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.