Highly Disappointed!

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So I have been playing D&D for something like 25 years now. The majority of the time I would DM 2e and a bit of 3e - 3.5e. Recently I talked my group into learning 4e. Big step for the group since we grew up on THAC0 vs AC!

Anyways, I was one of the only player to decided to embrace the age and use technology to run/play the game. Most of my group struggles with this idea and prefers the pen and paper we grew up on.

I started using a tool called Masterplan recently and fell in love with how it worked. That was a driving force for me to learn 4e and convince everyone to switch. (Since the application is designed around 4e)

I have had my eye on the D&D insider sub for awhile due to access to the tools. Today I broke down finally and signed up for a 3 month sub.

After looking at all the things DDI got me, all I can say is that I think I just wasted my money. The tools available are next to nothing. I was expecting at least some flashy tools to help with DMing and such, but I see I was highly mistaken on what is provided!

Unless I am missing something, I sure wish this wasn't the case. My money seems like it could have been spent better buying a new book. That would have been a better choice then 3 months of nothing.

What a let down!

Couldn't disagree more. In fact, I'd feel like I wasted my money if I ever bought a book. 

The Character Builder has its flaws, but overall it's by far the easiest way to build a 4th Edition character. I'd take it any day over the hassle of writing out my powers, feats and such, and calculating my HP, defenses and attack & damage bonuses. 

The Compendium is an incredibly useful tool for both DMs and players. DMs can look up monsters and even sort them by role and source. Players can look up virtually everything else in there. And both can use it to look up a quick rule, ritual or what have you during a game. Certainly beats flipping through 3 different books looking for the answer. 

Lastly, the Monster Builder gives DMs an easy tool for finding, modifying and (de)leveling existing monsters. Personally I don't bother with creating new monsters from scratch, but it's also useful for that if you wanted to. 

Not to mention the tools are updated monthly with the latest content AND ERRATA. Especially that last one is a major reason I'd never buy a book, because odds are that some of the crunch will be changed. 

I'm not sure what you were expecting, but I'd say give them a try and don't instantly dismiss them. They're certainly worth the modest subscription fee.
Everything svendj said; good stuff, that.  Also...

You may find that the Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazine archives have a huge wealth of information that's downloadable in PDF format.  I particularly like the adventures provided in Dungeon magazine, and I've never even used any of them as-written.  Instead, they show me a broader view of how other people construct adventures, and give me material and ideas for my own pending homebrew campaign.  Two heads is better than one!  (Actually, that idea holds true for all the other material available in the magazines [and life in general, I suppose].  Take it or leave it, someone else's perspective on gaming is always welcome, especially when it's in the form of an article that can't argue with you.  Wink)  There's a lot of value there, IMHO.

Personally I find the Character Builder to be invaluable for me as a player.  I'm a sort of pseudo-power gamer, who likes to explore all the options available to me when building or leveling-up a character.  (I say "pseudo" because my decisions (feats, powers, etc.) are more story based than min/max based.)

Finally, the Compendium is a great thing to use during gameplay, as you can quickly look up any rule, feat, power, etc.  It's available on mobile platforms through the website, so I use it with my phone all the time.  (I'm also the "rules guy" at our table, but I try not to be too lawyerly about it.)
I guess I was just expecting a more robust set of tools. As I mentioned in my previous post, I started using a 3rd party tool called Masterplan. I expected something at least of that functionality to come from my subscription. I can see the value in the compendium for quick searches and such, but books can be referenced and are yours forever without an on going cost. We don't follow much of the updates to rules and such. We were playing 2e and some 3.5e for many years without a need to change. My discovery and use of the Masterplan tool caused us to explore the 4e rules, and what is in the core books is really is all that is needed. Imagination drives the game so new content and rule changes are happening naturally. The monster tool can speed things up I guess, but is NO comparison to having a book in hand. There are many creatures that don't even have a picture, along with it. Much less a discription. That is half the battle in driving the imagination behind coming up with new adventures.

I am just disapointed that what I spent is equal to what a book costs and I could get decades out of that book, I get a limited amount of time for 'less then par" content.

Thats just this one DM's opinion.

Maybe this will help communicate my expectations....

Thats what I expected out of DnDi.....

Little off from what i got.
Just got DDI, for some reason it hasn't kicked into my account yet...
My Commander Decks Zur The En-hancer Omnomnom

Just got DDI, for some reason it hasn't kicked into my account yet...


 It certainly shows that you are now :P

Maybe this will help communicate my expectations....

Thats what I expected out of DnDi.....

Little off from what i got.

+1 for above statements, and...

You used to get access to the Compendium, the Character Builder, the Adventure Tools (monsters), and a virtual table top.... however, for reasons I don't know, WotC changed their business direction a while ago and stopped developing the tools for D&DI.

The virtual table top (pic above) was what I expected as well!  However, only a semi-decent top-down token app was developed.  Then they recently sold (gave away?) the app rights to the developer and it's now known as RPGTable Online.  It allows you to import your PCs when you export them from the character builder, and due to great work of some fans, they offer all the monster stats (via micro-transactions).  One of the best things out there (among a slew of virtual tables; i.e. Fantasy Grounds, Battleworks, etc).
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