More D&DI Content and upcoming end to Introductory Pricing

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Hey all. I wanted to pop in here to give you a preview of news you'll be seeing today.

First - Starting Tuesday July 7th, we'll be including complete sections of final, playable Players Handbook 3 material each month, up until the books release in March 2010. This means that if you're a D&D Insider subscriber, you'll get access to playable and useable content far before the book's actual release. This informatoin will be pushed to the Character Builder and Compendium along with an article describing the included PH3 content each month. Bill Slavicsek will be sharing more details about the debut content in the next Ampersand column.

Second - Beginning July 2nd, introductory pricing for D&D Insider will expire and subscription prices will change to reflect the increasing value and new content. As of today (5/19/2009), we have 44 days to take advantage of the introductory pricing before it is no longer available. So now's the time to make changes to your subscription if you were thinking about it.

Here's what the new pricing will look like beginning July 2nd:

$9.95 for 1 month
$23.85 for 3 months (save 20%)
$71.40 for an annual subscription (save 40%)

For help with extending, upgrading, or changing your subscription in other ways, check out these links:

Price Change FAQ

Stopping Auto Renew (The process has changed slightly, it's worth looking over)

Extending Your Subscription

Upgrading Your Subscription

So read over and discuss. I'll pop in with answers and information as I can.

Updates:

5/19/2009 11:19 AM - The early PH3 content will not be previews are playtests - it will be the real deal, final and playable as soon as it hits the Character Builder and Compendium. More on this coming from Bill in the next Ampersand.

5/19/2009 11:21 AM - When Campaign Tools launches, we have no curent plans on raising the price.

5/19/2009 11:53 AM - The price change is not dependant or related to the added PH3 content in any way - It was just time to discontinue the introductory pricing.

5/19/2009 11:54 AM - The PH3 material that appears in the Character Builder and Compendium should be legal for play in the RPGA. The updated Character Creation Guide will be out in early June and it will be addressed in that update.

5/19/2009 12:24 PM - Example of Extending Subscription: Your subscription is set to expire in October 2009. You extend for one year at the introductory price right now. One year is tacked on to your existing subscription timeline, and will now expire on October 2010.

5/19/2009 12:38 PM - If you are Extending your Subscription, the text in the shopping cart area is incorrect and is being updated. It will add the extension on to the end of your current subscription - it will not cancel and replace your current subscription.

5/19/2009 12:59 PM - Upgrading and Extending. To do both, first upgrade your current subscription. We will refund you the overlapping time. After you upgrade, extend the new subscription by following the extend subscription instructions.
Trevor Kidd Community Manager
Just got this email:

Dear Insider,

As a valued D&D Insider⁚ subscriber, we wanted to make sure that you were among the first to know about some changes to D&DI that will be coming this July.

Starting Tuesday, July 7, D&D Insider will debut complete sections of final, playable, Player's Handbook® 3 material each month leading up to the book's release in March 2010. As a D&DI subscriber, you will be the first to receive nine months of content totaling 102 pages available only through your D&DI subscription.

Each month, the PH3 content will be made available to you through the Character Builder and Compendium accompanied by a comprehensive article. You can read more detail about the debut content in Bill Slavicsek's upcoming Ampersand column.

Beginning July 2, introductory pricing for D&D Insider will expire and subscription prices will change to reflect the increasing value and new content. Starting today, you have 44 days to take advantage of the introductory pricing before it is no longer available. As a current subscriber, you can extend or upgrade your current subscription to get the most value possible. To ensure that you're getting the most value for your money, be sure to visit our FAQ to determine whether a subscription upgrade or extension is right for you.

The deadline for taking advantage of introductory pricing is July 1 at 12 midnight EDT.*

New pricing for D&D Insider beginning July 2:

$9.95 for 1 month
$23.85 for 3 months (save 20%)
$71.40 for an annual subscription (save 40%)

If you have any questions about either of the changes listed above, or about your subscription, you can visit the FAQ or contact the Wizards of the Coast Customer Service team by visiting http://wizards.custhelp.com.

* expiration of your subscription and subsequent renewal or renewal after July 1 will be at the increased rate.
-----------------------------------

This means they are raising the price without the Campaign Manager out? Interesting...
For those who haven't received the email - price increase coming in July. Apparently the only additional content is sneaks from PhB3. Ouch, not going to be popular.
Wow. You're quick. I just got the e-mail and was coming to post something similar
The increase is marginal, but I expect the screams and such to start flying any second.

And i'm curious how many new threads will be started in an attempt to be the first.
Same here. This is total BS! Charge a (much) larger monthly fee to give us access to a book they are going to see to us for a full price when it comes out and there's STILL nothing else!

I'm done with this crap. Consider me canceled, you money-grubbing pieces of smeg.
I hate to be negative about this, but seriously, a price increase just for more preview material?? Wizards has to read some of the posts, and must be aware that a lot people dislike the previews. Now we get to pay more, and that's the only additional content.

I'll likely continue, since I'm addicted to the CB, but this seems quite odd. Possible death knell for the whole deal?
New pricing for D&D Insider beginning July 2:

$9.95 for 1 month
$23.85 for 3 months (save 20%)
$71.40 for an annual subscription (save 40%)

That works out to prices of $9.95/$7.95/$5.95 a month, compared to the current prices of $7.95/$6.65/$4.95 a month.

Considering that the prices *didn't* go up when the Character Builder was released (as was completely expected), I can't say that I am surprised.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Yep. Per month, the increases are (if I did not fumble-finger my calculator) 2, 1.30, and 1.00 for the monthly, quarterly, and yearly subs, respectively.

The new content is roughly 10 pages of new PHB3 content per month (apparently, final content), though of course some months it might be more or less.

Edit:

Now...if they'll give us a discount on the purchase of the PHB3 equal to the number of months of free content we paid for...I can get behind that. Of course, it seems somewhat likely that they simply need to make more money from DDI, and the only way to do that is raise the price. Not terribly surprising, as mentioned above.
The increase is marginal, but I expect the screams and such to start flying any second.

And i'm curious how many new threads will be started in an attempt to be the first.

I tried to be first, but got scooped!

I think you're correct actually, the price increase for a year long sub isn't really that much more. Still, it's the additional that's provided that isn't impressive.
I guess this is the excuse I needed to cancel. It was barely worth what it cost to begin with, and there is no appreciable increase in value to justify an increase. Too bad.
Just a clarification. This is not a price increase for just more preview material. The current prices were always touted as introductory pricing and we made it known that we would be increasing the prices in the future.
Trevor Kidd Community Manager
I tried to be first, but got scooped!

I think you're correct actually, the price increase for a year long sub isn't really that much more. Still, it's the additional that's provided that isn't impressive.

Well, introductory pricing had to end sooner or later. Still need to look at the faq for people that bought a year, but haven't had a year's worth before July.

I have to say, raising it because of preview material doesn't fully appeal to me, because I'm more then likely going to buy the players handbook 3. Now if they start included other books like this, like Primal Powers. That might be better for them.

EDIT: you seem to be able to stay at the introductory rate if you extend your current subscription. So everyone can get another year at the old rate if you extend it for another year.
Just a clarification. This is not a price increase for just more preview material. The current prices were always touted as introductory pricing and we made it known that we would be increasing the prices in the future.

I think the assumption was that those increases would come with new tools. Not new content. At least not so soon. At this rate DDI will be too expensive by the time the VTT is released. Heck, maybe even before the Campaign tool is released.
I just canceled my subscription.

First they scrap a bunch of features that we were promised would be released (virtual table top and visualizer). And now they are charging us more for the content of the character builder?! I dont want the content early! I just want an easy way to reference the books I already bought!! Ridiculous. Things like this are reasons why you have pdfs all over the place.

Consider yourselves screwed. I will not subscribe or buy another book. You are destroying a community of table top gamers because of your greed!
I expected a price increase when the Character Builder went live, so I'm not surprised. I still think it is good value. The PH3 preview material is gravy.

They gave us a lot of notice so we could lock-in at the introductory price too. Lock-in now for a year and you won't have to worry about a price increase for a long, long time.
Hey all. I wanted to pop in here to give you a preview of news you'll be seeing today.

First - Starting Tuesday July 7th, we'll be including complete sections of final, playable Players Handbook 3 materail each month,*SNIP*

Second - Beginning July 2nd, introductory pricing for D&D Insider will expire *SNIP*

Hey Trevor,

Thanks for the update. I just got the email as well. I think the advanced preview is an excellent feature, and for those of us who subscribe on an annual basis, it is a mere pittance in additional cost ($1) for what you receive.

Let me just point out, however, the instructions are a bit incorrect. On the Accounts page, you are going to click D&DI Order History.

Also, I noticed that the "extending your subscription": cancels your current subscription and starts it over, canceling any remaining time. Do we get a credit for that? I signed up for a year (from day one) so it is impractical for me to stop and start if that time is going to be lost.

Thoughts?
I really thought the new price change was going to mean a new tool being released and coincide with that.

But, I agree - free pages from the PHB3 early is kind of whack... Now we are PAYING for all those previews and playtests.

Yippie!
But we did get a new tool: The Character Builder.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Just a clarification. This is not a price increase for just more preview material. The current prices were always touted as introductory pricing and we made it known that we would be increasing the prices in the future.

Not disagreeing with you Trevor, but perception in this case is everything. Many were already on the fence about the value, and this will just seem wrong.

Upon reflection, I know I'll continue, but if you'd timed this with some concrete evidence of future added value it would have gone down much better. I'm certain you know this.

Count me as a fan of the tools, but you guys have to work on your timing and communication - though I count your recent participation here as a step in the right direction, and thanks again for that.
Well, introductory pricing had to end sooner or later. Still need to look at the faq for people that bought a year, but haven't had a year's worth before July.

I have to say, raising it because of preview material doesn't fully appeal to me, because I'm more then likely going to buy the players handbook 3. Now if they start included other books like this, like Primal Powers. That might be better for them.

I said this (partially tongue-in-cheek) in one of the soon to be several threads on the topic, but since the price increase coincides with the PHB3 material, I wouldn't mind a discount coupon for the PHB3 come March 2010. Say, $18 off the retail price would be just about right.
I guess this is the excuse I needed to cancel. It was barely worth what it cost to begin with, and there is no appreciable increase in value to justify an increase. Too bad.

Hmmm. I would have figured it would have taken longer after getting the e-mail for someone to literally take the words out of my mouth.

I think the only reason the previews were mentioned in the e-mail was to draw attention away from the price increase. Nevermind. I KNOW that's the only reason. Because if it was an increase in cost due to an increase in value, we'd have been shown more of that value. That's a pretty shady tactic, if you ask me. (to be perfectly honest, I'm not a bit surprised)
You can extend your current account another year at the intro prices, and still recieve all the previews.

And everything else that comes along.
I really thought the new price change was going to mean a new tool being released and coincide with that.

But, I agree - free pages from the PHB3 early is kind of whack... Now we are PAYING for all those previews and playtests.

Yippie!

No, you've been getting the Character Builder for free since it launched, now you pay $1 more a month for the program. As a bonus, you get PH3 material.
Yeah, i'll be canceling my subscription. I mean yeah the price is marginal but personally I can wait for PHB 3 to be released and if im gonna be paying a little bit more per month. I want to see some of the applications that were promised to us in the first place.
Hey Trevor,

Thanks for the update. I just got the email as well. I think the advanced preview is an excellent feature, and for those of us who subscribe on an annual basis, it is a mere pittance in additional cost ($1) for what you receive.

Let me just point out, however, the instructions are a bit incorrect. On the Accounts page, you are going to click D&DI Order History.

Also, I noticed that the "extending your subscription": cancels your current subscription and starts it over, canceling any remaining time. Do we get a credit for that? I signed up for a year (from day one) so it is impractical for me to stop and start if that time is going to be lost.

Thoughts?

I noticed that too. My mouse pointer is hovering over the Checkout button. As soon as I know my renew will not overwrite my current subscription I will extend. But it doesn't seem that is the case.
I said this (partially tongue-in-cheek) in one of the soon to be several threads on the topic, but since the price increase coincides with the PHB3 material, I wouldn't mind a discount coupon for the PHB3 come March 2010. Say, $18 off the retail price would be just about right.

Or just order it from Amazon for cheaper cost. If you order a lot from amazon, get a prime account, free 2 day shipping, and trust me, it pays off.
I noticed that too. My mouse pointer is hovering over the Checkout button. As soon as I know my renew will not overwrite my current subscription I will extend. But it doesn't seem that is the case.

In the past it's been stated that if you "renew" an overlapping subscription you'll want/need to contact Customer Service to get refunded on the overlap.

Still, a small price to pay to lock-in the pricing now.
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

But we did get a new tool: The Character Builder.

Which should have been there in the first place.

I was under the assumption that the pricing for the CB, Compendium, mags, and bonus tools (yuck!) was the current pricing and when they released ANOTHER tool, we could expect a price increase...

Not a bunch of previews... Sigh...
Let me make sure I understand this right: My current subscription doesn't expire until April next year. So, when June 7th comes around, and the PH 3 material shows up, I can see it.

If I want, I can extend my subscription (on or before July 1), and pay the current rate ($7.95/$6.65/$4.95 a month). If I delay however, I pay the higher rate (which goes into effect July 2).

Current subscribers will still be able to access the PH 3 material, without having to extend their subscription, yes? Thanks ;).

===

I fully expected the price for Insider subscriptions to go up, so this doesn't surprise or bother me. The increase was much less than I expected. Don't know if I'll upgrade just now; I'll be back next year regardless.
/\ Art
You can extend your current account another year at the intro prices, and still recieve all the previews.

And everything else that comes along.

Or, cancel, wait six or eight months, pay for one month and download everything they've published.
I'm disappointed at the very least.

I was under the impression that the Magazines/Compendium/Bonus Tools were one price and the Software was going to be an additional charge IF YOU WANTED IT

Now they're claiming "increased value" because they're giving us what we were told we were paying for and couldn't manage to pull their **** together and release the software they advertised.

Not cool. Really not cool.
Assassin Diaries Blog Thread
Same here. This is total BS! Charge a (much) larger monthly fee to give us access to a book they are going to see to us for a full price when it comes out and there's STILL nothing else!

I'm done with this crap. Consider me canceled, you money-grubbing pieces of smeg.

I just canceled my subscription.

First they scrap a bunch of features that we were promised would be released (virtual table top and visualizer). And now they are charging us more for the content of the character builder?! I dont want the content early! I just want an easy way to reference the books I already bought!! Ridiculous. Things like this are reasons why you have pdfs all over the place.

Consider yourselves screwed. I will not subscribe or buy another book. You are destroying a community of table top gamers because of your greed!

You finally have to pay a small amount for the Character Builder you have been getting for 5 or 6 months for free, and then you decide to bolt?

Cya, dont let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya
I expected a price increase when the Character Builder went live, so I'm not surprised. I still think it is good value. The PH3 preview material is gravy.

They gave us a lot of notice so we could lock-in at the introductory price too. Lock-in now for a year and you won't have to worry about a price increase for a long, long time.

Until they decide to change that because it's inconvenient, too. They want us to lock in because it makes them more money in the short term. Then down the road when they need cash what little stunts are they going to pull?

I'm constantly amazed at the amount of leeway we give this company. They walk all over us as a community and all we do is roll over and take it like good little sheep. They promise us the world and deliver us an atoll in the Pacific that is only marginally habitable and we THANK them for it!

I'm going to keep following this to see if they get the picture, but I doubt it. There's too many people willing to let them get away with this kind of crap.
I agree with dragnmastr85. Were I not already paid up for a few months still, I would seriously be considering my future with DDI. Preview material is all well and good, but I don't really need to see it if it costs money. I am fine with just waiting for the book to come out like everyone else.

With regard to new features, the price hike is not considerable, but something besides preview content to a book I intend to buy anyway would be nice. Maybe a free pony or something.
Which should have been there in the first place.

I was under the assumption that the pricing for the CB, Compendium, mags, and bonus tools (yuck!) was the current pricing and when they released ANOTHER tool, we could expect a price increase...

Not a bunch of previews... Sigh...

This was my understanding as well. I could be mistaken, but the price I am paying now seems reasonable for all the tools so far released.
Or just order it from Amazon for cheaper cost. If you order a lot from amazon, get a prime account, free 2 day shipping, and trust me, it pays off.

I know, I have a Prime Account myself. I hate waiting, though. Even 2 days. I happily pay full price to seize a physical copy off the shelf.

But honestly, the reason is that I think DDI is worth just about what I'm paying now for it. I completely acknowledge that it was an introductory rate, and that they finally got the CB out the door, and that I love the CB like it was my own child, and that it's WotC's business what they charge - but I'm still not sure that I want to pay even as little as $12 more for it.

Twelve dollars - or, at most, $24, if you go monthly - is a trivial amount of money, but I'm still going to have to chew on whether DDI with some PHB previews is $12-24 dollars more better than DDI right now. The delta between DDI right now, for whatever it is I pay (I'm a quarterly subscriber) and the new DDI they're notifying us about is the PHB3 previews. And is that worth the difference? Perhaps not.
I'd be fine with a price increase except for the fact that my Mac can't run the character builder and likely wont be able to run any of the other (what's looking to be) awesome applications. For just the magazines, the price increase is not worth it and I will be canceling my subscription.

However, if at some point the character builder and other tools are runnable on my mac, I would have no problem resubscribing. The price looks fair for what available now and what's to come in the future.
I'm disappointed at the very least.

I was under the impression that the Magazines/Compendium/Bonus Tools were one price and the Software was going to be an additional charge IF YOU WANTED IT

Now they're claiming "increased value" because they're giving us what we were told we were paying for and couldn't manage to pull their **** together and release the software they advertised.

Not cool. Really not cool.

There have never been any announced plans for multiple pricing tiers.

We were told that the current "web only" price was introductory.

We're now being given fair (IMHO ~45 days is pretty fair) notice that this pricing is coming to an end.

The new pricing is still well-below the announced full-price of $15.00/month - and given that they haven't increased the price after the launch of the Character Builder this hardly seems unfair.

As the rest of the tools are released in time, I expect we'll see similar increases.
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

I know, I have a Prime Account myself. I hate waiting, though. Even 2 days. I happily pay full price to seize a physical copy off the shelf.

You know, that's what we call a Junkie?
Until they decide to change that because it's inconvenient, too. They want us to lock in because it makes them more money in the short term. Then down the road when they need cash what little stunts are they going to pull?

If you pay for a year up front at a fixed price, they can't change the terms of that agreement later.

The *worst* the could do would be to say "you paid for 'these' tools, but these new tools aren't part of your package' ".

While some might suspect WotC of taking that kind of tactic - I remain faithful they wouldn't do so - and even if they would, I doubt their technical capacity to do so.
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