So is this the next to last season?

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Heya guys, I know this may be a tad off-topic, but I've got a question I'd really like to know the answer to. Also I'm really not sure where this should go and will happily move the thread to the appropriate place if it's pointed out to me.

And that question is, will War of Everlasting Darkness be the last season of D&D Encounters?

I ask because of a few reasons. This is going to be the final part of a D&D Encounters trilogy that ends in a war. It's again only going to be eight sessions long and will run right up to before Christmas. It also has the PCs leveling all the way up to lvl 8 and will allow players to use options from EVERY 4e source material currently available. Also, as far as I know, there aren't going to be any new 4e books coming out, and I know that whatever Encounters season is going on will tend to coincide with a new release.

Aside from that, I know WotC is consolidating all of their 4e stuff right now in preparation for 5th, and I'd guess the start of a new year is a good place to end one of their pet projects.

So, anyone know? Thoughts? Theories? Thanks.
I am reposting this from a different thread, because it is more appropriate here:

I think it is safe to say that Season 11 will not be the last season.

I am interested in hearing more (as has been talked about in other threads) about balancing ease of DMing with getting a story that is interesting enough to keep the players invested. For everyone DMing or playing (or even writing for WotC OP), that leads to some questions.

--What is the right balance between ease-of-play and complexity of story?

--D&D has always been a game where the DM either makes up his/her own stuff (or heavily alters published stuff) to meet the needs and wants of his or her own gaming group. With that in mind, what can Wizards do to provide content that allows the individual DM to make the experience easier to adapt for the players at the table?

--As Alphastream noted, we have seen experiments with different types of Encounters seasons, usually based on feedback that DMs and players are looking for something different. What is the threshold for "different" before the content turns into something that is "too different" and is not what people want to play or DM?

Thanks!
Ah cool! Mind posting a link to that thread please?
It was in the Session 6 - Its a mess thread for DMs and Coordinators. Now that the session has run there really are not any spoilers there for you.

Thanks,

Bryan Blumklotz
War of Everlasting Darkness is only 8 sessions? We'll be gaining a level per session?! Those could be some tough encounters...
RS: 60/60 CS: 60/60 RotS: 60/60 U:60/60 CotF: 60/60 BH: 60/60 A&E: 51/60 TFU: 53/60 LotF: 37/60 KotOR: 37/60 CW: 26/40 IE: 31/40 JA: 17/40 G@W: 7/40 DT: 7/40 Good trades with: Lily_Wan, creme_brule, suki_jedi_apprentice, Ephant_Mon
War of Everlasting Darkness is only 8 sessions? We'll be gaining a level per session?! Those could be some tough encounters...



That, coupled with the fact that, as the original posted noted, all player option books will allowed, does make me think that, contrary to what some others have posted, next season will indeed be the final season of Encounters as such. I believe the program is going out with a bang. Now that does not mean that there won't be something else to take the place of Encounters. Personally, I think that Wizards is going to transition into some sort of expanded public playtest of D&D Next.

But, let me state clearly that I have not read anything official from Wizards on this, so this is just pure speculation on my part.
- Rico
 The fact the Shawn Merwin (prolific LFR writer, Critical Hits blogger, and published D&D author) is saying that season 11 is NOT the last season, you can take that to the bank.

D&D Next is not coming out for at least 1.5 years and maybe 2 years (that is the development cycle that Mike M earls is stating are on track for as of last GenCon this summer).

In the meantime I expect we will see more 4e goodness from both DDE and Lair Assault for the foreseeable future.

Bryan Blumklotz
 The fact the Shawn Merwin (prolific LFR writer, Critical Hits blogger, and published D&D author) is saying that season 11 is NOT the last season, you can take that to the bank.


That's something I have not seen, and that's interesting. I will be glad to see the program continue if it does so.

D&D Next is not coming out for at least 1.5 years and maybe 2 years (that is the development cycle that Mike M earls is stating are on track for as of last GenCon this summer).


I'm aware of that. I didn't say that D&D Next was being released. I suggested a possible expansion of the current public playtest program, which is part of that development cycle.

In any case, if Encounters does continue, I wouldn't be surprised to see it in a changed (i.e., less restrictive as far as build options) form. It seems to me that after allowing characters to finally progress beyond level 3, and allowing all player option source books, it will be hard (at the very least) to then turn the clock back (or put the genie back in the bottle if you prefer) and once again limit it to level 1-3 Essentials only builds. 
- Rico
I wonder if there are plans for an organized play Dungeon Command program.
RS: 60/60 CS: 60/60 RotS: 60/60 U:60/60 CotF: 60/60 BH: 60/60 A&E: 51/60 TFU: 53/60 LotF: 37/60 KotOR: 37/60 CW: 26/40 IE: 31/40 JA: 17/40 G@W: 7/40 DT: 7/40 Good trades with: Lily_Wan, creme_brule, suki_jedi_apprentice, Ephant_Mon
 The fact the Shawn Merwin (prolific LFR writer, Critical Hits blogger, and published D&D author) is saying that season 11 is NOT the last season, you can take that to the bank.


That's something I have not seen, and that's interesting. I will be glad to see the program continue if it does so.



I will point you to the 2nd post in this very thread (which he also posted in the Session 6 is a mess thread):
Post #2

The relevent quote is:
I think it is safe to say that Season 11 will not be the last season.

I wonder if there are plans for an organized play Dungeon Command program.



I know there was a Dungeon Command Tournament Rules – the official document for tournament play, covering all the specifics - sent out to WPN organisers, and with the release of Tyranny of Goblins a pack of special action cards were also sent out.

DC hasnt really taken off at our store as most of the regulars are more warmachine/40k orientated and our little D&D group have eeked our niche, but I really enjoyed the demo at games day and have my own drow band.

Just wish they'd release individual boosters to customise your bands, or monster/order cards to go with older released mini's.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

 The fact the Shawn Merwin (prolific LFR writer, Critical Hits blogger, and published D&D author) is saying that season 11 is NOT the last season, you can take that to the bank.


That's something I have not seen, and that's interesting. I will be glad to see the program continue if it does so.



I will point you to the 2nd post in this very thread (which he also posted in the Session 6 is a mess thread):
Post #2

The relevent quote is:
I think it is safe to say that Season 11 will not be the last season.




OK. I didn't realize that's who you were referring to, and that you were referring to that post. I thought you were referring to something he wrote elsewhere (perhaps on the Critical Hits blog). And in my defense, he didn't say unequivocally that it isn't ending (for example, "I have it on the highest authority from WOTC that this will definitely not be the last season of Encounters") but that he thinks it's safe to say that it won't be ending. Again, I will certainly be happy to see it continue. I was just expressing my opinion. Many people I've talked to have drawn the same conclusion based on the description of next season.
- Rico
I am always in an odd position in terms of Wizards of the Coast stuff because of NDAs--I can only talk with certainty about things that I don't know anything about. :-)

So while I cannot say exactly what I know and how I know it, I'll say this. A new game store just opened close to me that is going to run D&D Encounters, and I am volunteering to DM there for Season 11. I am fully expecting to also volunteer for Season 12.

I am also asking questions about different issues that DMs and players are having with Encounters because I am interested in all things that Wizards does for D&D Organized Play. It makes sense that as the playtesting of D&D Next continues, we are most assuredly going to see experiments with OP programs--both current ones and new ones.

Thanks for the discussion so far!
 D&D Next is not coming out for at least 1.5 years and maybe 2 years (that is the development cycle that Mike M earls is stating are on track for as of last GenCon this summer).


I'm aware of that. I didn't say that D&D Next was being released. I suggested a possible expansion of the current public playtest program, which is part of that development cycle.



From the new October in the Works article:

D&D Encounters: War of Everlasting Darkness


The latest season of D&D Encounters starts up later this month, with Session 0 (for character creation) taking place October 24th. This season is something new for the D&D Encounters program. War of Everlasting Darkness is an exciting mini-campaign—and an opportunity to playtest elements of the next edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules.



So, it seems I wasn't so far off the mark after all.

- Rico
NDAs prevent either Shawn, Alphastream, or myself from directly commenting on material we may or may not have playtested until it comes out.

So, I am not able to address your assertion without being in violation of a contract that I signed.

It frustrates me that you can make such an assertion with so little information, while I am constrained.

I guess I will have to wait until the kits ship before I can speak.

So, speculate away, it has been super productive and on target so far.

Bryan "In A Box" Blumklotz
It might frustrate you that we can speculate wildly, but imagine for a moment the complete lack of information for those of us who are trying to plan and schedule a campaign about which we have no information, but which is starting in 2 weeks.

I'm taking back coordinator duties this season.

I don't know if I need to create 8 sets of 6 pre-generated characters. It takes me about an hour to make a character, so that could be upwards of 40 hours of work for me, in addition to having to export them all out of my DDI account since there's a space limit in character builder.

I don't know if I need to slot extra time for character leveling before each session. Between each chapter, I've found myself staring at anywhere from 5 to 10 players who want me to level up their PCs, 5 minutes before the game starts. I would have felt comfortable saying "only if you're following the essentials/encounters limits" before, but with the rumored "any source is ok" rules, am I now going to have to work with power gaming and people sifting through 300 options each time they level up?

I don't know how much I need to change the logistics in my store with my DMs. I don't know how much I need to train my DMs for a new format.

I don't know if I need to teach them a new ruleset, because this season is going to introduce rules for a system which I'm not really invested in. I was looking forward to this season of Encounters as being my kind of "last hurrah" with 4e organized play. Now, I don't know if that's supported by the adventure, or if I'm going to have to become a rules expert on a system I have never played and didn't intend to learn yet.

Your NDA might be frustrating you, but a near-complete lack of communication from WotC to organizers frustrates me. I'm used to it, though-- it's always been a scramble to find information for every bit of organized play. The program has many strengths, but if we didn't have the inter-group communications here on the forum, I know my group would be severely struggling to maintain it.

Sure, maybe we wildly speculate sometimes-- that's the natural result of silence and non-communication. If WotC doesn't want that, then they need to put out a press release and actually do a better job of communicating with their organizers. Heck, they made thousands of public playtesters agree to terms-- it can't be that hard to do the same with a few hundred organizers who are known to their store owners and vetted by WotC before they're cleared to sanction games.
I hear your frustration, and I share it. There are so many moving parts in a successful OP program that has to benefit everyone: Wizards, the stores, the players, etc. But the most important link in this chain are the coordinators and DMs. They are the ones who need the most help and support, and whose needs must be met if the OP programs are going to survive. We content designers and playtesters understand those needs, and we do pass them on in our feedback. And I personally appreciate hearing how things could be made easier--even if they are things I personally cannot contol.

As Encounters seasons continue to deviate a bit from the paradigm we are used to, we can do a lot to support each other in things like creating pre-gens, talking about strategies to get around rough spots in the sessions, etc. I am truly impressed by the hard work that so many have done to make the program better and serve the players, and I hope it continues. I will do what I can to add to that as well.

I have it on good authority that for the next season of D&D Encounters characters will level up at the end of every week. So if you’re planning to have pre-gens you’ll need 8 sets.

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
Follow me on Twitter @ameron_dm

8 sets of pregen, but you really only create one set then level them and export... rinse, repeat.  And to make it simpler, you use only essentials classes, so there are less options to deal with on leveling.  Still some hours of work to get through it all, but not 40 hours.  And you only need the level 1's for the first week.  So you can spread to work out.


What's more troubling to me with leveling every week is having to print out new character sheets every week... times 3 for me and my brood... that's 15+ pages every week.  That's a lot of ink.  I'm glad work can afford it.  Not everybody has access to free high quality printing.  And I've never asked about it, I just do it on the sly.


I wish it was easier to level up a 4e character without recreating the character sheet(s) from scratch.


TjD

Well, you could use a paper character sheet and a pencil, and just write down your power cards separately....
Well, you could use a paper character sheet and a pencil, and just write down your power cards separately....



Took the words right out of my mouth. Isn't there a pdf with blank power cards available?
I still need to know this though: is this adventure going to be 4th edition with components of 5th edition or 5th edition characters (whole new ruleset) with some pieces of 4th edition. Making characters for one edition when we will be playing another is foolish. We need basic info from wizards before investing paper and ink making these characters.
Based on what I've read it sounds like they're only changing the adventure format. They said they want people to do more than just a combat. I don't believe anything mechanical is changing. So I'm treating this as a 4e season.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

Definitely 4th edition.
Given the following


The latest season of D&D Encounters starts up later this month, with Session 0 (for character creation) taking place October 24th. This season is something new for the D&D Encounters program. War of Everlasting Darkness is an exciting mini-campaign—and an opportunity to playtest elements of the next edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules.


The most important element of the new rules that we have tried to implement in this season of D&D Encounters is the idea that you should be able to do more in an hour and a half of play than complete a single combat encounter. As a result, this adventure looks significantly different from previous D&D Encounters adventures.


See www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4... 

You may wish to revise your 4E expectations

Calimoakheart on RPGTableOnline
I was one of the writers of the season. It is definitely 4th edition.
Thanks for the clarification smerwin29.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

I think it is safe to say that Season 11 will not be the last season.


Then what does this mean?

www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/n...

This final season of D&D Encounters will be epic, even if the tier is heroic.

I think it is safe to say that Season 11 will not be the last season.


Then what does this mean?

www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/n...

This final season of D&D Encounters will be epic, even if the tier is heroic.




If you read the last paragraph:

We’re really excited to make the final season of the multi-part Rise of the Underdark storyline a different experience for you this time out. There will even be some surprises not mentioned here! Remember, the season starts on October 24, so be ready to head to your local store to confront Lolth’s schemes head-on!



You will notice the previous refrence was to the end of the Rise of the Underdark storyline, not the end of D&D Encounters.


mortaine,

I hear your frustration. I feel it too. My wife and I have coordinated DDE in our FLGS for all 10 seasons. The lack of communication from WotC towards their coordinators is frankly standard practice. Until the kits ship and arrive, pretty much any info is catch as catch can.

With that being said, what is frustrating me with this thread is the fact that the author of the damn adventure is here posting (though, what he can say has constraints until official release):

A) This is not the last season of DDE

And

B) 4e is still the game system for DDE

And despite these definitive statements from a source that has been verified by two people with long involvement in organized play (me and alphastream), people are looking at incomplete info on the WotC website and saying the sky is falling.

Do I wish that WotC would give us a heads up when they are going to change the way the DDE system is going to work, far enough in advance so we actually do our job? Yes.

We are all passionate advocates of our hobby. Otherwise, we wouldn't do what we do.

Here is my suggestion, write a letter (better yet a bunch of coordinators) write a letter to Chris Tulach (the guy in charge of Organized Play) and whomever is his boss.

Outline what it is you need to function better as the point of the spear for this program. Because, revving up each other here is less than productive.

One more thing, I would stop leveling up everyone's PC for them. I have done this on a case by case basis in the past (usually for some of the super young members that we get in the Summer) but for the most part we set and expectation that everyone is responsible for leveling their own PCs.

If this means that folks have to do it by hand, so be it. If folks need to share a DDI account, so be it. But there is a limit to the amount of time we as coordinators have. What you are doing is a quick road to burnout.

As for the pre-gens, I don't know how that is going to work. I don't really understand how this level 1 to 8 thing is going to work with drop in players late in the season. That worries me and my wife.

My two coppers,

Bryan Blumklotz

Just in case there was still any confusion, War of Everlasting Darkness will not be the final season for D&D Encounters, just the final part of the Rise of the Underdark adventure arc. See Twitter exchange I had with Chris Tulach yesterday.

From Ameron @ameron_dm
@christulach in your article from Friday it states "This final season of #dnd encounters..." do you mean final drow themed or final ever?

From Chris Tulach @christulach
@ameron_dm No. Final season of Rise of the Underdark.

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
Follow me on Twitter @ameron_dm

Next question of course:  What is the nest season?











































Subject
Encounters scheduling
 
 Discussion Thread
 Response Via Email (Support Agent)13/11/2012 02.11 PM
Hi Michael,

The current D&D Encounters is the War of Everlasting Darkness. Currently there is nothing in the sanctioning for the next season.

I have no further information on the next season - but I will let you know if I hear anything further.

Regards,

Rik Powell
WPN Store Lead
Wizards of the Coast - Europe
+44 (0) 208 744 5822
WPN@hasbro.co.uk
 Customer By Email (Michael Calow)13/11/2012 11.57 AM
Hi guys,

As we approach the mid point of Season 11 of D&D Encounters, I realised I hadnt seen any scheduling for the next season - have I missed it? Or is there nothing after this season.


Michael Calow.
 
 Question Reference #121113-000051
















Date Created: 13/11/2012 11.57 AM
Last Updated: 13/11/2012 02.11 PM
Status: Solved

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

Update via twitter today.


Chris Tulach @christulach

@vobeskhan There is a new season forthcoming. There is a break between War of Everlasting Darkness and the next season.


"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

So how long and can you give us any idea what the next season will.  It has been a month.
Actually, info for the next season has been out for a few weeks, now. Against the Cult of Chaos starts on February 6th and runs until April 3rd.

The preview article can be found at www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...

Following that, Return to Neverwinter begins April 10th and goes until June 5th.
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