"online" Dragon Sucks

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I don't know about the rest of you, but I hate this crappy online version of Dragon magazine.

I want a magazine I can download in whole and print out (or preferably receive in the mail) to read during my morning commute or to leave on my night stand to flip through before I lay down to sleep. These lists of links to web pages just don't cut it. I work on a computer all day and I don't want to be stuck in front of one on my off time to get my monthly pencil & paper gaming fix.

If this is all Wizards has to offer, they can count me out of the "online" content they plan to charge for.
I f ing hate it also brother.somebody gotta do something about this continueing quality cuting for profits.If we dont particiapate then it will die but if we do like we know we all will continue to downgrade.The only thing still selling this is the artist.SO HEADS UP ARTIST,CHARGE MUCH MORE REGARDLESS OF PAPPER OR NET!WITHOUT YOU NOBODY WILL LOOK AT A B.S. DIGITAL DRAGON PAGE.You know how many people got fired cause of this garbage?
P.S.Gleemax can go to hell..where is this J co. coming from anyway?
Let me preface this by saying I had a Dragon subscription for over a decade and would have happily subscribed for another decade.

Wizards is hoping people like you and me will be replaced. Its why they bundled Dragon in with a bunch of other crap. That way they hope someone who wants the e-zine not the e-tools will buy, as well as someone who wants the e-tools but not the magazine will buy.

It sucks but thats Wizards bid to emulate the "pay for play" models WoW and other MMORPG's use.

I will not buy the D&DI. Actually I've only bought 2 books since its been announced.
it's funny, i was just thinking about how pathetic the "mags" are at this point.
You said it Grizzly. I was a big fan of the mags. Not anymore. I hope they go to print again, 'cause this sucks. Do they want me to buy the books and other support only online now too? Should I bother with the games shop any more? Or maybe I should just forget about Wizards and just stick with Margaret Weis Prod, Green Ronin, etc. Go Warcraft Games, Mission BC!!
I was a dragon subscriber as well... i'm really looking foreward to 4th, however i also agree the transition of dragon was probably a mistake, and is something i was mad about when i frist heard. The articles so far have only really entertained me because most are previews of 4th ed, the other none 4ed articles haven't really peeked my intrest. However that being said right now they are offering it free... i will likely try the pay subscription but if the articles stay at their current quality i doubt i'll be paying for long (i'm also somewhat intrested in at least trying out the other software they are offering and the price doesn't seem unreasonable)
Yes, both Dragon and Dungeon suck. Badly.

The saddest part is that they could make them (at least a little) better with very little effort.


How?
1. Put the levels in the downloads for dungeon.
2. Release collected, bookmarked pdfs.
3. Make the format both printable AND easily read on a computer monitor.
4. Propose a release schedule and keep to it (by actually having submissions for the next month ready before the month arrives).

And for slightly more effort:
1. Accept more fan written stuff, and release it.
2. Put out more maps (both player and dm) and make them printable to battlemap scale.


These magazines smack of amateur hour. They're little more than the old web stuff.

Now to be fair, I do think that the actual stuff released is usually very good. Kudos to authors whose stuff has been "printed". But the format and lack of quantity really makes me want to yack.

Oh, and I'm also looking forward to 4th as well. I have no issues about a new edition...but what they did to the mags is embarrasing and sad.
I'm glad I'm not alone on this. I collected Dragon & Dungeon since the late 70's and was a subscriber for about a decade before they were canceled (I don't consider the online versions as a real Dragon or Dungeon... so in my eyes they've been canceled).

I was really looking forward to 4e, but when Paizo released their Pathfinder RPG Alpha it made me stop and think. Now I think I'd much rather stick with a game that had monthly printed support showing up in my snailmailbox than what Wizards is offering.

I don't know, I guess I'll wait and see, but I'm not paying for what Wizards is offering now, and Paizo is getting most of my business at this point.
I never had a subscription. I supported my local gameing shop now called the Ogres den formly called Level 12. I liked going there and shooting the breeze with fellow gamers and getting the new magazine and discussing in person gameing and ideas. Seeing and watching the expressions of these fellow gamers passionate about thier games was inprastion for me and many.

No more. I have one less reason to go to these shops and hang out and the passion is far less now than it was.

Going digital has it's benifets, but so far I have seen far far more regrets and disapointments than benifets. One could hope for better times but people tend to judge the future from the present so if I do so then the sad part is That the future looks bleak and unintersting.

Please Wotc go back to print. Forget this digital crap. I use the word crap becausde the real words that come to mind would get this post deleted!

on the positive note. 4E looks good even though I still have no idea how the wizard starts with more than 20 hit points.
The only thing I can possibly see my group doing is to pay for the insider as a collective to test out the non-Dragon/Dungeon stuff.
But I doubt it will matter. I want my magazines back. I like to be able to take them places. I like to be able to look at them when I am waiting for my car to be serviced, or lying down before I go to sleep or while I am lying on a heating pad or an ice pack, or a number of other occasions where internet access isn't feasible or convenient.
The only thing I can possibly see my group doing is to pay for the insider as a collective to test out the non-Dragon/Dungeon stuff.
But I doubt it will matter. I want my magazines back. I like to be able to take them places. I like to be able to look at them when I am waiting for my car to be serviced, or lying down before I go to sleep or while I am lying on a heating pad or an ice pack, or a number of other occasions where internet access isn't feasible or convenient.

Old fogy!!

Actually, if they would include support for e-readers, that would be a really nice leap from where it is now. And, why aren't you taking your laptop with you? hehe

Well, since this free preview is to give you an idea of what you get when you pay for it, I'm not entirely impressed. And, if it changes after you start paying, then the preview was worthless. So, either way, I'm not impressed with the preview. Either the content is going to blow going forward, or the preview is bogus.

So, with that, I doubt I'll subscribe. Plus, unless they do a free preview of the entire DDI, I'm not feeling really compelled to try paying for it.

Cheers
Well, our old DM subscribed to the Dragon and Dungeon mags and we would look through them every game night. It was cool to look through the articles and artwork. I admit when I went to my local gamer shop, I loved paging through the mags, it kept me in the store longer.

What I've seen so far... it does suck. Fortunately for me, I love the other things that the DDI is offering, so I have my credit card ready to subscribe. If it would have ONLY been for the Dragon & Dungeon mags online, no way in hell I would pay. It's April already and it's very sad to see how little or not well presentated the DDI parts have been so far. Come on WOTC, will you show something to get the 4E haters to go... "that's nice or that's cool". They will never love anything, just get them to pause just once!

EK
Of course it sucks. It's sucked since day one. I even submitted a question to that retarded Gamer Radio Ninja Cyborg Samurai 0 show that asked precisely when it was going to "dot dot dot, not suck?" The obvious answer is apparently NEVER.

The last year, WotC has been doing nothing but sticking its proverbial middle finger toward its customers. It's so far been turning D&D into something it's not, turning Forgotten Realms into something its not, letting various licenses to old favorite settings like Dragonlance expire, and then of course canceling the print mags and replacing them with this... amateurish... poorly laid out.... ****.
You can talk to me, but I won't promise to be nice.
Plus, unless they do a free preview of the entire DDI, I'm not feeling really compelled to try paying for it.

Cheers

Everyone will be able to get a 10-day trial to the service for free.

I'd suggest people "on the fence" not take their trial the day it opens, and instead let traffic stabilize before testing things out, as online services always have problems at launch.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Another thought came to me while reading Eberronknight's post.

With Dungeon and Dragon no longer being published, it reduces the overall visibility of the game. Once upon a time, someone could have been looking for stuff to read on a plane ride or car trip, or just been passing by the magazine racks and had a cover catch their eye.
That, ideally, leads to more people picking up the magazine and trying out the game.
Maybe they had marketing data that confirmed that this wasn't happening, but it seems to me that it would be a worthwhile endeavor if there were any profit at all.
Of course, if they think that they can make that much more profit by getting people to pay the same price they were paying for the two magazines to get the electronic content, then more power to them. I just think it may be a bit short-sighted.
I would rather have the magazines in my hands and then maybe pay $5.00 a month for the electronic elements, depending on what they all end up being.
Paper magazines please.

Failing that monthly PDFs.

Failing that at least an RSS/Atom feed for new content.


I don't mind the digital distribution mechanism if it's done right. However the technology isn't here yet. When E-Readers are cheaper, easy, and convenient and I can subscribe to content with them I'll be happy. We're in a technology trough atm though and digital distribution of this type of content doesn't quite cut it.
Everyone will be able to get a 10-day trial to the service for free.

I'd suggest people "on the fence" not take their trial the day it opens, and instead let traffic stabilize before testing things out, as online services always have problems at launch.

What perhaps wait nine days for servers to settle in? You have mentioned WOW launch and others having problems. It indeed appears likely considering what little we know of current IT staff (if any) that there will be problems. There however is the point that one not reading history are doomed to repeat it. WotC already has their own history of self designed crash ,l hope they also know about WOW, et. el. about other crashes.

We need to see if they over compensate and provide a smooth transition/introduction or will choose to repeat history because they ignored it (Much like it appears we that post appear to be ignored).
Plans are always subject to change.
What perhaps wait nine days for servers to settle in? You have mentioned WOW launch and others having problems. It indeed appears likely considering what little we know of current IT staff (if any) that there will be problems. There however is the point that one not reading history are doomed to repeat it. WotC already has their own history of self designed crash ,l hope they also know about WOW, et. el. about other crashes.

We need to see if they over compensate and provide a smooth transition/introduction or will choose to repeat history because they ignored it (Much like it appears we that post appear to be ignored).

As someone who makes a living on IT, I can honestly say I, for one, don't know how to easily resolve issues surrounding an anticipated "boom" of bandwidth and resource demand.

Perhaps if you signed a special deal with your ISP (or a pair of ISPs if we want to be really paranoid - different paths, more redundancy, etc) to "rent" extra bandwidth for a couple months, but the cost expenditure to setup those circuits, espescially for a short period of time, I would expect to be crazy. (The cost of installing a circuit is usually made up for over the life of a 2-3 year contract).

Likewise, buying extra servers when you know you won't be needing them beyond a month or two is very cost-prohibitive in the short-term, especially to solve a problem that *should* go away after a month or so.

Admittedly, I've never launched an online service, much less one that was greatly anticipated, so I'm speculating and could be way off. . . but I can at least sympathize with the WotC IT Staff.

Especially as I expect they're understaffed and under-budgeted like most IT shops.

So, really, I expect the problem will come down to "sure, we can prevent the problem if we throw enough money at it" but WotC (or even more likely Hasbro) higher-ups won't see a profit motive in the decision and deny the expenditure.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

With cloude computing and virtualization (similar to amazons EC2 service) i think it might be possible to solve most issues wizards will encounter... For something like WOW where there is intensive relatively full server load at all times on a large number of servers i'm not sure if something like this would be useful.
For the webapp stuff DDI is saying it will carry i think this would be a good solution... That being said who knows what they have actually looked into and found to be the best solution for them. I'm not sure what type of serverload they are anticipating from their online gaming table or voice chat stuff.
WotC has done nothing since the announcement of 4E back at GenCon to instill confidence in their ability to run an e-zine that in any way is comperable to the standards set by the magazines. Added to Gleemax's stagnant state over the past 9 months and you have every reason to believe that WotC's proven track record of poor (miserable?) E-products will continue.

Its a real shame that instead of creating a sense of excitement and anticipation towards the upcoming launch of 4E's E-Dun and E-Drag, they have succeeded in creating a sense of forboding and resignation towards a product that will underwhelm.
While I am looking forward to 4E, I have to agree.

The online Dragon and Dungeon Suck.

Reason why you won't see a magazine...is, of course, money. Paizo said that starting a new magazine cost's upwards of $100,000 to secure shelf space from the media outlets. Hasbro is not going to front them that kind of money. Nor are they going to give them money to run a magazine business. (writers, editors, layout people, etc.)
It's sad that the D&D mags got caught in the crossfire of Hasbro taking back all their licenses, but hey, it was their ball and they could take it and go home.
If Elminster becomes like Joan Rivers, could he feel his face?

I very much enjoyed Dungeon, especially being able to read thru an adventure, sucking ideas out of it, while visiting the head or during a work break. Until most of us have Iphones or other internet-connected mobile devices, switching exclusively to an online medium is premature. It seems to me that most of the other negative points of this maneuver have been indicated in the thread

-the price is ridiculous, and does not compare to comperable offerings in this industry
-It does not serve those without solid mobile internet access
-It eliminates any possibility of retail stores (our game stores - which without, we would not have this wonderful hobby) from having these periodicals to attact returning customers, as well as intrigue potential new customers

Grizley Bear made a comment about DnD being a pen and paper game that I wanted to expound on. Playing DnD is a social experience. The whole endeavor started with a variation of "lets pretend", something that kids have done for years, in social settings. I've played DnD for over 30 years, and have also played a number of MMO's, and there is absolutely no way, with todays technology, you can create the same kind of social experience online that you can in a real table-top setting.

So now we DMs will not only need our books, our screen, our notes, our dice, our refreshing beverage of choice... but we'll also have to reserve room on our end of the gaming table for a laptop. We'll have to hope that someone near our gaming store has a wireless hub we can sneak onto, so the laptop can stay connected to look all this online stuff up - distracting the DM from their primary role, which is telling the story in the first place.

I only hope enough writers and artists continue to leave the services of WotC to work on a number of start-up gaming magazines attempting to fill the void left behind.

By the way, Wizards... that sucking sound you hear? Is the sound of many of us taking our money and spending it elsewhere. Thanks for screwing up our game.

/Thef
...So now we DMs will not only need our books, our screen, our notes, our dice, our refreshing beverage of choice... but we'll also have to reserve room on our end of the gaming table for a laptop. We'll have to hope that someone near our gaming store has a wireless hub we can sneak onto, so the laptop can stay connected to look all this online stuff up - distracting the DM from their primary role, which is telling the story in the first place. (...)

"Be careful with that diet soda... if it gets on the keyboard, the game stops!" :D

-or-

"No, that's not a dire pudding near your elf, someone got nacho cheese on my monitor."
Grizley Bear made a comment about DnD being a pen and paper game that I wanted to expound on. Playing DnD is a social experience. The whole endeavor started with a variation of "lets pretend", something that kids have done for years, in social settings. I've played DnD for over 30 years, and have also played a number of MMO's, and there is absolutely no way, with todays technology, you can create the same kind of social experience online that you can in a real table-top setting.

There's a score of Virtual Table Tops, and players using them, that would disagree with you. Is it for everyone? No. Is it a nice resource for those of us with D&D playing friends who live in scattered locations? Yes.

So now we DMs will not only need our books, our screen, our notes, our dice, our refreshing beverage of choice... but we'll also have to reserve room on our end of the gaming table for a laptop. We'll have to hope that someone near our gaming store has a wireless hub we can sneak onto, so the laptop can stay connected to look all this online stuff up - distracting the DM from their primary role, which is telling the story in the first place.

What EXACTLY makes you think you'll *need* a laptop? DDI is an optional service. None of the components will be required to play at a table.

Quick look:
Game Table Online - if you're playing face-to-race, you don't need this
Rules Database - did you bring your books? Great, don't need this at the table
Character Creator - got your rules? Great, this might be used to check your math later, but you can still make a character "on-the-fly"
Character Visualizer - Got a mini? Done
DM Mapping tool - Already made your map, or making it up on the fly? Done.
Encounter Creator - Same as DM Mapping tool.

You may not like the DDI service offering, but that's why it's an option.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Check this out. I just recently subscribed. I hope it becomes the spiritual successor to Dragon/Dungeon it hopes to be.

Cheers
The new mags seem like they're just the same stuff WOTC used to put on their website for free. It does seem like a rip if you're not into the tools.
Check this out. I just recently subscribed. I hope it becomes the spiritual successor to Dragon/Dungeon it hopes to be.

Cheers

I'll back you up on that. I got a subscription to KQ a few months ago and never looked back. I've enjoyed the articles immensly and as the fan base grows they'll only get better. Its as good as Dragon used to be.
I only hope enough writers and artists continue to leave the services of WotC to work on a number of start-up gaming magazines attempting to fill the void left behind.

By the way, Wizards... that sucking sound you hear? Is the sound of many of us taking our money and spending it elsewhere. Thanks for screwing up our game.

/Thef

And this is where I'm spending it:

http://www.koboldquarterly.com/

Kobold Quarterly - the spiritual successor to Dragon and print magazine for gamers.:D
WotC dropped the ball bigtime, and this one reason that I think ultimately when all is said and done, 4th edition will be deemed a failure. They simply don't seem to have enough hands on deck to right the ship. They are doing to much with to few people and the quality is really suffering. I don't really hear much good about 4th edition locally, this is very different from 2nd or 3rd upon release, both of them had crowds warming to them at this point. I think the lines in the sand and there aren't going to be many folks crossing it.
I SUCK!

There. Translated it from "troll" for you.

I, personally, like the new method. I don't have to pay for it, and I can just go to my computer when I forget something.

Then again, I'm a "steup1dd n00bie", so I don't know any better.:rolleye2:
So, Leliel, are you saying that Dragon doesn't suck?

Or are you saying that the other stuff in insider will be good for you and your group.

I can certainly appreciate the latter point, but the former? If you think Dragon doesn't suck, please post why.
So, Leliel, are you saying that Dragon doesn't suck?

Or are you saying that the other stuff in insider will be good for you and your group.

I can certainly appreciate the latter point, but the former? If you think Dragon doesn't suck, please post why.

Well, actually I can't say how much it sucks in comparasion to the hardcopy Dragon, beacuse I couldn't afford it.

Actually, that's the primary reason why the new Dragon dosen't suck: it's free!

Plus, there are some pretty good story ideas in it.
Well, actually I can't say how much it sucks in comparasion to the hardcopy Dragon, beacuse I couldn't afford it.

Actually, that's the primary reason why the new Dragon dosen't suck: it's free!

Plus, there are some pretty good story ideas in it.

So how good is Dragon once you have to pay for it? Assuming WotC doesn't pull of some miracle and the quality remains the same.
I don't know what you are all talking about, Wizards does nothing but make solid, well thought out business decisions, and takes customer opinion very seriously, just look at 4.0 D&D and D&D minis 2.0......

p.s.: If you can't tell....I am being sarcastic....
So how good is Dragon once you have to pay for it? Assuming WotC doesn't pull of some miracle and the quality remains the same.

If one values the other offerings of DDI enough, then Dragon will always be free (until it requires a separate subscription anyway).
If one values the other offerings of DDI enough, then Dragon will always be free (until it requires a separate subscription anyway).

owing to the above: i am glad i had to lose the magazines i enjoyed so people not interested in them would have something to read while playing with the electronic toys offered by the DDI.

hard as it might be to believe, some people neither want nor need the electronic offerings, but still want the magazines. i get the feeling, and this is just me, that the people with the most to say about the magazines are not nearly as interested in the electronic tools that DDI will have. or i might be alone in all that.
still want the magazines.

If you don't absolutely hate anything and everything electronic, you'll be able to buy the magazines separately (at least once they get the PDF stuff working).
If you don't absolutely hate anything and everything electronic, you'll be able to buy the magazines separately (at least once they get the PDF stuff working).

If someone hates everything electronic they would not be using the internet.
However if someone does not care for gaming material in electronic form, they likely would not like electronic magazines.
Plans are always subject to change.
I'm glad it will be possible to buy the PDF seperately; its better than nothing at all. I prefer a print magazine to an electronic PDF copy of Dragon however. Sure I can print the file at will, but its not the same as having a professionally produced hardcopy in my hands. It also costs much more in valuable money and time.

In a perfect world (one without a monthly print mag anyway), I'd love to see a quarterly published collection which collects the online Dragon material into print. For instance, DC and Marvel Comics do this several times a year with trade paperbacks; each volume collects several months of monthly mags into one book. Ultimate Spider-Man currently has 19 volumes, and I've never bought a single of the 117+ monthly issues.

This would be a viable way for WotC to give customers who prefer print what they want, while still following their online business model for Dragon and Dungeon? The comics industry has proven that the format works, and WotC prints nice hardcover books several times a year, so why couldn't it happen?
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This would be a viable way for WotC to give customers who prefer print what they want, while still following their online business model for Dragon and Dungeon? The comics industry has proven that the format works, and WotC prints nice hardcover books several times a year, so why couldn't it happen?

WotC might, and they might not.

I would encourage you to get a subscription to Kobold Quarterly. The quality has blown Dragon out of the water (especially since WotC took over). the more people that get subscriptions the more likely it is the Wolfgang will be able to go monthly.
WotC might, and they might not.

I would encourage you to get a subscription to Kobold Quarterly. The quality has blown Dragon out of the water (especially since WotC took over). the more people that get subscriptions the more likely it is the Wolfgang will be able to go monthly.

I couldn't agree more on the quality of Kobold Quarterly. I have PDF copies of the issues available. I haven't settled on a subscription yet, but I think that's simply because to do so would imply I'm leaving Dragon behind for good. That must sound really silly . . . :embarrass . . . hard to explain. Its not like I'm going steady with the Dragon or anything, I wouldn't be cheating by reading the Kobold :D.
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