARE as money grubbing as they appear. they really DONT care about you at all. they have ZERO loyalty to 4e players. ZERO. its all true


Back when they totally nuked the Forgotten Realms in order to "make it compatible with 4E", I knew something had radically changed.  They could have left the Realms alone, but their marketing and design depts took a sick joy in it.  Oh, there were a billion promises and assurances of pure awesomness to come... and it never came.

4E itself wasn't bad, but the mismanagement of it has been extreme.  Promises never delivered, constant layoffs of experienced talent, VTT dumped unceremoniously, less and less content in DDI... frankly, I'm glad I saw the writing on the wall from their treatment of Realms fans.  Never bought into the DDI lies, never will.

Typical WotC indeed.

its typical wizards. every cliche is true. every seemingly wild complaint is valid. every conspiracy theory is eventually proven. they ARE as inept at marketing as they seem. they ARE as money grubbing as they appear. they really DONT care about you at all. they have ZERO loyalty to 4e players. ZERO. its all true



Yeah I dont know why I spent so much time defending them, so many doom sayers ended up being right when it came to WoTC's future actions.