After we launch our D&DI subscription service, the Character Builder will become our #1 priority. First up will be a public Beta test, then a commercial release, and then our development efforts will move onto the Character Visualizer. The way the Beta will work is that we will first make the application available to a select group of special testers (including folks who signed up to be Beta testers at D&D Experience) and then we will make it available to the general public. Everyone who wants to will get the chance to participate for free.
The Beta version of the Character Builder will have full functionality, but it will only have rules content that covers level 1-3 characters. The same thing will be true of the free demo version of the Character Builder which will be available for folks to sample after the full version goes on sale: it will have everything you need to build a level 1, 2, or 3 character. We have not yet announced a release date for the full version of the Character Builder.
We probably will not be done testing our Ecommerce and Entitlements system in time to launch by October 1st, so you’ll probably get a couple of extra articles for free as we continue to publish three times per week, but here’s the short version:
I'll be polite, and say that it's a bad idea to charge right now, for several reasons:
1) The promised Barbarian playtest, which got pushed back without explanation. This is going to be taken as Bait and Switch.
2) The apparent inability of WotC to release timely content for Dungeon and Dragon.
Between what's going to be interpreted as dishonesty, and what looks to me like borderline incompetence, how in God's name do you expect a lot of the wavering customers to be willing to pay right now? At least release the promised articles and demonstrate one month's ability to produce what the customers are paying for without problems first.
The article doesn't address my biggest concern which is wha will happen if you buy the year long web content pack and then you decide you want to upgrade to the client pack when that pricing scheme becomes available.
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I thought they already said it was top priority. It hasn't been top priority?
My thoughts as well.
More of a technical comment. I subscribe to the RSS feeds, and this is the only feed that publishes itself twice. Any ideas why?
...so you’ll probably get a couple of extra articles for free as we continue to publish three times per week...
I don't care what explaination they give me. So it wasn't ready for september so you just decided to put it into paying october? RIIIIIIGHT. Again it's all about money.
Hm. I won't be buying in. I think it's very unwise to start the subscription service before even one of the long-awaited D&DI tools is available. The magazines alone (especially with the haphazard release stuff, delays, and so forth) are not worth the subscription cost. The D&DI tools might be, if they were ready.
I'll scavenge what I can for free, and check back in a few months.
"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"
Originally Posted by Randy Buehler
Non-subscribers will be able to launch the Compendium, search for things, and see what results are returned. However, non-subscribers will not be able to click on the name of the rules element in order to see what it actually does.
Originally Posted by Randy Buehler
In other words, non-subscribers can see what things exist and what book they should go buy if they want to read more but don’t want a D&DI subscription.
Quite simply 60 dollars for a subscription to a trade magazine is unacceptable. I can get 12 issues of Cosmopoliton for 15... and they print it out and ship it to me. Even Asimov, which is HEAVY written content, charges only 40 for a year, and they STILL print it out and ship it to you.
You don't have the overhead of print. Electrons are cheaper by a HUGE portion. Even paying your writers the way you do, you still don't use that much money.
So no. Unaceptable. Go back and think about it again.
Ah, but Aasimov and Cosmo combined are $60/year. Don't forget that Dungeon and Dragon are two separate magazines.
I don't know if that changes the value position or not, but it's a point worth considering, I think.
And for those who resent Wizard's decision to start charging "so soon," please go take a look at the PDFs of the complete issues of Dungeon and Dragon that have been released for the past three months. There is nothing half-baked about those issues. Every one is print-quality material, and every one has been given away for free.
So the Compendium is pretty much going to be useless now unless you have a subscription? I thought it was going to be free? Oh wait, not a useful version just the marketing version. Lame. I wouldn't care so much but that is not what we were originally led to believe if not outright told. Actually, I'm still not sure why it bugs me since I don't need the Compendium (that's what I use the books for). I'm sure others would've used it but not sure now that it's been nerfed.
This was answered.
If you pay for a year now and full package goes live before then, you will be credited with unused potion to the cost of the full package.
I'm interested in the Character Builder, so until that's out, I'm out as well.
I'd pay $7.95/mo (on a month by month basis) for the e-zines and the builder, but the rest of it has no value to me.
Until then, the e-zines can be acquired elsewhere, and nothing else out at the moment warrants payment.
Firstly, $60 a year for two monthly magazines is a very fair subscription rate. How many other hobby magazines do you know of that produce the amount and quality of substance found in Dungeon and Dragon, complete with beautiful full-color art and no advertisements, for $30/year? I don't know of any.
I need to say that those who are defending the magazines as beeing worth the price have every right to. Doesn't change the fact that I think you're wrong.
Consider the content that is delivered in the E-zines compared to Cosmo or other printed magazines... (using this because its been used in this thread)
Consider the amount that we're getting in these magazines compared to the other magazines mentioned in the thread.
Need I say more?
Not going to happen. The character buiilder is part of the client package. As such you either have the options of only getting the magazines for 7.99 or getting everything for the higher price(14.99?)....unless you are willing to pay for longer periods of time.