To WotC Suits, you are making a big mistake with v-minis

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Status update, brought to the thread courtesy of Hellmute (page 5) *applause*.

All posters reading this thread for the first time, please note the text in red below. The status of the v-mini pricing has changed since the original posting of this thread and the replies through page 5.


Your subscription to the Game Table will give you access to unlimited copies of all of the miniatures we have produced.
- via http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insidernews/20080902a

Original Post Below


WolfStar76;16629594 wrote:
At GenCon, WotC_DM showed me the duplication/clone tool.

The way the tool is structured is that if you try to clone a 3D mini, it will do so up to the limit of 3d models you have for that mini, then switch to tokens.

In the demo, he grabbed Irontooth and dropped him on the Game Table. Then he made a clone, giving him his limit of two 3d Irontooth figures. He made two more clones, and they were produced as 2D tokens.

So, it looks like the Game Table will support cloning up to the limit of how many v-minis your table of players collectively owns. V-mini pricing will determine how many of a figure you will own in a purchase, and some there are some indications that this is still all under discussion (IE - we may end up with free v-minis, or they may cost $100 each, the jury is still out).

No one has currently confirmed this insanity, but assuming it's correct, I have a message for the WotC suits responsible:

This is going to generate you an INCREDIBLE amount of ill-will from your customers, who are primarily at least somewhat tech literate users of software or computers in general. Usually, at least ONE guy among those in a potential gaming group will know that your model of "Let's charge them over and over for the same v-mini(data)!" is ridiculous, arbitrary, and inherently greedy.

Potentially, that one guy could also be the DM for that group. If that's the case, you've lost yourselves upwards of 5 subscriptions to either free tools, or tools that don't force arbitrary software based restrictions (DRM) down the throats of their users simply because you guys (WotC_We_Are_So_Clever_Suits) thought your customer base was entirely comprised of brain-damaged knuckle draggers.

Hate to break it to ya, suits, but you aren't special, or clever, or "working in the best interests of your shareholders" by making this critically flawed decision. In fact, by making this decision, you're dangerously working towards actively discouraging adoption of your products you're so desperately trying to monetize in such a disgusting manner. This will only serve to hinder the progress of DDI, or eventually kill it outright.

Paying $X for "Y 'copies'" is also not acceptable, because no such limitation on the software exists, unless it is specifically developed to have it.

That is simply the nature of rendering engines (modern ones anyway, i.e., batching, having a GPU) and software. They are exceptionally good at rendering the same mesh at different spots. So claiming that "We're going to charge you for the privilege to display this model in a different spot!" has no basis other than in assuming your customers are stupid and will fall for anything in order to shovel money at you.

Further, it is entirely arbitrary, because after you "purchase" (the right to rent for use with DDI, the EULA will likely say) a chunk of data XYZ, and it ends up being sent off to your video card in the form of vertices it already exists in memory. V-minis are not physical products. Once you have the data XYZ, there is no reason (and as mentioned, rendering engines are specifically designed these days for efficiency of doing this) data XYZ cannot be displayed 1, 10, or N times at any other location. Charging for an imaginary product (I can now display 2 of data XYZ!) is ridiculous, and contrary to popular suit-belief, most of your customers will not swallow the kool-ade.

Trying to charge people for your permission to display more than one rendered instance of data they already will have present in either their system memory or on their GPU is pathetic and misguided. This will not, under any circumstances, gain you bigger profits than the word of mouth that you did something so fundamentally stupid will lose you in subscriptions.
The same thing was said about Magic Online, but it's doing very well.
Show
Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
The same thing was said about Magic Online, but it's doing very well.

I guess that's about what I should expect. *facepalm*

Is D&D a collectible virtual miniatures game now?
The same thing was said about Magic Online, but it's doing very well.

That is a collectible game, as I understand it.
V-minies can not be traded only colected for a game table session. Some believe there is a difference, some may not care.

To the OP on the upside, WotC has decided not to sell random packs of the digital files. It an improvement of at least one marketing idea that was offered many months ago.

No not much has been confirmed.

What has been confirmed is each DDI will get a starter kit.
That that DDI member will own them for life.
That they can be shared in a game session.
That if a shared one belongs to a player that drops connection, the 3D will drop to a 2d.

This based on current status of Game Table design specs., I would think as the best way to describe it.
Plans are always subject to change.
To the OP on the upside, WotC has decided not to sell random packs of the digital files. It an improvement of at least one marketing idea that was offered many months ago.

I heard about that hehe. One criminally stupid idea down....

Having both combined would have been a RIOT. "How many boosters did you buy before you got two orcs for tonight's session?" "Oh, only around 25." "That's less than usual!" "Yeah only ran me about $324.75." ($12.99 x 25, since I wouldn't put it past someone daft enough to propose either idea to try and charge physical mini price for a bunch of 3D models).
Damnit I wish they would fire whoever is in charge of that department, and hire someone who understands terms like "word-of-mouth" "loss-leader" and "customer satisfaction."
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19670890/Keep_on_the_Shadowfell_Character_Errata
Damnit I wish they would fire whoever is in charge of that department, and hire someone who understands terms like "word-of-mouth" "loss-leader" and "customer satisfaction."

Agreed. Though I don't even think they need "loss-leader" because sales of v-minis in general would easily cover costs without them charging us to increment the variable that determines how many instances of a mesh with the same vertex data are rendered*. I've contracted 3D models before out of my own pocket, and I didn't pay more than ~$300 to have one with proper specular, normal and diffuse maps made (animation is vastly more expensive, but there isn't any, so....). Assuming they're charging between $1 and $10 per mini (I'm guessing based on the current retarded model they're going for it's going to be more like $10 XD) it'd only take them between 300 and 30 sales to break even and everything after is all profit.

* - And that's all it is, really. You don't buy two "copies" of the same 3D model data. You're merely buying a client-side variable incrementer code or ID or whatever mechanism they use to perform the ripoffery with. Trying to sell "permission" to increment a variable in my computer's memory is pretty pathetic(though I assume this will be stored server side on your profile or whatnot, of course...otherwise any joker with TSearch is going to circumvent this ridiculous greed scheme).
As the person being quoted to create this thread, I should point out (though I think it's understood) that my $100/mini price was facetious to prove the point that costs are still unknown. If I had it to do over again I'd exaggerate on the side of ONE MEELEON DOLLARS.

With that I'd like to clarify that the costs of v-minis was originally touted as being a "microtransaction" (someone. . . Scott Rouse?. . . once was quoted as saying something like "The iTunes price scheme is very interesting").

There have also been some indications (from DDXP 08) that vminis will mostly come in "packs" (IE - $5 (my random made-up price) for a collection of, say, goblins) with limited exceptions of "special" figures (IE, Irontooth, a Beholder, etc that may command a price-per-mini).

NONE of this is confirmed, and the most recent indicators is that community feedback may well have them reconsidering the entire microtransaction system.

The last official word was that there would be microtranactions, and the Game Table has been built to handle that model.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

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I mean, I could see maybe, maybe being okay with paying a fee to get a v-mini model, that I could then replicate as much as I wanted at my table. $3 for an Undead Pack, or something, zombie, skeleton, wight, ghoul, ghost, etc. But then I'd expect to be able to plonk down as many of those models as I wanted.

The cost is irrelevant. The fact that they're wanting to charge for each copy of each v-mini is the problem. And if "iTunes ... interesting" means what I think it means, then hell no I'm not paying 99 cents per v-mini, just damn.

Sorry WotC. Subscription plus microtransactions equals no. I could overlook one or the other, but not both.
Indeed. I like the virtual table I use. I can make my own tokens. For free =) And they look pretty good.
I mean, I could see maybe, maybe being okay with paying a fee to get a v-mini model, that I could then replicate as much as I wanted at my table. $3 for an Undead Pack, or something, zombie, skeleton, wight, ghoul, ghost, etc. But then I'd expect to be able to plonk down as many of those models as I wanted.

The cost is irrelevant. The fact that they're wanting to charge for each copy of each v-mini is the problem. And if "iTunes ... interesting" means what I think it means, then hell no I'm not paying 99 cents per v-mini, just damn.

Sorry WotC. Subscription plus microtransactions equals no. I could overlook one or the other, but not both.

I could, potentially, take a fee for unlimited v-minis of much-used figures. IE - goblins, orcs, kobolds, gnomes , without being offended if "special" minis are somewhat limited for a VERY low fee. ($1.00 or less for a Beholder, for example).

Of course, as an offset, I'd expect those "Special" figures to be VERY highly detailed and knock-my-socks off.
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

It would be nice if they stopped to ask themselves the question: "What would we think if someone tried to sell us that product?"

Then we wouldn't have to go through all this "Well, maybe the community wouldn't care about constant minor fees for absolutely no reason," BS.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19670890/Keep_on_the_Shadowfell_Character_Errata
That is a collectible game, as I understand it.
V-minies can not be traded only colected for a game table session. Some believe there is a difference, some may not care.

It woudlnt surprise me if they are planning on using DDI as a jump board to be able to play DD minis online as well, like htey are with Magic. If they are They are laying the groundwork from the begining to be able to do that.


Smart buissiness sence as far as im concerened. Most people that play DDM also play the RPG so it makes sence to combine hte two.
It woudlnt surprise me if they are planning on using DDI as a jump board to be able to play DD minis online as well, like htey are with Magic. If they are They are laying the groundwork from the begining to be able to do that.


Smart buissiness sence as far as im concerened. Most people that play DDM also play the RPG so it makes sence to combine hte two.

DDM and D&D are not the same. They use minis for entirely different purposes. Shoehorning D&D specific tools onto a retarded model to sell "collectible random boosters!" of minis is idiocy and greed, pure and simple. As I've pointed out, you aren't even purchasing a "copy" of the data. The data already has to exist in some form on your end. All WotC is selling you for the full price of the mini is permission for the program to increment a variable in memory.

D&D is not a collectible (virtual) miniatures game. The aftermarket for miniatures obviously shows that D&D players (not DDM) want to be able to get what minis they need, not frivolous random ones. Further, considering most D&D players are ALREADY extremely hesitant to pay a subscription fee on top of the cost of books, this is a braindead move. DDM/Magic Online and D&D markets are NOT the same, at all. A virtual mini has VERY little worth to begin with, and EVEN LESS to someone that is going to use it maybe 2-3 times during the course of a campaign, then let it collect virtual dust until the next campaign (which may be years off). This is not the same set of use cases as someone playing DDM who has value in the fact that getting the mini is "rare" (though this rarity would be entirely artificial in terms of virtual minis...thus even more stupidity), has certain stats, and a certain point cost, and can be used in every session of play. These things are not "Oh it's the same as this collectible game!!!!!11!oneone1!"

If they do this, it is guaranteed to fail either because one 1) it will seriously anger most people that would have chosen to use DDI over free or increasingly more attractive (given the rampant stupidity WotC suits are showing, i.e., in this case) pay-once alternatives, or 2) because someone will crack the software restriction on this wide open probably a day or two after release.

This will merely drive sales to competing products (if you are forced to use 2D tokens, there is no benefit to the 3D app over other non-restrictive not to mention cheaper, alternatives), of which there are tons. You don't see Fantasy Grounds (or Klooge or whatever) charging people to use more than one "instance" of a token, nor would their customers accept this, as it would be just as daft and pathetic as it is to do what WotC is trying to with 3D minis.
I must admit, I've accepted the idiocy of the v-mini issue. Its going to happen, no matter how much we b**** and whine about it. They'll charge us for v-minis.

BUT

We have a LIMITED amount of clones from purchasing a v-mini???? So, we'll have to pay for multiple minis of the same type? For a virtual mini thing, thats just... stupid.

I sincerely HOPE that this isn't true.
I must admit, I've accepted the idiocy of the v-mini issue. Its going to happen, no matter how much we b**** and whine about it. They'll charge us for v-minis.

Which is totally fine with me. I don't mind paying for them, however paying for the SAME DATA over and over and over again is RIDICULOUS.
BUT

We have a LIMITED amount of clones from purchasing a v-mini???? So, we'll have to pay for multiple minis of the same type? For a virtual mini thing, thats just... stupid.

I sincerely HOPE that this isn't true.

It's even more fundamental than this though. It's not just paying again for the same type. It's literally just paying for PERMISSION to have the software increment the variable it uses to determine how many you can use. You're essentially being charged the price of a mini for in return for NOTHING. They are trying to sell air.
Personally I object to paying anything for a 3D rendering within an application I would already be paying for. I was initially skeptical about 4E and have been persuaded. I was skeptical about D&DI subscriptions but given the quality of the magazine content so far and the pricing structure proposed, I have been persuaded. This, however, has always seemed to me to be a step too far.

If they insist on charging for graphical models within my computer I will not pay. I will either use the 2D tokens (which suit me fine) or use pen and paper maps or minis I already have as serves now. I agree with others that this seems to be simply greed gone mad inside WotC and given the excellent product they have produced in 4E (despite my initial doubts) it would be a shame to alienate the customer base with a profiteering bridge too far.
I must admit, I've accepted the idiocy of the v-mini issue. Its going to happen, no matter how much we b**** and whine about it. They'll charge us for v-minis.

BUT

We have a LIMITED amount of clones from purchasing a v-mini???? So, we'll have to pay for multiple minis of the same type? For a virtual mini thing, thats just... stupid.

I sincerely HOPE that this isn't true.

Sad as it may be they've actually been telling us this for awhile.

Check out this thread, and I will refer you to everyone's favorite DDI supporter, WolfStar76, on page 11.

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=919496

The whole thread's an excellent discussion however, old as it may be now.
Personally I object to paying anything for a 3D rendering within an application I would already be paying for.

If they insist on charging for graphical models within my computer I will not pay.

I know I've harped on this quite a bit, but I think it's important to be precise in what WotC are *really* trying to sell us by using this pricing model. I can easily see that you understand the issue from your post, but I think others might be confused and actually think they are paying for some sort of product, instead of what they'd actually be paying for.

First, I'm not trying to order anyone about. However, I think we should get some terms down so we can discuss this with clarity. Certain people may be easily confused on this front and and actually think they are getting some form of actual product out of extra purchases of a single 3D model's data.

When you purchase the ability to use a v-mini, you're getting some 3D model data. When referring to the "clones/copies/etc." of the v-mini allowed to be displayed in the app according to how "many" of the one mini you've bought, I think it would be helpful to refer to this as a "render instance" (i.e., a rendered instance of a given mesh...the rendering is not the mesh, and the data only exists once in your comp's memory). It's not really a "copy" of anything, since the data already exists and will only ever exist once in memory.

When referring to what we're actually paying for when we are forced to "rebuy" the same mini again, I think we should term this "buying permission to display another render instance".

I will either use the 2D tokens (which suit me fine) or use pen and paper maps or minis I already have as serves now.

If that's the case, you might as well just completely skip the DDI tools, since there are tons of either free or pay-once VTTs out there that can do very good 2D tokens.


Sad as it may be they've actually been telling us this for awhile.

I remember getting the faintest inkling from some vague stuff they said that they might try this and being extremely angry at the time. This is the kind of practice I'd expect from scammers/identity thief sorts.
I can kind of understand why they are charging "something" for v-mini's, as you have to pay 3D artists to build the things, and because you have such a wide variety of skeletals and textures to create, it's a lot of work.

Charging "per instance" I think is a bit extreme. I also think it's kind of stupid to charge for "ownership" of something you'll never actually own. Do we download it for offline use if we're having a D&DI lan party? Does Wizards keep track of which users own what mini's? That level of management could get kind of unnecessarily expensive. I could see having an additional subscription fee being added in that would allow for x number of v-mini's on the map at any given time (i.e. for an additional 1.50 a month you can have 20 v-mini's active on your map at any given time with access to the entire library to draw from) - only if you want to paint or retexture a v-mini do you "buy" it, in which case you get to keep a file locally.

IMHO, anyway.
I don't know if I am more ****** about the subject of this thread even existing and the concept that WotC actually thinks people will fall for this crap, or I didn't get to be the one to post the thread about it?

Who in their right mind would fall for this buying the little counter spaces individually?

That is all it really is?

Choose how the database will work.

I think a binary option would be quicker...for those that don't know this is often referred to as a "flag". User has Irontooth true/false?

It takes more access tot he database and overhead for the software to keep track of actual instances of the mini being owned rather than jsut saying this group of players HAS this mini, so replicate it for the DM as many times as needing for this instance of Game Table.

No offense to my favorite WotC code monkeys Mark Jindra or (I would only butcher the spelling) WotC_DM, but this one is a no-brainer. I must feel that this some stupid marketing or exec decision.

I wish some company would get the idea. Decide what you want out of a program. Let the code monkeys do their job, and take what they give you that works, rather than making broken software because the person in charge of making the highest level decisions wouldn't know an SVG from a JPG if it bit them on the ass.
Indeed. I like the virtual table I use. I can make my own tokens. For free =) And they look pretty good.

What system do you use, crow?
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The same thing was said about Magic Online, but it's doing very well.

The difference is you need a magic card. You can't play a "fireball" card and say it's a "lightening bolt".
You don't need a v-mini of a troll for it to be a troll. You just need a marker with the word "troll" on it.

This gets even more problematic for Wizards when you consider the initial supply of V-minis will be limited. And with randomized minis already people are used to minis that don't look like what they represent.
So people will just buy the cheapest tiny-small-medium-large-huge minis they need. Or go with 2D tokens that will be guaranteed to have an accurate picture on it.

Personally, if I ever get the game table (unlikley with Open RPG being free and Fantasy Grounds being so solid) and WotC implements their "upload pics of your choice" I'll exclusively use 2D minis and import Order of the Stick design monsters for all the threats.

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Sad as it may be they've actually been telling us this for awhile.

Check out this thread, and I will refer you to everyone's favorite DDI supporter, WolfStar76, on page 11.

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=919496

The whole thread's an excellent discussion however, old as it may be now.

As long as I'm being quoted, here's a link directly to the post quoting me.
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=15726304#post15726304

I'm pretty sure, if my poor old memory serves, that I'd learned that when I asked WotC_DM at DDXP'08 about the ability to clone stuff in the Game Table, so there may be even older quotes than that, but, yeah, it gives a good frame of reference that while this news may be dissapointing, it isn't new.

I'd still like to point out that I think their silence on the price of v-minis is a point in our favor at the moment. It gives a good indication that they're listening to the feedback being given, and if they're listening there's still a chance for us to create change.

Yes, I personally think that there's a way to cause even per-figure limits to be moderately reasonable - but if you don't, and you're adamant about it, well, speaking up can't be a bad thing (unless you're just slinging mud, but that's another debate).
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

IMO per-instance figure limits and fees are not reasonable and cannot be made to be so. How do you think they can be?

(serious question, not being a tool, just curious, cos I don't see it)
IMO per-instance figure limits and fees are not reasonable and cannot be made to be so. How do you think they can be?

(serious question, not being a tool, just curious, cos I don't see it)

As I stated before I can see where some figures (you're much-used figures, like orcs, kobolds, ghouls, and other "frequently-fought" baddies) are pay once, use unlimited. If I had to drop another five bucks (or whatever the cost becomes) each time I needed one more figure than I've already paid for, I'll be annoyed (I'd likely suffice with the token in that case, or hope my connected players have that one more that I need, but I digress).

For a few highly-detailed, fairly exceptional (in quality and in simple D&D "lore") I wouldn't find it unreasonable to have limits. Perhaps I get a pack of 5 . . . displacer beasts. Or I get one REALLY spiffy Eye of Flame beholder.

Why? Assorted reasons.

When I'm running something that has minions, I expect to need a lot of them. Don't make me count - just give me unlimited access. They're "nothing" figures. Especially if they're skeletons or indiscriminate demons, or gnomes (pesky gnomes!).

When it comes to, say, displacer beasts, well, I don't expect to need a lot of them, if there is a decent amount of work going into their development, and they're high-quality figures, 5 or so would suit me fine, if only because I don't foresee needing more (yes, I may well be short-sighted).

For something like the Eye of Flame Beholder (who, I believe is Solo, but I should probably have dome some fact-checking before posting this. . . m'eh, books are in the car and I'm feeling lazy tonight), I again expect the same exchange. He's Solo to begin with, so using two would just be abusive (and I think, given the way powers scale, if I try to toss two of him at a party that's out leveling him, it's abusive to the poor beholders).

Additionally, I'd expect that, since this beholder is supposed to "shine" as a solo monster, he should have a significant amount of detail. His skin should be slimy, perhaps his eyes glow, or twinkle in a semi-random pattern. Eventually (I don't believe this functionality exists currently) his eyestalks should waver menacingly.

In that case, I personally can see it being reasonable to have a limit of "you get X copies for $Y."

Your mileage may vary, of course, but you asked, so there's my reasoning.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

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In that case, I personally can see it being reasonable to have a limit of "you get X copies for $Y."

Your mileage may vary, of course, but you asked, so there's my reasoning.

Personally I don't think this follows. I don't care if the model has certain rules that would preclude you from using more than one of them. If any are unlimited, or have a high number of "instances" allowed, then they should just all be unlimited. It's not like they're going to be making a significant profit from this anyway, and maybe you want to use the special model (which you had to buy anyway) to represent a slightly different monster.

IMO, putting in this sort of restriction at all is just a recipe of disaster. It *will* create negative word of mouth feedback among players. It's already hard enough to get 5 people to agree to pay $15/mo to use this stuff (as opposed to something that's free or they could pay for ONE time, without insane DRM like this), without there being stupid anti-customer restrictions in place that provide nothing for either the customers or the developers.

Arbitrarily applying physical goods' scarcity to virtual goods serves to both decrease the value of the virtual goods (being able to place unlimited amounts of a model you got is a BENEFIT of the fact that it's just a chunk of data) and the usefulness of the entire application to its users.

No one would accept WotC disabling use of the letter 'T' in their apps, so people shouldn't accept this either, since both are equally as arbitrary and counter-productive.
No offense to my favorite WotC code monkeys Mark Jindra or (I would only butcher the spelling) WotC_DM, but this one is a no-brainer. I must feel that this some stupid marketing or exec decision.

NOTE: This is my personal opinion.... but I think this is a very good personal opinion.


This whole project has been bogged down by marketing, trying to find a way to milk it for all they can instead of just going forth and following similar business models, though. This should be obvious by how they keep changing their minds about how they present the material, and how they change what they are offering. (It's a full blow package!... No, We'll give discount for months of the full blown package!... No, we'll give you three packages!... No, people who aren't a part can't play. Oh, wait, we'll make game passes for friends and family! No, we won't sell separate' magazines... Oh, wait.. We will. We won't let you download... oh, wait, we will!)

This is very clearly a case of three factions, Marketing, Development, and IT all in debate and with neither of them having very strong control over the project, and no one in Management caring because they're already a year and a half ahead of everyone as far as development of products that will be hitting the shelves that is their mainline.

It is very clear that Marketing was pushing for DDI much harder then anyone else really cared for it, given the failure of Gleemax, and the general lack of definitive answers that we have seen.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
It should be noted that all the monster "tokens" are planned to be free- and you can import your own images and put them on tokens.
Show
Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
It should be noted that all the monster "tokens" are planned to be free- and you can import your own images and put them on tokens.

True. That really only saves people the time of getting the image from the book and cropping it though.

Also, as much as everyone would like it, I doubt anyone really thought the v-minis would be free, which isn't really the issue here. I don't mind paying for them. I DO mind being charged for one mini several times, when I am not even receiving anything after the initial purchase (as has been noted in my and others' posts above). So the tokens are rather extraneous to the current discussion.
A virtual mini has VERY little worth to begin with, and EVEN LESS to someone that is going to use it maybe 2-3 times during the course of a campaign, then let it collect virtual dust until the next campaign (which may be years off).

This has been my feeling all along. I really like the way you put it though. How many times will I ever need that kobold? Really? Individual minis have no real value beyond a couple of uses.

I could understand pricing for a whole book's worth of content. Say as much as $15 for everything from the MM (a lot of models admittedly), $5 for the FRCG, $5 for H1, etc.

If they persist with this subscription model, I say that all minis should be free with the subscription and that all monsters must be represented. Should I subscribe to a game, I get all the models (characters, NPCs, Towns, Wilderness, Enemies, spell effects, etc) as part of the game. These also include animations, AI, etc. Things that WotC does not have to add.

Other games come with all of that as part of the game (more for less). I do not walk up to a shop keeper, represented as a square token, and put in $1 so that I can see and interact with him. Their whole DDi pricing model is flawed.
This has been my feeling all along. I really like the way you put it though. How many times will I ever need that kobold? Really? Individual minis have no real value beyond a couple of uses.

I could understand pricing for a whole book's worth of content. Say as much as $15 for everything from the MM (a lot of models admittedly), $5 for the FRCG, $5 for H1, etc.

If they persist with this subscription model, I say that all minis should be free with the subscription and that all monsters must be represented. Should I subscribe to a game, I get all the models (characters, NPCs, Towns, Wilderness, Enemies, spell effects, etc) as part of the game. These also include animations, AI, etc. Things that WotC does not have to add.

Other games come with all of that as part of the game (more for less). I do not walk up to a shop keeper, represented as a square token, and put in $1 so that I can see and interact with him. Their whole DDi pricing model is flawed.

I agree with you, really. I don't think they're going to change the fundamental pricing model though. I just hope that they stop with the idea of charging people numerous extra times for something they've already purchased. Which just boils down to them charging money in return for nothing (the ability to increment a variable which determines how many "render instances" you get to place is not a product...the data is a product and I'm okay with paying *something* for that ONE TIME ONLY).
Is D&D a collectible virtual miniatures game now?

No, but it appears that the D&D Insider tools have a collectible aspect. This is a related but not required product alongside the 4th edition D&D books.

It's still an annoying limit as it doesn't really add value for the end user, though.
No, but it appears that the D&D Insider tools have a collectible aspect. This is a related but not required product alongside the 4th edition D&D books.

It's still an annoying limit as it doesn't really add value for the end user, though.

It may have a collectible aspect. However, it makes no sense to have this limit, because in addition to the reason you mentioned, it also ignores the use case of a D&D player using miniatures*. Further, it means that they have to spend development time adding this restriction, making sure it's stable, having a way to make the addition "purchases" (I use the term lightly since you aren't actually getting anything in return) increment the number of render instances you can display of a given mini, having a system in place for tracking every user's variable which determines how many instances of any given mini they can display (which is n*m for the number of users and number of minis, which with even a single 32bit value could end up being a lot of (unnecessary) data...since if it didn't exist they'd only need to track one bit per user per mini).

As I said in another post, D&D users do not use miniatures like players of DDM or like MtG players use cards. It is not "Yay I got XYZ mini! Now I can use it ALL THE TIME." It is "Okay, I finally got XYZ, which means I'll be prepared for this week's session, and will then not need it again for a long time, if ever."

I personally don't care that we have to pay for v-minis. I understand this. However, I refuse to pay money in exchange for nothing, simply because the price of that nothing is enforced by software.
I agree with Raloc, I can handle paying for a model, but not 8 times if that model happens to be closest to what I'm trying to represent.

Why should it matter whether it's a kobold or a beholder? I seriously doubt the beholder is going to be some super-awesome mini beyond that it looks like a beholder as opposed to a flat disk. I don't even want extra rendering or motion on the minis, that's just distracting for everyone and a drain on computer resources.


Even is something is a "solo" monster's miniature, why should they dictate how you use their product for your campaign?

What if that Beholder is just a baby beholder in a group of 4? What if the party is of a high enough level to handle multiple lower level "solo" monsters and seek out to exterminate a beholder hive?

To me, saying "You only need one of those because it's a solo" is like coming to my table and taking away any miniatures I'm using "inappropriately" to represent something else. I bought the damn things, so let me use them as I need to.

In all honesty if there are enough 3d mini options (which they have said there will definitely not be at launch to represent all monsters) I will pay for the models when they come up in my games, and then just be stuck with them forever (like I am now). Sometimes I'll pull them back out, but not usually. That's likely the most successful model they could try.

If you say I can't use more than two Irontooth minis, I'll say "Ok, then I'll use something else entirely or rely on the tokens exclusively," and then they have just lost my interest in buying "Irontooth" because I'm not able to use him like I would want.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19670890/Keep_on_the_Shadowfell_Character_Errata
This is stupid. Just stupid...

This post will encompass the whole of DDi. Not just the v-minis, because thats what the post developed into as I wa typing it. Sorry for the derail, but it needs to be said.

You're selling air when it comes to us paying for your v-mini's.
You're demanding way to much for DDi.
You rarely listen to your customers but apparently pride yourselves on customer service.
You make titles to threads like "New DDi Pricing 4.95 per mo." in deliberate attempts to mislead your customers.


You don't have near enough online content to sell for a subscription. You've given us exactly as much online content as you had in the days of 3.0-3.5, but now you want to charge for it. wth?

The game table is cool, but I can get it for free elsewhere or pay a really small fee to get FOREVER.
Dragon and Dungeon don't produce enough to be worth $5 yet Randy. They simply don't, give us more and you might get there.

These other programs you've thrown out there to try and appease us are buggy, shoddy, and have little use because of those things.

Your product isn't like iTunes, it isn't like WoW, get your heads out of the clouds and down to earth and start being reasonableabout what you're selling. I want this to work as much as the next guy, but I won't mind it in the least if I have to go with the 4e modifications through Fantasy Grounds.

Wake up, be reasonable, or it won't happen for you. Plain and simple. You'll have spent all of this time and money for nothing. The way it's looking to me, the gaming world knows its coming and the gaming world is aware of its problems. And its looking like the majority of us aren't going to throw in on what you've given to us now. Sure, they're cool things and were fun at GenCon, but they aren't worth what you're charging.

Sorry for the derail. Needs to be said though.
Why should it matter whether it's a kobold or a beholder? I seriously doubt the beholder is going to be some super-awesome mini beyond that it looks like a beholder as opposed to a flat disk. I don't even want extra rendering or motion on the minis, that's just distracting for everyone and a drain on computer resources.


Even is something is a "solo" monster's miniature, why should they dictate how you use their product for your campaign?

To me, saying "You only need one of those because it's a solo" is like coming to my table and taking away any miniatures I'm using "inappropriately" to represent something else. I bought the damn things, so let me use them as I need to.

If you say I can't use more than two Irontooth minis, I'll say "Ok, then I'll use something else entirely or rely on the tokens exclusively," and then they have just lost my interest in buying "Irontooth" because I'm not able to use him like I would want.

I'd just like to point out that these are all samples I produced, and that none of these are coming from WotC. IE - WotC hasn't said you'll only ever "need" one Beholder, that was a sample I came up with to justify whre I personally could see limited minis being reasonable.

And of course, that comes with a reminder that while I may be a D&Di News Guide, I'm still just a forumite with no insider knowledge, relations, or even any decent blackmail on WotC people/processes.
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'd just like to point out that these are all samples I produced, and that none of these are coming from WotC. IE - WotC hasn't said you'll only ever "need" one Beholder, that was a sample I came up with to justify whre I personally could see limited minis being reasonable.

And of course, that comes with a reminder that while I may be a D&Di News Guide, I'm still just a forumite with no insider knowledge, relations, or even any decent blackmail on WotC people/processes.

No I understand that ;)

I was arguing against that position.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19670890/Keep_on_the_Shadowfell_Character_Errata
No I understand that ;)

I was arguing against that position.

Fair 'nuff. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being mis-interpreted.

*insert playful slur about your opinions here*
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

Wait...wtf? They're gonna charge for the virtual miniatures? What is the monthly rate for when we get charged for the Software then?

If I'm paying monthly to use software, I want to use the entirety of the software the entire time I'm paying for it. Big mistake if this is true. I won't even consider paying for it. At that goes for the web content as well...don't need the web content if i'm never using my computer to play.
Your product isn't like iTunes, it isn't like WoW, get your heads out of the clouds and down to earth and start being reasonableabout what you're selling. I want this to work as much as the next guy, but I won't mind it in the least if I have to go with the 4e modifications through Fantasy Grounds.

Wake up, be reasonable, or it won't happen for you. Plain and simple. You'll have spent all of this time and money for nothing. The way it's looking to me, the gaming world knows its coming and the gaming world is aware of its problems. And its looking like the majority of us aren't going to throw in on what you've given to us now. Sure, they're cool things and were fun at GenCon, but they aren't worth what you're charging.

Sorry for the derail. Needs to be said though.

I agree entirely. This whole project is really on shakey ground anyways, since basically every product they are promising is available in some other form. Anyone with Excel and half a brain can make an Ability Generator. "Character Visualizers" are available, and I can think of at least three FREE virutal table top programs that are not D&D specific off the top of my head.

Pick one buisness model and stick with it. You can't be i-tunes and an MMO all in one. Either charge small amounts for lots individual content packs or a monthly fee. 'nuff said.