Could WOTC plan on "supporting ALL D&D editions"?

The newly reprinted 'Original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons' core rule books just arrived in my shop yesterday.... As well as a message to 'preorder' the up coming 'D&D 3.5 Edition Limited Edition Reprints' that are supposed to be out mid-September! Could this be the beginnings of a (wonderful!) plan to make available ALL editions.... And even support them online?!? 

Or just a gap-filler between the declin ( orpractically dead) sales of 4e and the (still-over-a-year-away 5e/ next)? 
Could they? Yes. Will they? I'm not optimistic.

My thoughts on continued support:

DDI: Continue to maintain the tools currently available. Throw up some tools for 3e utilizing the SRD material, or at least put up a 3e compendium (which is basically copy and paste from the SRD). 2e had the Core Rules CD (best digital tools I've ever seen), I'm not a programmer so I don't know how hard it would be to port it over, but given the rules similarities, if they could do it, having data packages for 1e and OD&D would be pretty simple.

Dragon Articles: The majority of it will likely be dedicated towards the current edition, but you could have one or two articles a month geared towards previous editions (which edition could vary each month).

Adventures: I'm stealing this idea from someone else on the forums. Since many adventures are mostly fluff, an appendix in the back or even a web download to save on print costs could have stat conversions for various editions.

Books: Reprints are an obvious possibility. Print on demand, pdfs, and please include all errata in the reprints (especially for errata-heavy 4e).
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3.5 is getting a reprint?  Didn't see that coming.  With Pathfinder around (and all the others) is there even enough demand/nostalgia for such a thing?  I mean Gygax's name is on the AD&D books, so I can see that, maybe even 2nd Edition stuff, but 3.5 was like, yesterday practically.

As far as supporting all editions of D&D, I can't see it happening but, if it were up to me, here's how I might do it (on a limited scale).

Reprint the classic, out-of-print core books (DMG, PH, MM), just like they're apparently doing.  Then, put out a newly written supplement or boxed set (or maybe even a reprinted one) in support of those rules.  Do this once or twice a year maybe.  Just enough to give 'em a taste.

So, once we have the 1e core set in our hands, they might release the Eberron campaign setting (as a one-shot), written in the style of 1e.  Wild idea, sure, but something like that would be fun I think ;).  Or, maybe they could just reprint the Wilderness Surival and Dungeoneer's Survival Guides (1e supplements).  That would be cool too.

I imagine this could be done with anything from Basic (BECM), to AD&D/2nd Edition, even 3.5 (although that seems a stretch to me).  Again, it wouldn't have to be anything on a massive scale, just something to get everyone thinking and talking about the upcoming 40th anniversary.
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I do it like so: everything would simply be reformatted, art reused, and then put up on POD, purely fluff - all adventures, settings and other books.  Then put up free pdf downloads for each edition's crunch for each book.

So, for example there would be a Monster Manual 1, 2, 3, etc. encompassing all monsters ever published for D&D that Wizards owns the license to, with all relevant fluff info right there in the book you buy POD (or pdf).  In order to use it in whatever edition you happen to be playing though (from OD&D to D&D Next), you download the free pdf and print out the statblocks (the crunch) you need for your game system.  Something similar for D&D Insider users, of course.

Yeah, so basically I'd repackage and reprint everything - the entire back catalog - edition-less and system-less except for the actual rulebooks, all cleaned-up and fixed-up for the change.  Sure that costs money, but then the books have an infinite shelf-life and never stop making money, even if it's just a tiny trickle (better than nothing).
Though I would like it to be so - despite my friends being naysayers I've come to like DDI's 4E Character Builder - I don't really see that coming. From style and commercial viewpoint, after 5E is out I think WotC will surely (if slowly) eliminate the support for 4E. This basically "obliges" existing Players to look at 5E, and if they buy books to do so, that generates Income.

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Eliminating support for 4e would be a disaster for Wizards. They already know they can't generate enough revenue from book sales alone, this is the whole reason why we have a monthly sub for Character Builder, why they switched from the older, offline CB and why they raised sub prices. And I won't kid anyone, the only money I've paid Wizards for the past TWO YEARS were montly DDI sub costs.

As far as I understand, 4e combat "minigame" is actually becoming so popular that there are not one but TWO official ongoing events to participate in it: Lair Assault and Encounters. Not creating any new material for 4e is fine - the edition is bloated enough as it is, but phasing out support for online CB would be disastrous.
The 3.5 reprints will have erratta in them which is nice. I'll probably buy one of each, if for nothing else than to have a second copy of frequently used books. My PHB is starting to fall apart, and a new one is like 50+ on amazon.

Plus who knows, maybe some future content. 

I think the previous edition reprints are really just for soem extra cash while no one is buying 4e, and 5e isn't out yet. 

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I would instantly buy a errata'ed 2ed core books, especially if they implement the errata's implemented in the various "skills and powers" books.
Better i dont ask myself how much i could shell out for that..
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I would love a reprint of all the AD&D Forgotten Realms, Planescape and Ravenloft material!
The newly reprinted 'Original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons' core rule books just arrived in my shop yesterday.... As well as a message to 'preorder' the up coming 'D&D 3.5 Edition Limited Edition Reprints' that are supposed to be out mid-September! Could this be the beginnings of a (wonderful!) plan to make available ALL editions.... And even support them online?!? 

Or just a gap-filler between the declin ( orpractically dead) sales of 4e and the (still-over-a-year-away 5e/ next)? 


Gap filler. 

The 3e reprints will only work because they have errata and are premium. If they were just a reprint it wouldn't be as desirable because you can find the good quality copies of the 3.X books online for far less than WotC could sell them for. Ditto most earlier edition products. For the cost of a new printing of the 2nd Edition PHB I could get all three 2e core books from eBay. 

Plus the cost of making books and the realities of publishing means it's better to sell fewer copies of one book than more copies of two different books. If WotC splits sales with three or four different editions in stores it will cost them money overall.

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

I'd like a reprint of Hollow World myself.

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

I'd love to see the Rules Cyclopedia again.  The for one Basic; not to be confused with the Rules Cyclopedia for 3.5 or DDE.

I already had the Basic, Expert, Companion, and Master boxed sets, so I never bothered to buy the book that brought 'em all together, while it was available.  It's the one D&D purchase I regret never making ;).
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I'd love to see the Rules Cyclopedia again.  The for one Basic; not to be confused with the Rules Cyclopedia for 3.5 or DDE.

I already had the Basic, Expert, Companion, and Master boxed sets, so I never bothered to buy the book that brought 'em all together, while it was available.  It's the one D&D purchase I regret never making ;).



And sick expensive on Amazon most the time.  $119.00 when I last checked 2 days ago.  Used.

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     I can't see these reprints as selling.  They stopped printing them in the first place because there was not any money in them.  Now there are even less people wanting to use them.  Maybe you can sell enough to people who have lost their old copies, but ...
     I can't see these reprints as selling.  They stopped printing them in the first place because there was not any money in them.  Now there are even less people wanting to use them.  Maybe you can sell enough to people who have lost their old copies, but ...



How about offer them as a premium content for DDI sub? In PDF format? I mean, AD&D is what, two decades old? I think it would be nice to release it as freemium.
3.5 is getting a reprint?  Didn't see that coming.  With Pathfinder around (and all the others) is there even enough demand/nostalgia for such a thing?

Sure, there are fans who'll jump at the chance to cast a wallet-vote for 3.5 again. 

 

 

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Definitely gap filler.  Ultimately 5E will be judged on how many units they sell, and they're not going to want to let sales of earlier editions cannibalize that.  They will want to give players of other editions every reason to upgrade, not to continue playing their current game.  Even the 4E tools on DDI I think could be eventually phased out, though I suspect they'll keep them around for a little while to keep the subscriptions going, but if they feel that enough of these folks have jumped on to 5E, I could definitely see them killing this as well - especially if they think it might drive them to 5E where perhaps they'll have even cooler tools.