I've followed numerous threads where software programmers have said exactly the opposite. Check this thread where many chimed in to post the opposite view that you share. Chime in there yourself to counter "those people".
The business model is just like an MMO, it just uses tools and Ezine content instead of quests and graphics. This is why so many people are so mad.
All this talk of Mac vs. PC is great, but I have a question.
Will the DI be available for handheld platforms?
My two-cents: $5-$7.99 a month is the max I would pay for this. I don't mean GLEEMAX, just D&DI.
However, let me just point a few things out...the whole "e-book" thing is a complete, utter mess that WotC will end up regretting. First off, CHARGING MONEY for a digital version of a book I JUST PAID FOR, is absolutely retarded. It doesn't cost ANYTHING, not a damn DIME, to have PDFs. The books are created and formatted ON A COMPUTER, converting them to PDF is a single-click process, so don't feed us that bull about it "costing" money, because it doesn't. Secondly, people are going to be stealing these "e-codes" left and right at retailers so they can have a free (oops, I mean "coffee" priced) copy of the digital version, screwing honest people out of it.
Seriously, WotC, we're not average consumers- we know when you're trying to milk us, and 4E is the most bold attempt yet.
Is DirectX the only engine available for this purpose?
DirectX and OpenGL are two different application interfaces for dealing with graphics. The relative merits of the two aside (as we're not talking about a fancy 3d FPS here) the big difference is that OpenGL is supported on all computing platforms, whereas DirectX is windows only.
If mac compatibility is planned eventually, the code will have to be rewritten anyway, which is why several of the arguments about cost seem less well founded.
However, let me just point a few things out...the whole "e-book" thing is a complete, utter mess that WotC will end up regretting. First off, CHARGING MONEY for a digital version of a book I JUST PAID FOR, is absolutely retarded.
First off, CHARGING MONEY for a digital version of a book I JUST PAID FOR, is absolutely retarded. It doesn't cost ANYTHING, not a damn DIME, to have PDFs. The books are created and formatted ON A COMPUTER, converting them to PDF is a single-click process, so don't feed us that bull about it "costing" money, because it doesn't.
Secondly, people are going to be stealing these "e-codes" left and right at retailers so they can have a free (oops, I mean "coffee" priced) copy of the digital version, screwing honest people out of it.
OMG a business using tactics to try and improve their capital gain...who has ever heard of anything like that? OMG a business that realizes that MANY of it's fans and customers do NOT buy it's books but instead share or pirate them so they try to add incentives to buy said books. I mean...how heartless can you get, that's just ridiculous.
PDF's should be free eh? Name me one company that gives PDF's for free, just one. The only company I am aware of that gives PDF's for free when you buy the hardcopy is Paizo and their PDF cost is built into their magazine price of "19.95" per copy whether or not you take advantage of the pdf. Wizards is at least giving you the choice.
Well, implementing all the content in the databases and tools does cost extra time and money above and beyond producing the book.
First of all, posting in all bold is tacky.
This would make sense if including a PDF for free were standard, but I can't think of another company that does it on a routine basis. With any other company, you'd have to pay just as much if not more if you had the option at all. I don't recall anyone refusing to buy 3E, or any other book for that matter, over not getting a free PDF copy along with it - and I heard some pretty damn silly reasons for refusing 3E. Why is it different for 4E?
Let's put the point another way. You're a VP of a company that makes widgets, doodads, and various other products, and a new line of widgets is on the way. It has recently come to your attention that doodads and widgets can be designed so as to work especially well together, in ways that would be very useful to some of your customers (but that others don't care about). The time has come to decide among the three following pricing models for the new line; which one gets your vote?
1. For X dollars, you get a widget. You just ignore the doodad-related possibilities.
2. For X dollars, you get the same widget plus the option of getting, for an additional Y dollars, a doodad designed to work especially well with the widget.
3. For X+Y dollars, you get the widget and the doodad. There is no option to just get the widget.
All else being equal - and right now, we have no reason to assume it's not - it seems to me it's irrational to vote for any option but #2. First consider the choice betwen 1 and 2. People who want the doodad will obviously prefer 2, and people who don't have no good reason to care whether option 1 or option 2 is implemented. (Which is the point many people here seem to be missing.) Similar comments apply to 2 versus 3; people who don't want the doodad will obviously prefer model 2, and those who want the doodad shouldn't care which of those is implemented (actually, they might prefer 2 as well, since it means not having to pay for everything at once, which is handy sometimes).
Model 2 is just obviously better than either of the realistic alternatives, which are 1 and 3. The whining it's producing honestly comes across to me as some kind of mass hysteria.
Name me another company that gives a PDF copy for free after you have bought a hardcopy. The only name I can think of that people utter as if they are martyrs is Paizo and hate to tell you but 20$/book/month tells me the pdf price is built into the sales price, WoTC is giving you the choice.
I know barely enough about website design to even kibitz properly, but I will note that anything that's Flash intensive is a no-go on phones.
I have no idea if .pdfs are phone-browser capable, but I doubt it.
Sites that aren't Flash-centric can be built multi-platform friendly fairly readily by using CSS and being compatible with standards; that's a function of good design, but good design isn't as common as you'd like to think. The real question is, will the DI be Flash and graphics intensive, or will be be something that can be parsed on low-grade web browsers?
Just for the record, I'll post in whatever manner I damn well please, because I could hardly give a rat's a** what you think is 'tacky'.
I think that the PC vs. Mac debate needs its own thread. Preferably one that is locked. The only meaningful point of discussion is actual demographic data. Anything else amounts to arguing politics, abortion, or religion and serves no purpose but to bog down this thread with stuff most of us don't want to read.
As for paying to unlock DDI content: The "key" that you need to unlock will CERTAINLY be under a "scratch-off" cover or inside a sealed envelope (or both) in the back of the book. This makes it difficult for anyone to steal a code without getting caught tampering with the book, and any attentive consumer (or shopkeeper) will know to double-check the key safeguards before buying (or selling) the book.
As for having to pay for a "free to produce" PDF of something you just bought, that's NOT what you're paying for. (Of course it costs virtually nothing to create a PDF of a finished book.) You are paying for BONUS online-only CONTENT that for whatever reason isn't in the book. As they've said before, the online content is like the "Extras DVD" that comes in the special edition of a movie. If you don't want the extras, then don't pay to cash in the key. You still get the book.
There has been no confirmation of the .pdf format being used. From all of the statements I have seen thus far, it is all online ONLY content. Unable to be printed (thus to help stop piracy). They may have chosen to go the route of .pdf but they haven't mentioned that format specifically yet.
So that's where we're at right now. If I were in your shoes, I'd sure want to know as much as possible, right away, proverbial elephants be damned. But May 2008 is a ways off. Just check in with us, volunteer to playtest, and eventually you'll see for yourself, long before the book is on the shelves.
--David Noonan, game designer, Wizards of the Coast.
The nightmare scenario for wrapped books starts with a group of people entering the location during a low staff period. Distract the sales clerk while your thief quietly cuts the shrink wrap and uncovers the code. With the ability of take a quick (and better every day) photo of the code with his/her cell phone and place to book back on the shelf, the thief then casually walks to the counter with what they are willing to pay for or just out the front door. Granted it's not rocket science but you're dealing with imaginative people who will find a way around whatever safety measures you put in place.
Something that was brought up in one of the other threads that bears bringing up here as well is the concept of the group account. A higher per month cost for a set number of people. This would allow them to pool resources (do we all really need a copy of FRCS 4e so that we have access to race/feat info that is specific to the Realms?) but possibly limit access to the other tools (only 1 person gets the DM toolkit doodads for instance). Would it be difficult to allow someone to load their book code onto a personal and *as yet non-existant*a group account? If you can track a code for activation, you can track it twice with a minor (maybe?)tweak of the code. Besides, it presents another revenue stream for those inidividuals who consider the going (individual) monthly cost to be to high.
All of this is pure blue sky brainstorming for us ATM since there's very little hard data but it never hurts to promote or share a good idea.
Unfortunately, capitalism killed communism and took its stuff.
Actually his post states clearly that he is willing to pay extra for an account type like that so it hardly compares to stealing
Here's a similar, and better, solution, imho: Allow people to buy ONLY the digital versions of the books at half price. So, one person in your group can buy the book in print (which you can share around the table), and everyone else pays the 50% "digital only" fee to access the content online and use the tools. Hell, WotC could even give you a PDF to take to kinkos and print if you want. They still make their profit (probably more, in fact) without having to print and ship a book to a bookseller, and you get access to what you want at half the price of buying the book (that you already admit you don't really want).
Sounds like "win-win," rather than "steal-lose," if you ask me.
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Look, all of this just boils down to: "I want to use material in books without having to actually pay the producers of the book for their work." You're trying to rationalize stealing, as far as I can tell.