Questions regarding future support of 4e for Insider members

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This is mostly directed at the developers, but I'd love to hear feedback from others as well.

Perhaps I am one of few who feel this way, but in all honesty, I am not a fan of what I have seen in D&D Next thus far. One of the great things about 4E is that it makes D&D more appealing and accessible to a much broader range of people, my current group included. I am a paying D&D Insider member, and I enjoy having the access to the Character Builder and Monster Builder. My fear is that, when the next D&D version comes out, the existing features for 4E will be replaced with 5E ones.

Can anyone comment on what type of support for the current 4E system is planned, if any, once 'Next' arrives?

If the 4E tools are made unavailable and everything switches to 5E, I will most likely be cancelling my membership...... 
This is mostly directed at the developers, but I'd love to hear feedback from others as well.

Perhaps I am one of few who feel this way, but in all honesty, I am not a fan of what I have seen in D&D Next thus far. One of the great things about 4E is that it makes D&D more appealing and accessible to a much broader range of people, my current group included. I am a paying D&D Insider member, and I enjoy having the access to the Character Builder and Monster Builder. My fear is that, when the next D&D version comes out, the existing features for 4E will be replaced with 5E ones.

Can anyone comment on what type of support for the current 4E system is planned, if any, once 'Next' arrives?



The official word from Wizards is that they "would like to keep the tools running after the release of Next."

This is as close to a commitment as you are going to get. Bear in mind, Wizards has a terrible track record of following through on these kinds of statements. Currently, the on-line tools are two months behind on updates, with no word on whether there will be an update this month (making them three months behind if there is no update).

One thing is certain, however. If, after Next releases, and the sales are not as astronomical as expected or the conversion rate is not as high as desired, Hasbro will want to know why. If a Hasbro executive decides that the continued availability of 4E tools is getting in the way of players converting to 5E (whether this is true or not is immaterial, only the opinion needs to exist), then the 4E tools will be taken down without warning or remorse.

If the 4E tools are made unavailable and everything switches to 5E, I will most likely be cancelling my membership...... 




And this is precisely why Wizards will not give us any warning until their removal is imminent.

I'd honestly reccommend to start moving as much as you can to editable PDF or some other storage medium now.

It'll save you alot of anger when you have a 1 month warning. 
Yeah it is best to be prepared for the worst when it comes to Wizards.
Yeah it is best to be prepared for the worst when it comes to Wizards.



Agreed. This company has completely lost our trust.

What a sad thing to write.
Yeah it is best to be prepared for the worst when it comes to Wizards.



Agreed. This company has completely lost our trust.

What a sad thing to write.



It is. I am someone who passionately defended most of 4e and DDI for years. Heck, I'm still loving the game they made, and the older tools they made to play it.

But something really happened around the time of Essentials that has just completely broken my trust in them as a company. I slowly found myself agreeing with alot of the nay-sayers were saying. Despite that, I still paid for DDI until last december, hoping things would turn around.

Now I find myself one of the negative voices on these  forums, a place I never htought i'd be.
As long as there are enough people using DDI for 4E such that it makes financial sense for them to continue paying for the upkeep of 4E DDI, they will do so. However, if it makes more financial sense for WotC to ditch 4E and focus solely on Next, then that is what they will do.

Hope for the best, expect the worst. 
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Well, considering the fact that they've begun re-releasing content for older versions, I'd like to hope that it's a sign that they recognize many people prefer older versions (4E included now), and that they can still generate income from them.
At the very least, perhaps they'll make the Insider tools temporarily downloadable again so that any current 4E users that are paying members can access it when they convert to 5E.

I guess time will tell. 
On one hand, I can't imagine WotC continuing to support anything other than their current game system. So one part of me really thinks that ALL 4E support will disappear once Next is "official" and being published.

On the other hand, I can't imagine Wotc (via Hasbro) not wanting to get a dime anywhere it can. And so it would behoove them to keep their 4E tools up and running.

My ideal situation would be that around the time of the "switch" to Next, WotC gives the option to purchase a comprehensive 4E offline character builder. It would be a one-time purchase and be furnished "as-is" without future patches/edits/updates. If they included the monster tools, that would be even better.

As far as re-releasing content from older versions, I think that's being done for 2 reasons.

One reason is to fill the void that would otherwise be there in book sales. Since there is no more 4E to be published, they are looking for a way to sell something. These older edition books fill that nicely.

The other reason is that, from what I understand, DnDNext is supposed to be the "final" edition that is not only complete within itself, but it is also modular and flexible enough that you can use older edition stuff "out of the box" will little or no "conversion". I remember rumours of the "4E module" that would allow DMs and players to have "4E-style" play within the Next framework.

So I don't think these re-releases are a sign that WotC wants to continue to support older editions, I think they see them as an opportunity to capitalize on stuff that they already own.

I won't lie, I have very low expectations for Next and I have no plans to stop playing 4E. I've already been scouring the 'net for a 3rd-party offline builder (found one for Windoze, but nothing for Mac) that will allow me to continue to build characters (I love 4E, but creating characters by hand is daunting). I'm also looking (with no avail so far) for any offline version of the Compendium. I have purchased 90% of the official 4E books and have had a DDI membership since 2009. If 4E is dropped completely, I will cancel as it will no longer have anything to offer me.
On one hand, I can't imagine WotC continuing to support anything other than their current game system. So one part of me really thinks that ALL 4E support will disappear once Next is "official" and being published.

On the other hand, I can't imagine Wotc (via Hasbro) not wanting to get a dime anywhere it can. And so it would behoove them to keep their 4E tools up and running.

My ideal situation would be that around the time of the "switch" to Next, WotC gives the option to purchase a comprehensive 4E offline character builder. It would be a one-time purchase and be furnished "as-is" without future patches/edits/updates. If they included the monster tools, that would be even better.

As far as re-releasing content from older versions, I think that's being done for 2 reasons.

One reason is to fill the void that would otherwise be there in book sales. Since there is no more 4E to be published, they are looking for a way to sell something. These older edition books fill that nicely.

The other reason is that, from what I understand, DnDNext is supposed to be the "final" edition that is not only complete within itself, but it is also modular and flexible enough that you can use older edition stuff "out of the box" will little or no "conversion". I remember rumours of the "4E module" that would allow DMs and players to have "4E-style" play within the Next framework.

So I don't think these re-releases are a sign that WotC wants to continue to support older editions, I think they see them as an opportunity to capitalize on stuff that they already own.

I won't lie, I have very low expectations for Next and I have no plans to stop playing 4E. I've already been scouring the 'net for a 3rd-party offline builder (found one for Windoze, but nothing for Mac) that will allow me to continue to build characters (I love 4E, but creating characters by hand is daunting). I'm also looking (with no avail so far) for any offline version of the Compendium. I have purchased 90% of the official 4E books and have had a DDI membership since 2009. If 4E is dropped completely, I will cancel as it will no longer have anything to offer me.




Wish List for post-4e:

1. Opportunity to download existing DDi tools? (Particularly Compendium; easy reference beats the CB with all its bugs, though CB is still very cool)
2. Continued support for 4e DDi tools?
3. Official 4e PDFs (complete set, with errata included)
4. I guess I'd take just the PDFs without errata if necessary. Maybe I'm weird, but I'd love to be able to pay for something I'm going to actually use (my current purchases are limited to the Rules Compendium, some Dungeon Tiles, and a Player's Handbook that I lend to friends who need a guide to building their first character. Don't have room for all the hardcopy stuff and it would be too much trouble to haul around anyway :l)
A "4E" PDF bundle would certainly be something I'm interested with. Specially if it comes with things released in the RPGA, D&D Days, etc...

I would also love to pay for a definitive version of the Compendium and the Character Builder.

That would be some way to gain my money .
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
Add to wish list:


5  Release all the missing issues of Dragon and Dungeon that were not complied as PDF yet.   I started a topic about that previously:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
A "4E" PDF bundle would certainly be something I'm interested with. Specially if it comes with things released in the RPGA, D&D Days, etc...

I would also love to pay for a definitive version of the Compendium and the Character Builder.

That would be some way to gain my money .



I have PDF files of each book that I've purchased. There are just a few books that I haven't purchased (the books that are 100% "fluff", for example) and I don't have those. It is convenient because I can carry my entire library on my iPad.

I agree that this would be something that many people would purchase. But, WotC has never been too big on providing electronic copies of anything since it makes "piracy" easier... 
Add to wish list:
5  Release all the missing issues of Dragon and Dungeon that were not complied as PDF yet.

THIS is on my wish list too, along with continued DDi support and offline downloadable version release

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My D&DI sub expires in 6 days and I'm seriously considering not signing up for another one.

The only thing I really use it for is for the Character Builder, but not knowing if that is just going to get the plug pulled eventually....that uncertainty doesn't leve me wanting to sign up for another year.

There are CB alternatives like Hero's Lab, though it doesn't have support for Essentials content. (Which we happen t obe using right now)

So does this mean we will go back to the days where prepping a character sheet meant over an hour of writing, calculating, and transcribing?
I'm not sure I want to go back down that road again.


There are CB alternatives like Hero's Lab, though it doesn't have support for Essentials content. (Which we happen t obe using right now)

So does this mean we will go back to the days where prepping a character sheet meant over an hour of writing, calculating, and transcribing?
I'm not sure I want to go back down that road again.




There are people who have done a good job of "creating" the Essentials content for HeroLab 4E. Check their forums, one of the threads on the front page will direct you to the work that the members of the community have done to bring the tools up to date. It is sad that the community had to do so much because Wolf's Lair doesn't realize how many people would buy into their tool if it were better supported by them.
While 4E DnD Essential was a short-sighted attempt to bring balance back to 4E DnD Character Building; the DNDNext was meant to solve the problems with bringing on the youngest and the newest clients to the DnD settings (especially those loyalists of and at Hasbro whom are supportive to their toy company in everything that company invests in. )

DnDNext is meant to bring on this Hasbro's expansion without engulfing their clients with a sense of belittlement in the face of us; the Wizards Of The Coast's community and our years of information and playing experiences. (esp. done by the community's veterans like those who still playing 3.0 and beyond before and also have you noticed I didn't say Wizards Of The Coast's expansion here? That because its really is Hasbro's fork out the big money to coming over here and play with us..) 

Well, since I must seriously address this topic at this moment and here let's take a look at our experiences in our own local areas' tables; where you all know by these places from time to time on how difficult a challenge it is in introducing DnD to people who have zero knowledge of the game's backgrounds, contents and materials. 
 
DnDNext was brought on and is meant to put all (as in everybody under one sun) on fair footing, I guess; and was meant to be directed to their market's crowd, you know whoms, "those loyal Hasbro's Toy Company consumers in which we have been seening coming and going here in our forums in the last year or so without fail. Well my theory is that the DnDNext was created by Hasbro's/Wizards' joint venture in order to spurned some commitments by their's/our's stock interests to gather the combined masses in joining them on this new venture direction which includes joining us here at the WotC's forums as an actualized initialized community's commitment. 

Also from my observations; the DnDNext's Introduction as a new product to the older existing market of the Habro's Toys' world looks to be using a sound and safe approach on-paper but as for I, who must be a portion of that introduction; I really would like a simple understanding with this new variable I'm finding in my contract with the Wizards Of The Coast and I'm offering this new understanding as a new base for full and future understanding with one another, so...:

LISTEN, I LOVE MY 4E DnD!! IT MAKES ME HAPPIER THAN A TURTLE IN MUD.

and I've satisfied with how my monetary commitments has been honored by the Wizards Of The Coast in the past plus I'm hoping for either to keep enjoying this continuous service I have been recieving without complaints need from myself or if there is a case of "all good things must" then I totally believed that I do deserve a full up-to-date comprehensive database may available thru my DnD Insider account that contains the complete 4E, 3.5E, 3.0E, etc... WHILE... I, or we as the Wizards Of The Coast's community patronized this DNDNext introductions and its new frontier that coming in with it. (Hey, if the latter caught a snag and the former as its is on paper is as it is then just make mine's 4E, please, I will do you the favor of the quietly into the night routine)

Fair is Fair, Hasbros!!? Fair is Fair!
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I really like the character builder and as far as I'm concerned it's the ONLY way to create a valid character based on official source material.  Doing it by hand is just too time consuming and error prone.  This might say something for 4e, but in a way it was a genius move by Wizards as they guaranteed a certain level of repeatable revenue above and beyond sales of the books.

The problem is, CB no longer works properly in Chrome on Mac (possibly Windows too, by all accounts, wouldn't know as I haven't used Windows in about 5 years).  Text entry just doesn't work. This seems to be because of Silverlight 5.

My wonder is if they'll dump this dead-technology (it's been on death-row for some time) and move to something like HTML 5 (please Dol Dorn, not Flash), but given everything that has been said about DnDNext I suspect 4e and all the tools will either just be left to go to ruin without maintenance or simply dumped.

If the tools for DnDNext are based on anything other than HTML5 the technical director needs to be fired.

Most fustrating thing for me right now is that the characte sheets are too wasteful.  I would really like to be able to auto-generate something like Shado's character sheet, but it has its limitations and he says he's not going to update it any more.  I really need to be able to print them so online solutions aren't the way forward and Wizards seems to refuse to want to do any updates to it.

It's not looking good for 4e or DnDNext, imho.




If the tools for DnDNext are based on anything other than HTML5 the technical director needs to be fired.




I agree.  However I am sure that at least some of the design decisions behind the character builder was to deliberately create character sheets that did not allow users to copy and paste the text.  It will be interesting to see if they repeat that restrictive approach.
I am sure that at least some of the design decisions behind the character builder was to deliberately create character sheets that did not allow users to copy and paste the text.  



Probably. And in that case the tools need to be more flexible.  I find the current printable character sheets are far too wasteful / verbose.
 


If the tools for DnDNext are based on anything other than HTML5 the technical director needs to be fired.




I agree.  However I am sure that at least some of the design decisions behind the character builder was to deliberately create character sheets that did not allow users to copy and paste the text.  It will be interesting to see if they repeat that restrictive approach.



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5#Standardizat...

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

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On the other hand, the next season of D&D Encounters (Murder in Baldur's Gate) has been announced to support Next, 4E, and 3.5.  I think the writing on the wall is becoming clearer to the developers, and they're realizing that no edition of D&D will ever be the "final, best" version in the minds of all players.  The gamer demographic is way too diverse for that.

So may they'll keep the 4e online tools up as a part of this trend.  Here's hoping... 

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Well, considering the fact that they've begun re-releasing content for older versions, I'd like to hope that it's a sign that they recognize many people prefer older versions (4E included now), and that they can still generate income from them. 



+1

Also the marginal cost of providing PDFs is miniscule, vs. the revenue generated and also the goodwill associated with it.

Most of the 1e/2e stuff is out there in the ether in PDF form already, so hopefully WotC are following the model that some major entertainers have established, where by putting a lot of material out there for relatively low cost in electronic form, not only do they sell successully but also their hard copy (Book/CD/DVD/Blueray etc.) sales increased - because people suck in a lot of the electronic stuff and it makes them nostalgic/desirous of a pukka copy of 'that particular edition/module/copy/book/CD/movie'.

As to the Hasbro/WotC relationship - parent companies require their subsidiaries to turn a dollar - first and foremost.  I doubt Hasbro as so hands on as to want to develop their own in-depth understanding of the markets WotC are in and how WotC interface with those markets - they probably just want the customers to report good customer experience, be loyal, and display that loyalty through their ongoing purchases. 

I take it as a very good sign that the comments being placed here -both positive and negative - are invited by WotC.  If they really didn't care about people's views this wouldn't be possible. 

Maybe they'll present several options, and ask the community what they want, post DND Next. . .