08/12 - Digital Insider #2

124 posts / 0 new
Last post
Discuss Randy's latest article here.

Show

DDI Letter to the Players #2

by Randy Buehler


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lots of stuff to talk about this week … I’m just going to dive into the updates in no particular order:

Compendium Update
Within the next week, hopefully by Gen Con and possibly before you read this, we’ll be pushing live an update to the D&D Compendium. The two highlights, in my opinion, are the addition of the Monsters tab and the inclusion of data from Dragon and Dungeon Magazines. In addition there are now more search options plus a “show all” button, both of which should make browsing the data easier. (Look for full patch notes to show up in the forums once the update is live.)

With this update, the Compendium now provides a convenient way to look up all of the following rules elements: Races, Class, Powers, Feats, Items, Skills, Rituals, Paragon Paths, Epic Destinies, and Monsters. The functionality is still pretty basic at this point and we have lots of our own ideas about how to continue to improve things, but we’re also very interested in hearing your ideas about what we could do to make things even better, The current Free Trial is designed both to allow you guys to see whether Insider is worth paying for and also for us to get feedback from you about what else you would like to see. We’ve started this thread in our forums in order to centralize this conversation.

As far as the data that feeds the D&D Compendium goes, here’s the plan: Once we are charging for Insider subscriptions we will be updating the Compendium once per month. Near the beginning of the month we will add in all of the relevant rules elements from whatever physical products went on sale the previous month (typically one book during the third week) plus all the rules elements from the just-released full-issue compilations of Dragon and Dungeon Magazines.

In the mean time, during the Free Trial of Insider, we’ll be updating the Compendium data as we find it convenient and appropriate. For example, there are currently no monsters from the Monster Manual in it. They will definitely be there when we start charging and we’ll probably have at least one data update which includes them between now and then.

Gen Con
I will be at Gen Con all weekend – feel free to look me up and say hi. Among other things I will be conducting the D&D Insider seminar at 6pm on Friday evening. We’ve got the room for two hours, but I know a lot of folks will want to leave early to go to the Ennies so I’ll make sure we get through all the prepared stuff (slides and demos) and into the Q&A period within the first hour.

As I mentioned last week, we’ll be showing off Insider (including the Character Builder and Visualizer) at kiosks both in our booth and also in the Sagamore Ballroom. If you can’t make it to Gen Con you can look for coverage of the event online or you can visit us at PAX in Seattle in two weeks.

Pricing Questions
Most of the questions generated by last week’s Digital Insider column seemed to center around the pricing structure that I announced there. I’ll do my best to clarify some things:

What happens to my year-long subscription when the price goes up?

The $4.95 / month price covers Web content only (Dragon and Dungeon Magazines, the D&D Compendium, and the Bonus Tools). We will be charging more for access to the Character Builder, Character Visualizer, Game Table, etc. Our previously announced pricing for the full package (including both Web content and client applications) is $9.95 if you sign up for a full year (going up to $14.95 if you pay one month at a time).

The details of how transitions from one subscription package to another will work will be announced later, but you can safely assume that a) we will honor the terms of the package you signed up for and b) you won’t be charged more unless you choose to pay for more services.

What about free trials of client applications?

We will be making demo versions of the Character Builder and Character Visualizer available so that folks can sample those applications for free. Our plan for the demo version is to have full functionality, but only a small amount of data. So, for example, you might only have access to levels 1 - 3 or you might only be able to build a human. These demo’s will be a permanent fixture of the D&DI website (in other words: the free trial never ends).

How long will the free trial of the Web content last?

At least one more month.

Bonus Tools
We cleaned up some aspects of our D&D Insider webpage last week and pushed live the first two Bonus Tools. They are Flash applications, which means they should work whether you’re on a Mac or a PC, but you will need to have Adobe Flash Player installed. We’ve got a third Bonus Tool halfway built right now and have also decided what the fourth one will be. Look for more information as those projects as they near completion.

If you have any questions, comments, or even just the need jump onto our forums and discuss this article, head right here. I’ll be back next week with tales of Indianapolis and answers to more of your questions.

Randy Buehler
Vice President of Digital Gaming
Wizards of the Coast
We will be making demo versions of the Character Builder and Character Visualizer available so that folks can sample those applications for free. Our plan for the demo version is to have full functionality, but only a small amount of data. So, for example, you might only have access to levels 1 - 3 or you might only be able to build a human. These demo’s will be a permanent fixture of the D&DI website (in other words: the free trial never ends).

I'll tell you where you can shove your crippleware.....

What is the point of trying to create a character sheet for only a human. You have already made humans in the game the least likely to be played with 4th, so people don't want to only see the first few levels. You realize there are already programs out there that will do ALL levels with the core rules for all races to create a character sheet.

What happened to the non-subscribers would be able to always use this fully functional software, but not get the full rules data on the sheets? Now you are saying that this crippleware is supposed to showcase something about the Character Builder? Like what? This should have been one of your bonus tools, as it is what will draw people to wanting insider in the first place. These things have always been free from fans. You may allow some blog related style hosting of the character created with the builder on WotC servers ala Magelo for EverQuest, but who cares?

You can't offer the basics for the game for free to everyone? I mean it is a character sheet form maker is all it is. You still need the books to play since there is no full SRD like 3rd edition. What the hell do you think can be done by having the terms listed on a character sheet? What is next WotC suing people for posting screenshots or scans of physical character sheets online?

Let's get a bit real for a change. The character sheet maker software should be the most available thing to all people for as little cost as possible. This is what will help new players come to the game with the ease of being able to quickly figure out exactly how the shet works by seeing it in action.

Why try to charge anything for it?

WELCOME new player. Our crippleware will give you little to nothing to show off our game form our website, but once you buy your $100 worth of books, and then pay us $20 per month we will help you learn to play it. Some colleges cost less for books and tuition!

The visualizer I will discuss in a post below.
My main question about the pricing wasn't really answered here, which is this: how specifically will they be handling payment. Is it only credit card, because I don't have one. I am someone who is completely convinced by 4e, and by the promise of DDI, the kind of sucker that some on the forums cry "shill" at. I plan to purchase a full subscription as soon as they become available, and to continue reading Dragon and Dungeon until then, so I need to know what the deal is re: payment options, and I hope to the Six and the Nine that PayPal is an option.
Yours, Dave the Brave
Ok I went to Gencon last year and have been waiting for this thing to go live seance then. So when will it go live. I have family on the other side of the country and for 3 months now we have been ready to play a campain together.
My only question is for the $9.95 monthly for the year; does the entire amount have to be paid up front? Thank you!
My only question is this: For my $120 a year, will I be able to purchase a subscription and use that for my regular gaming group? ie. Use it to make 6 characters, build a virtual dungeon, and DM a game?

Or will each of my members have to sign up for a subscription (at $120 a year) so that we can all play together? Clearly option a) is reasonable and option b) is flat-out not gonna happen before the Nine Hells freeze over (well, the eight that aren't frozen...)

Any insight into that? The usability and flexibility of having each of my gamers put in $20 a year is great. Each of them needing to shell out full MMO subscription costs so they can log into my virtual gaming table, on the other hand, is craptacular.
Thanks for the update! I think that with the updates to the Compendium we can finally not shake our heads (well at least mine) when referring to it by name. This (if it works the way I think it will) and the Dragon/Dungeon content (esp now that it'll be added to the Compendium) make it worth $60 a year for me. I hope that when the rest of the tools roll out that what we've paid will be taken into account on a prorated bases (if you've used 6 months of your year, you still have $30 left towards the $120 total that the full suite would cost).

If you plan on running two seperate suites (tools and digital content) and make them both $60/year, that would be fantastic (as some users only want the game table, etc).

If nothing else, it's good to see some progress, even if you tease us with a mention of two more tools (bad,bad Randy!).
IMAGE(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y239/SoulCatcher78/techdevil78.jpg)
My main question about the pricing wasn't really answered here, which is this: how specifically will they be handling payment. Is it only credit card, because I don't have one. I am someone who is completely convinced by 4e, and by the promise of DDI, the kind of sucker that some on the forums cry "shill" at. I plan to purchase a full subscription as soon as they become available, and to continue reading Dragon and Dungeon until then, so I need to know what the deal is re: payment options, and I hope to the Six and the Nine that PayPal is an option.

I am looking for the quote, but WotC will be partnering with Digital River, an e-commerce company that specializes in internet payment.

Looking at Trend Micro's store information page (who uses Digital River) they (Digital River) accept
  • Visa;
  • MasterCard/EuroCard;
  • Discover
  • American Express;
  • Diner's Club;
  • JCB;
  • Cheque cards or cash cards, so long as they are connected with one of the major credit card companies listed above; and
  • PayPal.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
My only question is for the $9.95 monthly for the year; does the entire amount have to be paid up front? Thank you!

Typically, if there are discount prices for longer time periods, they entire payment must be made up front.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Mudbunny is right on both points (as he usually is).

Randy
What are the pricing options for people who only want the Char visualizer and gaming table(want to use it for a 3.5 game I'm running with friends that are now in other stats). Will you be including a military clause (when i get deployed for up to 6 months and already paid am i just out of luck for the time I'm gone). Just an idea you should break it all up that way people can pay for what they need and you can give a discount on the size and length of the plan.

PS: I like military discount:D :D :D
Is there a such thing as getting the Character Visualizer and Game Table (and related things) without subscribing for Dungeon and Dragon magazines?
Let your voice be heard! Tell WotC to Publish D&D 4e under the OGL!
Some random thoughts, good and bad, popped in my head while reading Randy's article. (And sorry if this post seems disjointed; it's past my bedtime.

- The addition of the Monster tab and search options to the Compendium sounds great. I already use the Compendium quite a bit for reference when I'm surfing the forums or playing in my online group, so further improvements to it are definitely an incentive for me to consider subscribing to the web-only D&DI features. (That and I like Dragon magazine so far.)

- Free trials of the visualizer and character builder clients sound good, but it's kind of a bummer that we still don't have any idea when they'll be released.

- More bonus tools sounds cool too, although he didn't actually say what they were going to be. The encounter generator seems like a handy little tool of sorts, considering that it looks like it includes all the official monsters.

- My final thought after I read the article was a slight tangent. I realized that, personally, had the D&DI game table come out and worked as intended a month or two ago, there's a good chance I would have signed up for it to try joining an onling group in it. But at this point I'm already playing in two 4e D&D groups, one a local tabletop group and the other an online group using Maptool. So even if D&DI immediately released the gaming table today, I'd probably have to leave my existing groups to play in a group in it. Even if I assume that the D&DI gaming table works better than Maptool, I couldn't justify subscribing to it since I have no intention of leaving either of my weekend groups and have no time to play during the week. Heck, it's possible I wouldn't even use it if it were free at this point if the other players in my current groups didn't!

Therefore it dawned on me that the delay in releasing the D&DI gaming table has, at least in my case, cost WotC a potential $10-15 a month subscriber (at least for a while). Which makes me wonder how many other players are like me and would have played on the D&DI gaming table two months ago but now have other conflicting groups?

Mind you, I'm not saying WotC should have released a buggy product at 4th edition's launch. Releasing a buggy client would have been far worse than simply delaying it for a fiscal quarter or two. But it wouldn't surprise me if the delay on the tabletop did in fact cost D&DI a non-trivial chunk of subscribers who went elsewhere to play 4th edition online. Which would be a shame because the table is probably the feature I was most eager to check out.
yeah throw some silly flash applications at us to distract us further from the fact that the game table still isn't ready. excellent use of programers.
I am not sure if this is the correct thread for my question but when the Character Builder goes "live", where will the character data file reside? Will it reside in my own private spot on the DDI server farm or will it reside on my PC's disk? When I need to update my character, such as adding more weapons, more armor, more class powers, more money, more XP, will I be able to pull the data file out of storage or will I have to re-input all of the relevant data for the character? Also, assuming that my character data file is stored on the DDI server farm, will I be the only one able to access it or will some other player be able to "borrow" my character without my permission or my knowledge?
I've got three pretty basic questions and one suggestion:

a) i hate yearly payments. any chance there will be even longer subscriptions available at probably further reduced prices? (3 or 5 years comes to my head, i really don't care paying upfront but i dislike the yearly "ah, i have to pay this, and this, and this...")

b) will there be any possibility to keep the subscription to dungoen, dragon+compendium, without the download programs? Seeing that they don't run under lots of operating systems i'd rather use, this must be an option or it'll be a dropout reason for me.

c) what exactly happens if i let my subscription run out? will i still have access to the pdfs and articles i could have downloaded, will I have to archive them before?

1) as a fan of printed books, i'd love to see some kind of gift-certificates for dnd insider when you buy one. Since it looks like you'll be getting the print products as a part of the insider as well, this looks like a fair compensation for purchasing things twice. (like 5$ for a 30$ book) It probably could help to increase interest in insider as well.
Here be dragons: IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cydyvkj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c54g6ac/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/csw6fhj/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cbxbgmp/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cz7v5bd/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/ccg9eld/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/c8szhnn/.gif)IMAGE(http://tinyurl.com/cp68b5u/.gif)
56767308 wrote:
Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with wanting Next to be a great game. It has to do with wanting Next to determine who won the Edition War. [...] For those of us who just want D&D Next to be a good game, this is getting to be a real drag.
57870548 wrote:
I think I figured it out. This program is a character builder, not a character builder. It teaches patience, empathy, and tolerance. All most excellent character traits.
yeah throw some silly flash applications at us to distract us further from the fact that the game table still isn't ready. excellent use of programers.

There are only so much programmers who can work on one project. Graphic and animation design can be speed up as much as you want by just hiring more people, but debugging can't. You can only have two, maximum three people work on one problem, and most of the time one person is more effective. Also usually, if the application is complex enough you can't solve too many problems at once, since you have to take care of side effects where one "fix" could ruin the work of others (this is a big problem of open source development, where sometimes one fix causes a regression in an other part of the software...)

If the team gets too huge, coordination becomes a daunting task. And also flash programmers don't work on C++ 3d applications.

So I think they just want to give us something to play with while we are waiting. While this is of course not what we want, it's probably the best they can do at the moment.
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam
I am not sure if this is the correct thread for my question but when the Character Builder goes "live", where will the character data file reside? Will it reside in my own private spot on the DDI server farm or will it reside on my PC's disk?

Okay, I just now plowed through the D&DI FAQ and I found the answers that I wanted. The posted answers to GQ22, GQ23 and GQ28 were sufficient.

In another thread, I had wondered if there would PDF versions of the PHB prepared so that people could simply buy the updated PDF version when yet another update to PHB was posted, instead of having to find another unused margin to scribble the latest update into the book.

Why am I suddenly thinking of Fermat's math book?
What are the pricing options for people who only want the Char visualizer and gaming table(want to use it for a 3.5 game I'm running with friends that are now in other stats). Will you be including a military clause (when i get deployed for up to 6 months and already paid am i just out of luck for the time I'm gone). Just an idea you should break it all up that way people can pay for what they need and you can give a discount on the size and length of the plan.

PS: I like military discount:D :D :D

At this time there isn't a "Game Table Only" version - just the "Web-Only" version being offered soon, and the "full access" version once the tools are done.

While others have requested a military discount, there's been no indication from WotC that this is something they intend to implement.
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 am not sure if this is the correct thread for my question but when the Character Builder goes "live", where will the character data file reside? Will it reside in my own private spot on the DDI server farm or will it reside on my PC's disk? When I need to update my character, such as adding more weapons, more armor, more class powers, more money, more XP, will I be able to pull the data file out of storage or will I have to re-input all of the relevant data for the character? Also, assuming that my character data file is stored on the DDI server farm, will I be the only one able to access it or will some other player be able to "borrow" my character without my permission or my knowledge?

You'll have the option of saving your character locally (to your Hard Disk, Flash Drive, etc) or using one of the slots in your Character Vault* to store the data.

*The Character Vault hasn't been mentioned much of late, either because nobody is asking, or with the loss of gleemax this feature might (in my opinion, no data to back this up) be changing the way they're considering these sorts of options. Only time will tell.

You'll be able to progress your character(s) (add new weapons, armor, XP, Powers, etc).

Characters saved to the vault will have the option of being published for others to borrow or copy.
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

In another thread, I had wondered if there would PDF versions of the PHB prepared so that people could simply buy the updated PDF version when yet another update to PHB was posted, instead of having to find another unused margin to scribble the latest update into the book.

There are PDF versions of the books available at www.drivethroughrpg.com and www.rpgnow.com.

There's been no word about these PDFs receiving Errata updates, however many people have been suggesting it as a "value-add" for the PDFs. Keep your fingers crossed.
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

The following question was asked, but the answer was not very clear to me. Could we please get a direct response?

My only question is this: For my $120 a year, will I be able to purchase a subscription and use that for my regular gaming group? ie. Use it to make 6 characters, build a virtual dungeon, and DM a game?

Or will each of my members have to sign up for a subscription (at $120 a year) so that we can all play together? Clearly option a) is reasonable and option b) is flat-out not gonna happen before the Nine Hells freeze over (well, the eight that aren't frozen...)

As another example, in a group of four, two of us DM and want to pay for the full-blown subscription. What will the other two have to pay simply to play online with us? If it is the same amount, they've indicated that is too much for them and in the end none of us may subscribe.

A final example: What about within the household? Will both my son and I have to pay for the full subscription to use the online gaming table together?
...continued from this post....

The visualizer also cannot be just humans. I could go play the Sims If I want to dress-up a bunch of humans.

I think people are not understanding what can be free that people would not be able to take too much from,and what they would pay for from these services.

Housing the mini made formt he visualizer for use in Game Table, that people could pay for.

Making a character portrait from the visualizer to save as an image or print people do NOT need WotC for. There are programs out there already that make wonderful character portraits for FREE.

You need to be offering things other people cannot IF you really expect people to pay you for what you are giving. The D&D name is not really worth paying for anymore.

You also neglected, Mr. Buehler, any mention of a free trial for Game Table.

Do you really expect people to shell out the extra money for the Visualizer, Builder, Table, and...oh you didn't mention the Dungeon Builder either!.... by only getting to see HALF of the tools?

I mean you are wanting people to use Game Table over the 7 or 8 (some free) VTTs currently on the market and are not offering any free trial to that or the dungeon builder?

Also the dungeon builder was supposed to have a free component like visualizer and character builder that non-subscribers could always use. I guess everything is crippleware to the extent that it is useless to non-subscribers. Have 400 megs of software for IBM only machines that you can do little with.

What happened to the ability to make and print maps for non-subscribers?

Let me guess. You get 4 tiles to use right? ;) ;)

That is enough for free use.

Stop trying to force people to pay for the Game Table that they don't want anyway. Wasn't that the idea behind the "Web-content only" subscription model?

Can you offer no tools that function for non-subscribers to even bother looking at that might entice them into wanting to subscribe in part or whole to DDI?

Everything offered can be gotten for free elsewhere....so why should someone looking at this severely crippleware choose DDI over the other things?


...
Everything offered can be gotten for free elsewhere....so why should someone looking at this severely crippleware choose DDI over the other things?

Off-hand I can think of a couple of possible answers:

- The D&DI tabletop tools are supposedly integrated, but the third party tools aren't. For instance, the dungeon builder and game table are supposed to be integrated to allow for easy transfer from one to the other. The character builder is integrated with the compendium and possibly the visualizer so that it always contains updated rules and could maybe allow for your visualizer portrait to be linked to your character data from the builder. And the dungeon builder and game table could incorporate actual game rule information and macros to make it easier to specifically play 4th edition, and you can presumably directly import character data straight from the character builder into the D&DI game table.

By contrast, third party tools that do those indivdual tasks aren't integrated. I can make a dungeon map in Campaign Cartographer, for instance, but it doesn't directly translate into a grid map for a tabletop client like Maptool. The best I can do is make my map a jpg background and try and overlay a Maptool grid over it, which may or may not fit right. And flipping it around, I can try and draw rough maps in Maptool using its editing features, but those features are very primitive compared to an actual dungeon mapping tool like CC. And in neither case can I directly import character data from a character builder like Heroforge straight into my Maptool client.


- Another advantage of D&DI is that it will probably have a wider potential audience than third party programs. Not everybody who owns a 4th edition Player's Handbook Maptool, but everybody who owns a PHB has seen the ad in the back for D&DI. Plus the D&DI game table has been and probably will be reviewed and previewed by the major computer gaming review sites shortly before release. So with a larger pool of potential players using it, it could mean a greater chance of being able to match yourself up to an online D&D group using D&DI.

- And finally note that the odds are that the D&DI game table and other tools will look very professional compared to most of the third party programs. WotC has a bigger budget and probably a bigger development team working on them, and the snapshots they've had already look quite nice. So graphically the programs will probably look better than, say, Maptool.

I would say that the above things combined could entice people to pay the subscription fee for the game table. In fact, were I not already committed to two groups on the weekend, I'd seriously consider subscribing.
My only question is this: For my $120 a year, will I be able to purchase a subscription and use that for my regular gaming group? ie. Use it to make 6 characters, build a virtual dungeon, and DM a game?

Or will each of my members have to sign up for a subscription (at $120 a year) so that we can all play together? Clearly option a) is reasonable and option b) is flat-out not gonna happen before the Nine Hells freeze over (well, the eight that aren't frozen...)

Any insight into that? The usability and flexibility of having each of my gamers put in $20 a year is great. Each of them needing to shell out full MMO subscription costs so they can log into my virtual gaming table, on the other hand, is craptacular.

Ya I really like to know if a subscribe, can I play all the caracther of all player on my computer for using the software only has a visual support for my game?

By the way, I really apreciate that they have made more update in the d&d insider. Keep doing the update every week and a will by confident that they really care of us.
Hellmute made some very valid points. I understand WotC is trying to turn a profit but unless some major adjustments can be made to the pricing system I see more and more people continuing to use 3rd party software over the DDI. Don't get me wrong, I love everything I've seen and the promise that all information with be updated with new material for as long as I'm a subscriber is just icing on the cake.

But look at it this way... if I was a previous subscriber to both Dungeon and Dragon magazines for one year I recieved about 60% off the cover price. Now those printed magazines were $8.00 each... or $16.00 which I recieved for the low price of $6.50ish a month. If those printed magazines could be shipped to my door for that low amount then why shouldn't digital subscription be $5.00 a month if I subscribed for a year? You would get the product out to a lot more people and the work load on WotC's end would remain the same. After all once the information is written and uploaded does it cost WotC anything extra to have 100 people access it over 10000?

Just a thought
Ya I really like to know if a subscribe, can I play all the caracther of all player on my computer for using the software only has a visual support for my game?

Yes. From what WotC_DM has said, the DM will be able to control all the players. There is also suppose to be two separate windows one for the DM's view and a player's view.
Bonus Tools:

I just wanted to make a suggestion on one of the bonus tools. The encounter generator is a great concept. Is there any thought of taking it to the next level? Possibly making it so that when you are done and want to print it not only prints the names of the monsters but also their stats? It would be a great tool in helping make adventure encounters if it had all their stats and powers in a nice layout, almost like you have in your adventures. Then you could just add the story text and poof you have an adventure.
... if I was a previous subscriber to both Dungeon and Dragon magazines for one year I recieved about 60% off the cover price. Now those printed magazines were $8.00 each... or $16.00 which I recieved for the low price of $6.50ish a month. If those printed magazines could be shipped to my door for that low amount then why shouldn't digital subscription be $5.00 a month if I subscribed for a year?

WotC is a step ahead of you. The subscription for D&DI Dragon/Dungeon is going to be 12 Months = $59.40 ($4.95 per month). And that $5 per month is BOTH magazines combined. In the above quote they were $6.50 EACH.
The visualizer also cannot be just humans. I could go play the Sims If I want to dress-up a bunch of humans.

When he was talking about just humans, or just levels 1-3, he was not talking about the visualizer completely, he was talking about the demo version.

Demo versions, by their very nature, are designed to give only a small sampling of what can be done with the program. Some programs reduce functionality, some programs have a limited time. With games, having it limited to a specific level is also fairly common. Pay the full price (or subscribe, as is the case here) and you get the full version.

I have started a thread here for people that would like to discuss suggestions on how the programs could be limited for demo versions.

You also neglected, Mr. Buehler, any mention of a free trial for Game Table.

Do you really expect people to shell out the extra money for the Visualizer, Builder, Table, and...oh you didn't mention the Dungeon Builder either!.... by only getting to see HALF of the tools?

No, he didn't mention a demo version of the GT. However, he also didn't say thatthere wouldn't be a demo version. Personally, I think that it is a safe bet to say that WotC would *not* release the GT without there being a demo version available and a free trial period after it is ready.

Also the dungeon builder was supposed to have a free component like visualizer and character builder that non-subscribers could always use. I guess everything is crippleware to the extent that it is useless to non-subscribers. Have 400 megs of software for IBM only machines that you can do little with.

What happened to the ability to make and print maps for non-subscribers?

He didn't say anything about the Dungeon builder. You are reading far, far too much into the lack of mention of the Dungeon Builder in this issue of Digital Insider.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Thanks mudbunny, I am surch a retard that I do not know what a demo version is with all the beta testing I have done in the past three decades. Thanks so much for pointing that out as I must have missed what a demonstration model was for my entire life.

Again, It cannot only show humans, as there is little to showcase there in regards to D&D, as every MMO on the market has humans.
I have an imploring request for hellmute and a few others out there. Please try to tone down the aggressive responses and ranting to a more civilized discussion. We all have honest changes we are hoping Wizards of the Coast makes and listens to for the digital offerings, and you are hurting these discussions more than helping it.

Have you guys ever worked in a customer service job when you were younger (or now) and a customer comes in ranting and red in the face, going off on everything, insulting you, and generally just being a jerk? It is human nature to take that person less seriously than someone who comes in and treats you with respect and makes a legitimate request of you. After hearing all of the ranting and freaking out on these boards, I have a hard time taking some of you guys seriously, and I am on your side with some of the issues!

I know that the internet has the tendency to strip away all tactfullness from conversations and makes the discussion unpersonal and faceless. Try to pretend like you are talking to someone face to face, and not in a dark alley. Someone actually said they will tell them where they can stick their software?! C'mon! I wan't to get my changes implemented too, and want them to listen to us. I don't want to (well..won't) pay extra for V-minis. Let's be civilized so we can discuss this and they will hear us out.

- Roc
He didnt mention the dougeon builder or gametable because those were not important factors for his article yet. once they are closer to release i am sure he will be giving us information on them.

So for future insiders issues maybe putting a line at the bottom that states no further information about "x" product available at this time. So people can stop making stuff up about things not being able to be done.
Thanks mudbunny, I am surch a retard that I do not know what a demo version is with all the beta testing I have done in the past three decades. Thanks so much for pointing that out as I must have missed what a demonstration model was for my entire life.

Again, It cannot only show humans, as there is little to showcase there in regards to D&D, as every MMO on the market has humans.

It's OK, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. People make mistakes all the time.
Again, It cannot only show humans, as there is little to showcase there in regards to D&D, as every MMO on the market has humans.

That should be "It *may* only show humans..." The article was pretty explicit in the fact that they haven't fully decided what the limitations will be.
I don't think many people will want to pay as much as $14.95 to play D&D when they could just as easily do a massively multiplayer online game which will have x10 the development than the visualizer/builder/game table took to create for the same price.
I don't think many people will want to pay as much as $14.95 to play D&D when they could just as easily do a massively multiplayer online game which will have x10 the development than the visualizer/builder/game table took to create for the same price.

Sorry, you don't speak for me. I have zero desire to play an MMORPG--I want an online environment to run adventures that my friends can play and allow us to play when we can't get together. I (can't speak for others) want the environment to augment our tabletop experience, not replace it.

My personal experience with the third-party RPG collaboration products out there is that I spend a lot of time configuring and tweaking them to get them to do what I want (or even work), they ain't all that cheap (except when they are ), and they lack important features. I don't know yet if DDI will solve that large problem, but I'm willing to keep an open mind.
Randy:

I've been a frequent, usually negative, commenter on the progress of the trial for Dungeon and Dragon. I'd like to comment specifically in this case to say thanks Randy for providing informative, coherent updates to the current state of the digital environment. This type of easy conversation would have really helped along about December or January when people started getting edgy over the progress.

I will most likely be a full subscriber of the various tools, and I wish you and your team all the best in making this a success.

Regards,

Aaron
Again, It cannot only show humans, as there is little to showcase there in regards to D&D, as every MMO on the market has humans.

As cautiontap said, the decisions on how to limit the demo versions haven't been made yet. Limiting it to just humans was one of the possible ways that the program might be limited. It wasn't the way that the program would be limited.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
I don't think many people will want to pay as much as $14.95 to play D&D when they could just as easily do a massively multiplayer online game which will have x10 the development than the visualizer/builder/game table took to create for the same price.

Between minis and publications, I'm already spending more than $14.95/mo on D&D. I have no issue with the pricing discussed so far. Regardless of the number of people who keep making the D&D/MMO comparison, they're totally different to me. I play D&D. I have never played (nor wanted to) an MMO. The tabletop experience is completely different than the computer or console experience for me. So I don't even make the comparison. What's been discussed so far seems totally new and interesting to me, and I wouldn't compare it to what I've seen of WoW or other MMOs.

Instead, I compare it to what I do spend money on. A few magazine subscriptions. The occasional annual donation to online forums I frequent. A monthly subscription fee to an Internet radio service I love. 3D objects and assets I purchase for use in my 3D modeling and animation programs (some free, others paid). The amount of money I spend each month on things like Netflix, going to the movies, purchasing a videogame. And finally, the number of hours I spend weekly or monthly indulging in the hobby.

In comparison to the time and money I spend on other things - physical or digital product - I haven't seen anything yet in the pricing discussion that makes me want to shout "Inconceivable!"
I don't think many people will want to pay as much as $14.95 to play D&D when they could just as easily do a massively multiplayer online game which will have x10 the development than the visualizer/builder/game table took to create for the same price.

DDI is not designed to compete with MMOs.

They provide two completely different services. As such, while a cursory comparison of the prices may be done, once you start getting into *any* amount of detail, the comparison rapidly breaks down.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere