July 2nd News

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DDi Compendium Status Update

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I wanted to talk a little bit about the Compendium, where it’s at now, and where it’s going in the short-term future.

First, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post constructive feedback both to us directly at [email]dndinsider@wizards.com[/email] and here in this thread. It is being read and it is being considered. It does make a difference.

Second, if you post in this thread, I will read it, regardless of whether the feedback is about the Compendium. I may not respond though.

Here are some general topics I’ll cover –

Rules vs. Content – The Compendium, from my vantage point, has always been intended as a “content” compendium and not a “rules” compendium. Ironically, internally we called it a Rules Compendium during the initial concept stages, but even then it was not intended to actually list, say, combat rules. It was only intended to cover what I think of as “itemized” content – items, powers, feats, skills, classes, races, etc. Ultimately, we thought of this as a tool to help players plan, optimize, and create their characters first and foremost, and we had eventual plans to add monsters to help DMs.

That said, there’s certainly been enough feedback from the audience to warrant us discussing what makes sense to add in the future. I offer no promise of “rules” elements to come…but additions of that sort will be considered for future updates…ultimately, I hear the people saying, “this tool would be far more valuable for us [DMs] if we were able to look up conditions, etc.”

Monsters – something we have been planning on doing, although I don’t have an exact timetable for it, yet. I’d like it to be some weeks from now…we shall see.

Errata and e-magazine content – a number of people pointed out the discrepancies between the errata and the Compendium. That issue should be fixed as of today. What’s live in errata and what’s live in the Compendium should now be one and the same. In general, we’ll try hard to have the lag time between errata publishing and Compendium publishing as short as possible, and hopefully within a day or two. As for e-magazine content (Dragon and Dungeon magazines), we’ll be working to get that content in the Compendium in the week after the articles have gone live. Again, there will be a few bumps in the road in the process, but that’s what we’re working towards.

Bugs – there are a number of data bugs that you have informed us of…given all the data entries, a certain amount of data bugs were expected. If you come across a bug, whether it’s incorrect data or a typo, please let us know…the Compendium will soon have a link on it where you can easily report issues to us. We should have most of the known data bugs fixed this week.

Word Filter – the search engine right now is canceling certain searches that contain SQL forbidden words…we’re trying right now to get a full understanding of what’s going on. That’s a different problem than some words not being able to be searched on, such as “and” or “or”. Those searches still work, but just do not actually search for those conjunctions. Feel free to send in email or post on the forums about other problems or inconsistencies you see here.

Next Development – Our next major update (hopefully up in 1-2 weeks) should have “Show All” functionality for each tab, so you can, say, click on the Powers Tab, click on the Show All button, and show all the powers that exist in the database. We also did a few preliminary data filters just to get it started…items will have filters of subcategory, level, and enhancement bonus. Once it goes live, let us know what you think, and/or additional columns for the data tabs that should get added.

If you really want to cover your bases, in addition to posting your thoughts on the forums, also email [email]dndinsider@wizards.com[/email] with Compendium in the subject line, and I’ll make sure to capture your specific feedback.

Longer-term Development – Items I’ve seen in feedback that are not planned for our next sprint, but will be discussed for later down the road – column sorting in both directions, more Boolean terms for searching (such as “AND” and “OR”, etc.), and Hyperlinking more text within an entry.

Launching in its own window – we had to make some compromises to get the Compendium out in our old web content management system…it had been designed and architected for our new web content management system…but for reasons completely unrelated to the Compendium, we did not feel confident in launching the new web CMS (and hence why the Compendium launch was delayed two weeks). So the Compendium not being in a normal window is a temporary state of affairs, and if feasible, may be something we fix even before we migrate to any new CMS.

I hope this information is helpful. A link to this information will eventually be added to the Compendium page.

As for other topics, I’m happy to hear feedback, but right now our main focus is on the e-magazines and the Compendium…people should be hearing some official word about the next steps in the client applications sometime in July.

Thanks for reading!

Ken
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
GameSpy interview with 4E D&D Devs

Last week, [GameSpy] got a chance to talk to Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins and James Wyatt, the design team that spearheaded the creation of D&D's 4th Edition. Ever mindful of the ways that gaming has changed since D&D was last iterated upon, it's fascinating to hear what these creators have to say about the intersections between traditional pen-and-paper gaming, and the ways we play today.

Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere