Something that has been bugging me about the articles

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I recently posted this elsewhere, but I want to bring this over to the general formum, as I do not know if it should be in the specific article's forum....

Copy of the Linked Posting
I really enjoyed all these articles - good stuff.

But, and I don't want to beat a dead horse here, this is the kind of article that used to be in web enhancements.

Ie it was for free, now it isn't (free)

Unfortunately, it looks like the web enhancements are gone the way of the Dodo.

And to make it worse, there is stuff that typically would be part of the free web enhancements that are no longer around.

Ie it was for free, now it isn't (in existence)

Things like maps-a-week, free mini adventures, the map gallery (I am very miffed about this one going away*), and of course the actual web enhancement articles themselves.

Obviously, these articles had value to me. But then again so did the magazines. So I am not unwilling to pay for these web enhancements, but I am also a little miffed by now having to pay for formerly free content that is crowding out other unique supplements of the caliber that appeared in Dungeon and Dragon.

Succinctly put: I now get less of what I once paid for, I get next to no free content at all, I pay for what I once got for free, that formerly free content displaces other content, free or not I can't even get most of the stuff that was useful to me, and I am asked to pay more for the whole package.

I like 4th ed, but this just grates.

*
As to why this one particularly irks me. I used to print out these maps to mini scale and use these print outs in the game. I REALLY valued that resource, but I can't even pay WOTC to use those maps right now. Now I could scan them etc., etc. But I honestly thought 4th ed was about (in part) relieving the DM of their work.


(Note: I am talking about the KotS adaptations, but I think the playing a warforged article falls into this "if this were a year ago this would have been a free web enhancement" category)

And this kind of sums up why I will likely not subscribe. I do well enough, and I can afford the subscription. Nor am I adverse to ongoing payments, I subscribe to Netflix and Gamefly, to name two of the many on-going subscriptions I have. But I just don't like the feeling of being ripped off. Unfortunately, this is how the whole DDI package is beginning to feel to me. Add in the micro charges for the V-minis, the DRM, the loss of content if you unsubscribe, etc. and eventually I just throw up my hands and say what is next?

The truth of the matter is that most of my D&D friends are relying on me to sample DDI and tell them if it would be worth it. (I bought the 4th ed books, and I am running a game for some of them.) I had to let them know that as of right now, I wasn't going to spend any money on DDI. I know my decision isn't entirely rational, but it certainly isn't baseless, either. I want to subscribe. I am so ready for it. But I just feel used right now.

And so I post this with the hope that someone in the know will tell us what the plans are for the quantity of content via the DDI (I have no real issues with the quality, except to say it is on a par with what has gone before, and therefore not especially worth a significant price increase). Is it really going to be less that we got via Dungeon, Dragon and the Web Enhancements? Will we get back the extra goodies like printable maps, and things dropped from from the print book due to space? Like I say, I'll even pay for it! Just not substantially more than I did a year ago.
I suppose you and I are looking at different web enhancements then.

In the past we've seen adventure hooks, maybe a single-page monster, a couple feats, and little more as free web enhancements.

The Warforged article, for example, goes into depth. Giving the Warforged substance with fluff, listing feats, paragon paths, and magic items all in one very well written article.

Seems like a lot more than the old free enhancements to me.
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I suppose you and I are looking at different web enhancements then.

In the past we've seen adventure hooks, maybe a single-page monster, a couple feats, and little more as free web enhancements.

The Warforged article, for example, goes into depth. Giving the Warforged substance with fluff, listing feats, paragon paths, and magic items all in one very well written article.

Seems like a lot more than the old free enhancements to me.

I went back and reviewed some of the old web enhancements, and IMO they compare favorably with this article. Quality wise, they are on a par (given the sample size I can only rough in the details on this one, but still....) Size wise - well they had adventure hooks, yes, but side treks and sometimes whole adventures. Variety wise - well ya got me there. This article did have a great deal of different kinds of stuff. Something that might be covered over the course of several web enhancements for several products (with some notable exceptions like the WE for PHBII or Serpent Kingdoms.) So YMMV, but for me it just doesn't come across as a lot more than the old free enhancements.

Perhaps it is the fact that the web enhancements seemed to consist of items that they couldn't fit into the book due to space. And this is exactly how the Adaptation articles and the Warforged articles appeared to me.
It was to be expected that no more free adventures would be posted once Dungeon moved online. I believe an archive of those already posted is still around somewhere though.

I have to agree that the KotS conversion would have been a free web-enhancement a couple of years ago.

The Playing Warforged article however, would prolly not have been a free web-enhancement. That's more like the sort of article that would have appeared in the print Dragon. Same with Demonicon of Iggwilv: Yeenoghu and the Ashen Covenant. Hard to define the exact difference between a free web-enhancement and a pay-for-view article, but I believe these are the latter.

I do think WotC needs to take a more balanced approach in offering both types of articles. The online mags are a service that we are expected to pay for (if we enjoy it, of course).

By the same token however, we have formed certain expectations (over the years) about what's freely available on the website. It would seem reasonable then to offer both. Pay-for-view articles would recieve priority (of course) but the web-enhancements could help "sell" the mags, just as they've done numerous other gaming supplements.
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They have said that they will do both.

They've said they'd release "product support" articles under the features tab... And that it would be comparable to what we used to get. They said this would be on top of the Dungeon and Dragon articles.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dred/20080214a

Dragon and Dungeon Magazines have now been added to the site as D&D Insider subscription components, but -- as we originally announced at Gen Con -- the free component of the website will remain as well.

The magazines will add the excellent columns, departments, and features that have long been part of their print versions. On the other side of the subscription fence, the free component of the website will continue its mandate of -- in part -- introducing our current line of products. We believe strongly in our goal of producing the absolute finest roleplaying books and accessories for use in your game, and we need the website to do its job of best presenting our current releases. That's why we list them right there on the front page, host interviews with the authors, select excerpts, and preview what's coming up.We want you to know which supplements, adventures, and miniatures are coming out, we want you to know you can always find that information here, and we want you to be as excited about using these releases as we are about creating them.

But that being said . . . the D&D website (and here I'm primarily speaking of the free component) looks to be more than mere product endorsement. At least, we'll continue to strive to make sure it's more than that. In part, here's how:

This website is meant to make the products you buy as useful as possible for your game, whether by offering web enhancements, adventure hooks, or other tools to support them.


This website is meant to answer your questions about the game, through Ask Wizards answers, the FAQ, or more conversationally through the D&D Podcasts.


And, this website is meant to help celebrate the game, the gamers, and gaming lifestyle.

Course, they say a lot of things.
They have said that they will do both.

They've said they'd release "product support" articles under the features tab... And that it would be comparable to what we used to get. They said this would be on top of the Dungeon and Dragon articles.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dred/20080214a

Thanks for the link. I'd read that but had forgotten about it.

I think some of us are just worried that they keep the balance between what's free and what's paid for. That's idea I was aiming for in my post, but I didn't bring it out very well.

Course, they say a lot of things.

Oh, so true ;).

Speaking of that, a phrase has came up on these boards in the last few days: "Over promise, under deliver". The idea of course, is to do the just opposite; that is, "Under promise, over deliver".

It never took Scotty an hour to repair the warp engines, he just made the claim, so when they were ready in half that time, he looked like a miracle worker ;).

By over-promising (and most certainly under-delivering), WotC looks less like a mircale worker and more like a Scotty's 3rd year, mid-season replacement (so to say :P).
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