D&D Compendium Feedback Thread

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Please use this thread to discuss your feedback on the D&D Compendium.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Feedback?

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One thing that might help is to clarify if the Compendium is intended to explain baseline level rules (such as "what is a healing surge" or "how do AC and Defenses work") or if it only intended to explain higher level rules (such as "Dwarves can use healing surge as a minor action" or "the Lightning Reflexes feat adds +2 to your Reflex defense").
I get a server error ever time i try to use it. While I do appreciate the apology for the inconvenience it is starting to get a bit tired.
Should be working now, sorry for the trouble.
This is still a problem (from this thread):

I've reproduced the problem with Internet Explorer 6.

I searched for "feat" and it returned 64 matches under the feat tab. I clicked the feat tab and scroll to the footer. There it tells me there are 3 pages. When I try to click any of the pages or the next link nothing happens. It is though they are just underlined text. Also when I put my mouse over them, the status bar does not give me link information, it remains empty. Again the page links act as though they are underlined text, and not links.

Taking it a little farther I searched for "s" which resulted in more tabs with multiple pages. Again each of these would not allow me to view another page as if the links were just underlined text.


In Firefox 2.0.0.16 I do not experience this problem. I am able to click the links to other pages as well as the next link.

How this helps.

The DDI compendium is one of the most pointless pieces of software a company has ever expected their customers to pay for. I could use the paid version of any PDFS compiling software that has a search function with strings and search for rules more quickly and efficiently. Do you actually have gamers deciding what people will pay for...or some guy with a masters degree in business calling the shots?

Ghostintheshell
Why are humans still "+1 Any"?!? That was one of them most obvious things that needs fixing.

Items like feather boat and ring of flight still have pluses, for some reason. This is silly.
I'm not too worried about it. The Compendium didn't come close to what they promisedanyways. I see it as a failure and I wish they would let it die now and go on to the next project in stead of trying in vain to fix it.

WTH are Rules Elements supposed to be?

Theres my feedback.
Don't try to show them what they are doing/trying to sell is almost laughable....they won't listen. They think they are giving the people what they want/will pay for. Unforetunately they dont realise I am drunk and still wouldn't pay $5 dollare a month for their shotty software. I'll spend my MMO money on MMOs and spend nothing on your crappy software. OPEN RPG is for FREE !!!!! and is available now.

Ghostintheshell
(drunk but still lucent enough to see DDI is a waste of money)
Not a bad tool really, once it is bundled with everything else. It would be nice if it had rule clarifications and erratta included. For example If it also searched the Archived Q&A from the main page. My primary use for the compendium would be searching to see if there was a rules clarification, or perhaps erratta on a subject.

Also it really needs to contain any additions made in Dungeon and Dragon Magazines. It will be a much faster way to find "that one ability I remember seeing that was a fighter burst 1 attack in the heroic tier, maybe lvl 3 or 6 but i dont remember."
There is a lot of empty space underneath the "Launch Compendium" link, would it be feasible to add a section for things like Date last updated, and a small list of things updated.

This would allow members to know if and what rule elements have changed with a quick glance. Especially if the compendium might be getting updates before the errata.

Just a thought.
I'm fairly happy with the current Compendium, but I have one problem with the subscriptions.

I want the ability to access the compendium without a monthly fee. I paid for the book with the rules already. I don't want to pay again for something that is just a reference tool for what I already bought. If this means cutting out access to the other books and Dungeon/Dragon magazines for me, thats fine, but at least let me have the reference for what I've already got.

Also, what might be a nifty little addition is the ability for people to add comments to an entry. For example, under the Spinning Sweep ability, someone could add a comment about how they avoid using this ability if they are in a party with a ranged striker because of the penalty when making a ranged attack against someone who is prone, but use it frequently if they are partying with the rogue, who is a melee striker. Another example... If errata comes out on the 1st of the month, but the compendium won't be updated until the 17th, someone could add comments noting the changes.

Comments like this could help the compendium become even more useful than just a simple reference. That could help make it worth the money, even if I did already own the books.
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Consider adding a "glossary" tab that includes things like conditions, action types, and keyword definitions.

When the UI gets a layer of polish, it would be nice if such keywords are hyperlinked, or even better, show up as a tool tip.
1) I still cannot find the fighter power "Get Over Here" in a search.
It's in there. It comes up in a generalized search for "fighter" but not in a search for the exact power. Even if it type it capitalized, lower case, just "get", etc.
I doubt this is the only power with this problem, just the only one I've noticed

2) Still no warforged despite being published for two months

3) Still no artificers despite being published for a month

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What I am missing is basic rules:
- xp and DC tables (level progression, monster xp, skill DCs)
- actions in combat
- conditions
- terrain

Also, I feel that the basic PHB stuff (or, if you wish, the SRD stuff) should be open.
Nobody is going to take DDI for the compendium only anyway, so make that part free.

Gomez
Hello Gamer_Zer0 and thanks for opening up this thread for feedback.

The concept of an compendium for all rules is excellent. An updated online version that we as gamers know is always updated and include all cannon sources.

I am missing some features that in my eyes are key in such a product.


1) Better Search
Why is Dragonborn showing up when I search for Tiefling? Sure Tiefling might be mentioned in the backstory for Dragonborn it is strange that it shows up.

2) Advanced Search Options
The ability to filter on what you want to search for. To limit what you want to see. There are loads of search options that are common in most search engines like stopwords that are not implemented here. What search engine software are you using?

3) Browsing the compendium.
This is a killer feature I think. Browsing all classes, races, powers etc. Sometimes it is a lot easier to just browse powers, select fighter powers and get to "Get over Here" that way.

4) Focus the search on the first result
Why is not the first tab with actual results in selected when I search? If i search for "Hellish Rebuke" the races tab is still selected with no results in it. That is not very usefull.

5) More intuitive search results.
While I like the tabbed view I think it would be nice to atleast add the option to show the results as a list with the most relevant result at top. And add relevancy.

6) Mobile version
Create some way of accessing the compendium from a mobile device. Not everybody has a PC available when they play and the ability to quickly check a rule can save a few hours of tedious rules discussion. Apple is selling iPhone apps like crazy and I know a lot of people that would buy a iPhone compendium client.
I have feedback about your pricing.

It is too much to pay for what you're offering. If you're going to prove us wrong then keep the free trail going until you can produce your products and give us a 1 month trial like many MMO's do. I only compare you to MMO's because your employees have done so before and you're pricing it as such.

Let us see what you have to offer. Then we'll decide whether we want to pay $15 a month for it.

I think your $5 pricing for what you have right now is really kind of cheap and tbh, isn't worth it. If I have to start paying 5 dollars for it anytime soon you can coun't that my 5 bucks won't be among the amount that you garner... if it is much at all.

And charging for V-Minis? Do we have price estimates on those?

Thanks for listening!
When I first read the proposed pricing I was happy, as I assumed it would include all, but if it's for the compendium, magazines and those goofy bonus tools, forget it.

Whilst the compendium is great and I really enjoy the magazines, if I'm going to subscribe for something I want to get value for money. Your pricing plan stinks for those who would take up a yearly subscription, (which is what I was planning to do until this last news letter).

There are character generators already in use for 4th edition that are free to download or use. The character visualiser is only good for the cyber element (online only), which I would consider something like those bonus tools, useless unless you're playing online within the D&D game table.

Whilst I think the dungeon builder and D&D table are going to be great, again this is only an online service.

Is there going to a downloadable version for us gamers who use our laptops in a local area network at someones house instead of being online?

If you keep the pricing structure as is for the first year of service and include all the elements of D&DI, then I think you'll get a better response to those services.

Micky
I'm fairly happy with the current Compendium, but I have one problem with the subscriptions.

I want the ability to access the compendium without a monthly fee. I paid for the book with the rules already. I don't want to pay again for something that is just a reference tool for what I already bought. If this means cutting out access to the other books and Dungeon/Dragon magazines for me, thats fine, but at least let me have the reference for what I've already got.

Also, what might be a nifty little addition is the ability for people to add comments to an entry. For example, under the Spinning Sweep ability, someone could add a comment about how they avoid using this ability if they are in a party with a ranged striker because of the penalty when making a ranged attack against someone who is prone, but use it frequently if they are partying with the rogue, who is a melee striker. Another example... If errata comes out on the 1st of the month, but the compendium won't be updated until the 17th, someone could add comments noting the changes.

Comments like this could help the compendium become even more useful than just a simple reference. That could help make it worth the money, even if I did already own the books.

The skeptic in me sees far more comments of the "LUL!!!11! This power is GRAET! I used it to kill Orkut. EPIC POWA, ALWAYS USE THIS!" or messages of the "this power sucks, don't take it" variety.

Errata is actually supposed to land in the compendium first (as with the Stealth rule change) and then be updated in the Errata.

As for paying for the compendium, the original plan was to have a non-subscription version that wouldn't give you the full rules text, but would instead give you a page and book reference. I haven't heard any changes to this plan, but I know that the Compendium is still a work in progress, so this may or may not happen in the near future.
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One thing that might help is to clarify if the Compendium is intended to explain baseline level rules (such as "what is a healing surge" or "how do AC and Defenses work") or if it only intended to explain higher level rules (such as "Dwarves can use healing surge as a minor action" or "the Lightning Reflexes feat adds +2 to your Reflex defense").

The Compendium DEFINITELY needs this functionality; most of the time that our gaming group has come to use it has been in combat when we can't remember a specific rule; e.g. how bull rush works etc.

The clean interface thats in use is very quick, easy to use and uncluttered; all we need is another tab for something like 'game mechanics'.

Including FAQ entries with these basic rules would also be useful; might settle a lot of arguments around the table immediately.

Finally, you need to be able to access the compendium on mobile devices; iphones, mobiles etc. Our gaming group has found that using laptops completely destroys any atmosphere - and they take up too much space!
Consolidation and cross referencing are my two biggies.

Consolidation: When I search for "Athletics" and go to "Skills", I get 4 results, one for each class which has it as a class skill. It the same skill every time, so why not just have it list all the classes for a single result?

Cross Referencing: When I'm in a class description and it lists the class skills, link to those skills. If I'm reading about Teiflings and it mentions Dragonborns, link to Dragonborns. There should (pretty much) never be mention of something else which is in the Compendium which isn't a link to that entry in the Compendium.

My subcomplaint is that things like conditions should be in there, too. So if I'm reading a power and it says "Target is dazed", I can click on "dazed" and it will tell me what that condition means. It's kinda silly to have the compendium, be reading the compendium, and now, oh look, I need to open my book after all because I can't remember that dazed is "single action only, grants combat advantage, and doesn't count as a flanker." This ruins the "quick reference" for me.

As for the pricing, I'm cool with the $5/month (yearly sub) as long as it includes the magazines. The "Bonus Tools" are currently a little weak in my opinion, but that's minor. (I know, this thread is supposed to be Compendium related...)

Back to the Compendium: I really wonder if it would work best as a Wiki. Among other things, it would make it easy to see what's changed and when, and it would allow people to see what the rules were before the change. Even if WotC internal are the only folks who get to edit the Wiki, I think it would still be a major improvement.
Ok, here is what I want answered: What will be free and what will be subscription. When you go to DDI and select each application tab and read through what your offering, the tab for the Dungeon Builder specifically says that it will be a FREE application usable by anyone and everyone. Under Character Visualizer, you say that ANYONE will be able to use it with limited options. And Character Builder implies it will be FREE to anyone and everyone but if you are a subscriber, you get specific information rather than having to paw through the printed materials.

Now so far, everything I'm reading is that nothing will be free after a month and that the demos will be very limited time and very limited options. So what gives? Seem like you enjoy promising the moon only to deliver a lump of coal. Keep this in mind WotC: If you keep breaking the promises you make to us, then you can just take DDI and shove it. We don't want the BS you spouting. We want the tools and accessibility you promised us at the beginning. Learn to decide what you want to offer before you offer and then change you mind to the disadvantage of you customers.
The compendium site has great potential. I hope that Wizards will actually realize some of it.

Some things I can think of that would help:

1. Cross referencing. This has been mentioned previously, but it's what makes the web great. When I see a power, like say Sleep, that knocks its victims unconscious, I should be able to click on unconscious to see the rules for that. Extra gravy for having a mouse-over that gives a quick overview of the unconscious condition, with the link leading to more information.

2. Predictable, meaningful URLs. The URLs to the compendium should be human-readable, and they should follow a reasonable pattern. This would allow people to go directly to their chosen topics more easily, even guessing at the URL of those things that they don't know. This also allows people to write automated tools that can link to pages within the compendium without having to have a master list of every URL in the compendium. The D20 SRD website (http://www.d20srd.org/) was good for this.

3. Page references. It's great to have the rules online, and the Compendium does indicate from which book the rule originates, but how about some page numbers? I can imagine using the Compendium in my games, and having my players at the table there with their copies of the books wanting to read a given rule for themselves. It would be really nice if I could just tell them which page number to flip to.

4. Last updated dates. The Compendium is meant to be a living document. We the readers should know when a rule was last change, and perhaps even why. This is rather a must to keep people from going insane. Bonus points for implementing a sort of change log like Wikipedia or something so that people know not only when it changed, but why and how it changed.


Right now, I'm not sure I would pay for the compendium, I think it needs work before it transitions from a curiosity to a usable tool for me.
3. Page references. It's great to have the rules online, and the Compendium does indicate from which book the rule originates, but how about some page numbers? I can imagine using the Compendium in my games, and having my players at the table there with their copies of the books wanting to read a given rule for themselves. It would be really nice if I could just tell them which page number to flip to.

The last word we got on page numbers was that it would not be implemented, because future printings may have elements end up on a different page depending on the date the book was printed.
I have not seen the changes implemented in the compendium yet for browse, or the monsters...but it was mentioned that this may not be immediate. I look forward to checking these out. The Compendium will be very valuable if it retains it information from all sourcebooks, including Dragon. I would like to see any new content or creatures from Dungeon or other published modules as well, as well as campaigns such as Forgotten Realms.

In my game, the laptop is a staple for the DM (in fact, most players bring theirs, too). We currently play 2nd Edition, and are using the Expanded Core Rules. It is very convenient to look up spells, monsters, etc. on the computer, rather than thumbing through stacks of books. Especially when we have 8 or more people at the game. So the Compendium will be very useful and welcome addition to our game...when we someday, possibly decide to play 4th Edition. But that doesn't rule out the fact that if I played it now, it would be useful.

One other thing I would like to point out, amid all the whining online, is that I really appreciate the current communication that Randy Buehler is providing to us. Throughout the launch of 4th Edition, Wizards did an abyssmal job of letting the consumer know what was going on...especially in the digital gaming arena. My masters degree and career is in marketing, so it makes me cringe whenever I see companies making such blatant consumer-vendor relation blunders. I think that is why the backlash has been so harsh in recent months. The build up of what is happening, what we are getting, etc. is so strong that it has built up a frenzy with the customer base. The consumer of D&D is not just a buyer, they are a fan, and the product is a big part of their life...so there is an emotional investment in every release. There are still many, many unknowns in pricing. The cost of Virtual Minis? (And for the love of Pete, why charge individually for them?!) But in light of these issues, I do truly appreciate the increase in consistent and open communication that Randy has recently opened. This has gone a long way to begin re-establishing my own personal trust as a consumer and fan...and I hope it indicates a trend.

Let's stay in this together. We want Wizards to succeed, and they want us to stick around.

- Roc
2. Predictable, meaningful URLs. The URLs to the compendium should be human-readable, and they should follow a reasonable pattern. This would allow people to go directly to their chosen topics more easily, even guessing at the URL of those things that they don't know. This also allows people to write automated tools that can link to pages within the compendium without having to have a master list of every URL in the compendium. The D20 SRD website (http://www.d20srd.org/) was good for this.

As much as this would be nice, I don't see it happening. They plan on charging for it, which means no automated tools are going to be able to access it. Meaningful URLs are always nice, but the automated tools bit isn't gonna happen. (By my guesses, at least)

Right now, I'm not sure I would pay for the compendium, I think it needs work before it transitions from a curiosity to a usable tool for me.

I'm pretty much with you on this. If it were just the compendium and bonus tools, it would be a "no go" for me, and the rest of DDI isn't going to be compatible with any computer I run, which ruins that for me... $4.95/month for the magazines, however, is worth it to me, even if I never use any of the other stuff.
The last word we got on page numbers was that it would not be implemented, because future printings may have elements end up on a different page depending on the date the book was printed.

well then how about just chapters, they should not change. its not as good as page numbers but it couldn't hurt.
My subcomplaint is that things like conditions should be in there, too. So if I'm reading a power and it says "Target is dazed", I can click on "dazed" and it will tell me what that condition means. It's kinda silly to have the compendium, be reading the compendium, and now, oh look, I need to open my book after all because I can't remember that dazed is "single action only, grants combat advantage, and doesn't count as a flanker." This ruins the "quick reference" for me.

This a huge problem for me. I know the big rule elements like the entry for humans off the top of my head but dazed not so much. Leaving out this kind of thing means that the compendium with out rules and pg numbers is pretty pointless.
The skeptic in me sees far more comments of the "LUL!!!11! This power is GRAET! I used it to kill Orkut. EPIC POWA, ALWAYS USE THIS!" or messages of the "this power sucks, don't take it" variety.

Errata is actually supposed to land in the compendium first (as with the Stealth rule change) and then be updated in the Errata.

One way in which D&D is different from MMOs, at least in my experience, is that our player-base is not that immature. The problem is that one such immature player could ruin it for the rest of us.

Perhaps moderation is in order. Let people make comments, but someone, such as yourself, has to review them and approve them before they are publicly visible. Hopefully, that wouldn't be necessary though.

As for Errata, that would be great, if it actually happened that way. But I don't think it has so far.

One other suggestion... Add the playable Monster Races (Warforged, Shifters, Etc) to the Races area in the Compendium.
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"What I would like" feedback:
All I really want are hypertext core rules (i.e. something exactly like www.d20srd.org).
One way in which D&D is different from MMOs, at least in my experience, is that our player-base is not that immature. The problem is that one such immature player could ruin it for the rest of us.

Are you new to this whole internet thing??

(I kid, I kid)

Seriously, I would like to think that the D&D playerbase is more mature than the MMO playerbase. However, my experience in the 4E C&C forum, as well as the 4E General Discussion form and D&D Community Business and D&D GSL leads me to believe otherwise.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
One thing that would be helpful (for both the compendium and the encounter builder bonus tool) would be to select level ranges.

If I was designing an encounter in the sewers for 4th level PCs, I may want to see all the goblins and rats between say, 2nd and 6th level. Selecting a range will show me that along with the goblins and rats, I could throw an Ochre Jelly into the fray too.
One thing that would be helpful (for both the compendium and the encounter builder bonus tool) would be to select level ranges.

If I was designing an encounter in the sewers for 4th level PCs, I may want to see all the goblins and rats between say, 2nd and 6th level. Selecting a range will show me that along with the goblins and rats, I could throw an Ochre Jelly into the fray too.

I can't speak for the Encounter Builder, but take a peak at the Compendium once it comes back up from the update. You might be pleasantly surprised.
View all does not view all. It displays X pages of Y number of items.

Since the Compendium still points to the "Under Construction" page for me I can forgive them errors at the moment. But using the direct URL works for me...

Oh, I just realized what you mean. You want 'View All' to show all the powers (for instance) on one page, WotC thinks 'View All' shows all powers without filtering but still split between multiple pages. Got it.

WotC_Cort: I see where you can select one level, but not a range. Again see the first sentence of this post if there is a range, but selecting each level one at a time is less than ideal.
Yeah. It is like some phone company saying you get unlimited service for limited times during the day.

unlimited =//= limited

You would think the English language was easy to understand, but I guess not.
View all does not view all. It displays X pages of Y number of items.


It displays everything for that category, so all of "items" if you click it with the items tab open, all of "monsters" if you click it with the monster tab open and so forth.

And yeah, it's a paged view. Otherwise things like 780 powers becomes a bit... unwieldy.
Since the Compendium still points to the "Under Construction" page for me I can forgive them errors at the moment. But using the direct URL works for me...

Oh, I just realized what you mean. You want 'View All' to show all the powers (for instance) on one page, WotC thinks 'View All' shows all powers without filtering but still split between multiple pages. Got it.

WotC_Cort: I see where you can select one level, but not a range. Again see the first sentence of this post if there is a range, but selecting each level one at a time is less than ideal.

Yeah, we're aware of the desire to select a range. It adds complexity to the development, so we went with the current advanced search options as a good set we felt we could build and test solidly given our time frame.

If we have a clamor that being able to select ranges instead of individual levels is a strongly desired feature we will certainly take that feedback into account when planning the next set of features.
It displays everything for that category, so all of "items" if you click it with the items tab open, all of "monsters" if you click it with the monster tab open and so forth.

And yeah, it's a paged view. Otherwise things like 780 powers becomes a bit... unwieldy.

It really seems the sort function is quite sound, so the optin for those interested in viewing all 788 powers should be able to do so easily since it is client side.

A simple disclaimer about load times when viewing all is all it really needs.

No offense to your search tool, but I just like a good old fashion list sometimes.

Like the Master List for DDM 1.0 and 2.0

I can open the resulting page with a spreadsheet and sort it out or do many other things with it. Count the number of monsters that are kobold variants to populate a city with usable combatants with a few well placed macros and my own criterion for inclusion to build my own encounter or city from the list.

Or find all items with necrotic damage for warlocks AND warlock monsters at the same time.

Something I am sure may later come about from the search function, but would take about 3 minutes in a spreadsheet with all compendium elements in it.

Also serves as a good offline use for having a list to find some item someone may walk into a game with that they made up themselves where no internet access is available but the laptop has the list saved form the last time a search was made when the Compendium was updated.

I understand the page would quickly be a fearful thing for those who are not accustomed to scrolling, but I am not one of those. :D

Heck just a single page list of ALL parts of the database with which tab they come from would be just as well without links as people would know what is an is not.

Kind of like the old Arms & Equipment guides' massive amount of tables of "stuff".

It does work as is, but I know the database could handle it and am sure the sort script can also handle it even if it might scare a few people.

Just think. If this is the only thing I, ME, am complaining about with the Compendium...well ask other people about how I complain about things, and so far you can see I have minimal problems with the Compendium as is. ;)
Well I just took the new compendium for a spin...I think it's getting a good bit closer to be worth a subscription. In particular, I'm glad to see monsters from modules are added, so you can use them in your own games...