Next playtest packet and new season of encounters

Sorry if this has been asked before but do we know if we are going to get an updated playtest packet before the who Murder in Baldur's gate & game day stuff?

Reason I want to know is that I normally have to help people set up their characters on week 0 and like to be prepared ahead of time with any changes prior to the day. We have some people that have been with us for some time and still need a lot of hand holding on week 0 (even though they have played for the past 4 seasons).
No official response for now. I suspect we will not get a "new" packet, but perhaps an update (like the last one was).
It looks like the we'll be getting the biggest packet yet next month.

Then maybe one more, before release next summer. 
It looks like the we'll be getting the biggest packet yet next month.

Then maybe one more, before release next summer. 


Aww

I just used up the last of my toner printing out THIS packet.
It looks like the we'll be getting the biggest packet yet next month.

Then maybe one more, before release next summer. 


Aww goddammit

I just used up the last of my toner printing out THIS packet. 




The latest packet came out months ago (they have just thrown out a few extra bits since, new races).
Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle will also finally feature a new character sheet. If you recall, they released their first significantly changed packet at GenCon 2012 right after their keynote address. Plus, I think they'll still be on track with their every-two-month iteration of the packets.
My expectation is that we'll see one just before GenCon or at GenCon and then we'll see one more in early 2014 before they packets stop and the R&D team turns their full attention to getting this game ready for release at GenCon 2014.
My expectation is that we'll see one just before GenCon or at GenCon and then we'll see one more in early 2014 before they packets stop and the R&D team turns their full attention to getting this game ready for release at GenCon 2014.



If the next packet sticks, that is. If they have to do yet another overhaul, I doubt it can be ready by next summer.
At the end of the Slaver's Stockade livecast part 3, they said something about a new packet coming out in "two weeks", which puts it on Friday, August 2nd. Not really sure how accurate that is, but that's my understanding.
My expectation is that we'll see one just before GenCon or at GenCon and then we'll see one more in early 2014 before they packets stop and the R&D team turns their full attention to getting this game ready for release at GenCon 2014.



If the next packet sticks, that is. If they have to do yet another overhaul, I doubt it can be ready by next summer.



They're in a race against time at this point.  They have
no new 4e stuff.  There's not really a money-maker in
reprints once they've put out the DDO stuff in November.

That leaves them with a giant gap between November
and whenver DDN actually releases.  I'd think they're
keen to align it with:

a) a huge worldwide release event (GenCon)
b) the end of The Sundering novel series
c) the start of the Fall 2014 Encounters Series

The timing just makes too much sense to get it out the 
door for August 2014.

My expectation is that we'll see one just before GenCon or at GenCon and then we'll see one more in early 2014 before they packets stop and the R&D team turns their full attention to getting this game ready for release at GenCon 2014.



If the next packet sticks, that is. If they have to do yet another overhaul, I doubt it can be ready by next summer.



They're in a race against time at this point.  They have
no new 4e stuff.  There's not really a money-maker in
reprints once they've put out the DDO stuff in November.

That leaves them with a giant gap between November
and whenver DDN actually releases.  I'd think they're
keen to align it with:

a) a huge worldwide release event (GenCon)
b) the end of The Sundering novel series
c) the start of the Fall 2014 Encounters Series

The timing just makes too much sense to get it out the 
door for August 2014.




The one danger is that the designers need to be completely done with the book(s) 6-8 months before they are to be released (that includes formatting), so as to give the printers and distributes enough time to work their magic. That means the Devs will have to be 100% done by some time between December and February.

Part of me wonders if the core rule book released next August will only contain a smaller portion of the whole game, like say levels 1-10. That would make WotC's life a lot easier as balancing half the game is easier than balancing all 20 levels, especially with the hard deadline fast approaching. That would also give them 6 months of real feed back from audiences with which to finagle the 11-20 experience (assuming they release levels 11-20 at 2015's GenCon, and accounting for all the time involved with printers and etc..
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The one danger is that the designers need to be completely done with the book(s) 6-8 months before they are to be released (that includes formatting), so as to give the printers and distributes enough time to work their magic. That means the Devs will have to be 100% done by some time between December and February.


It's not quite that long. When the 4e PHB came out in June I recall, it had changes reflecting some problems they saw in playtests at a con in January.
I'd love to get your source for the publishing process
taking 6-8 months.  I've done plenty of contracted
publishing myself and been around the hobby for 3
decades.  I've never seen such a long publishing
and distribution timeframe.

The most time consuming things are layout and
then getting the proofs back from the printers to 
go through with a fine tooth comb on every single 
line of every single page and look how everything 
aligns.  For a single person this can take a couple
weeks.  For a team of people, it will probably take 
a week or so to get it right.

The printers will deliver a final proof that typically
just required comparing notes from the from the
first proofs so a team of folks can knock that out
in a couple days.  Doing it with one person never 
takes a full week even for long documents.

There's no reason why a late 2013 final playtest
packet with additional testing and surveys into 
early 2014 couldn't easily be ready for at least
a N. American and European launch in late 2014
with the N. American release coinciding with 
a GenCon release.
 
I hope the they are paying attention to the latest release of Shadowrun 5E.  

They had a limited release print run of the main book at Origins.

A month or so later they released the pdf. It set sales records at the company website and drivethrurpg.com,  this is letting all the errata be worked out now by the mass of fans and they are able to make small changes too based on early feedback, it is like having thousands of proof readers.

 A month after that, later this August they will start selling the corebook in collectable form and regular through all the normal channels.

D&DNext should do the same thing with one minor change release a limited print run hardcopy at GenCon and the same weekend release the digital pdf copy for everyone who can't go.

Give it a couple weeks it won't take long for all the fans to sift through the rules making errata threads on forums like this, and allowing for them to change some minor loop holes in game design that slip through playtesting.  Then send it off to the printer to be sold in the stores and on Amazon.

It would create big buzz at GenCon as those books would be collector items, it would blow the lid off of onlines sales records for the pdf, and it would make the first print run of the main book that much better as a final product.  But it would mean them lifting their weird ban on digital pdf copies of current books.
 

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

That is exactly what I was thinking!

First pdf. Then normal books. ;)
Plus it helps stop one of the big mistakes of 4e.  I heard that years later they still handn't shiped out all the first printings of the 3 core books, they over ordered on the initial print quantity.  Now this might be one of those rumours that anti-4e people spread over the internet I don't know for sure.

But with a controlled print run for the people who show up to GenCon say make 40,000 of them just a a few thousand shy of the estimated attendies  but some people might not want a copy and others might want multiple.  Number them collectors like numbers.  They will sell out.

Pdf sales you don't need to order X number of them just sell them, they don't take up wharehouse space, they don't sit on shelves, you don't run out of them.

Take the number of pdf sales and use that and a room full of people who do this for a living and come up with a number to print so you don't have overstock on the first print run.

The only issue is piracy, but that shouldn't stop them from doing this.  Pirates are going to have a copy of the main books on the share sites within a few hours to a day of the books being sold whether or not there is a pdf version.  Also that shadowrun 5e book I mentioned that set those sales records, a copy was on a popular share site within the hour of release and it still sold that well, I don't think this whole piracy thing affects sales as much as they believe, not advocating the act just saying having a legal channel to buy ebook/pdf versions of your books is almost a must have in todays age and hope that people will do the right thing. 

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

 A month after that, later this August they will start selling the corebook in collectable form and regular through all the normal channels. 


Unfortunately, the first printing will be the released PDF.  Any errata will be in the second printing.

I hope the they are paying attention to the latest release of Shadowrun 5E.


Gosh that sounds like a bloody ripper idea. Plus it will prevent one of the stupidiest things about 4e, ie. the fact that they never altered the math despite admitting after 5e was announced that they knew it was broken and didn't fix it because it would've invalidated the books. Or some rubbish like that.

But with a controlled print run for the people who show up to GenCon say make 40,000 of them just a a few thousand shy of the estimated attendies  but some people might not want a copy and others might want multiple.


Heh, I'm guessing you don't know much about print runs. 40k is about 10x too many copies. 
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it would be really nice if the packet was released sometime today.
it would be really nice if the packet was released sometime today.



Really, REALLY nice, but they will probably just keep lording their bards over us and mocking our fighters and monks.
I'd love to get your source for the publishing process
taking 6-8 months.  I've done plenty of contracted
publishing myself and been around the hobby for 3
decades.  I've never seen such a long publishing
and distribution timeframe.

The most time consuming things are layout and
then getting the proofs back from the printers to 
go through with a fine tooth comb on every single 
line of every single page and look how everything 
aligns.  For a single person this can take a couple
weeks.  For a team of people, it will probably take 
a week or so to get it right.

The printers will deliver a final proof that typically
just required comparing notes from the from the
first proofs so a team of folks can knock that out
in a couple days.  Doing it with one person never 
takes a full week even for long documents.

There's no reason why a late 2013 final playtest
packet with additional testing and surveys into 
early 2014 couldn't easily be ready for at least
a N. American and European launch in late 2014
with the N. American release coinciding with 
a GenCon release.
 



Forgot to include the "translating into other languages" bit, as D&D is a global game and will likely have a global release date.

But I will bow to your superior knowledge, I was getting my info from a thread on EN World that was discussing this very topic.
8/2/2013 packet is up.
I'm surprised how poor the Rogue's assassinate ability is. If you roll poorly on inititaive, you're really hating it.

And I see nothing to mitigate casters ruling the battlefield, which is what has happened in every playtest I've bene in. 

Surprised at the removal of skills.

No more expertise dice for Fighters, too. Hm. Neutral on that one. 
Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I got too used to the really high AC's of monsters in 4e, but I can't believe that the AC's of monsters are being lowered again. They were too low to start. The highest AC out there for a monster is now 18, at least that I saw, and that was just for the Death Knight and the Storm Giant. Even dragons, which used to get bonuses as they aged due to thicker scales etc, top out at 16. Sorry, but it just doesn't feel right to me. Like I said, maybe I've gotten a bit spoiled (I mainly DM) by 4e. As for the rest so far, I'm not sure I like the idea of removing skills. It should be an optional system at worst, like feats. But, I'm interested to see how most of this packet plays out. I'm sure there will be a lot to say on the next survey.

*EDIT*: Having looked over the classes, I can say that I do and don't like the removal of skills. The lores are a pretty interesting idea, and have legs in my own opinion. But, I have an issue with the loss of skills in general. Need a trap disarmed? Why have a Rogue, when the Fighter with the 16-18 Dex can do just as well overall? Someone needs to be stabilized? Sure, let the Barbarian roll Wisdom to Heal that person. It takes away something that made each class special. Bards were formerly the Jacks of All Trades because they had a lot of skills to choose from. I don't see that as being possible really with the new system. I'll have to see how it plays, but just from looking at it, losing skills has really got a big effect as far as character differentiation and niche goes.