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I will be reading any comments here to help me make good decisions on future features.

Thanks for posting.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
Here is one of the features that we currently have in design.

This isn't in the closed beta because we are working on the details for it and gathering feedback from forum posters on what they want.

The goal is to have a quick simple text format (not the full blown character sheet) that people can copy and paste onto the forums to help them talk about the character they made.

Here is what we have so far, this is a Battle Cleric that I whipped up as a demonstration of the formatting:

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast DDI Character Builder ======
EDGE, level 16
Warforged, Cleric, Swordmaster
Build: Battle Cleric
Student of the Sword: Student of Two-Handed Weapons
Background: Tymanther

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 24, Con 19, Dex 11, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11.

Starting Ability Scores
Str 18, Con 13, Dex 10, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.


AC: 32 Fort: 28 Reflex: 21 Will: 26
HP: 106 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 26

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion, Diplomacy, Heal, Athletics, Endurance.

FEATS
1: Ritual Caster
1: Weapon Proficiency (Fullblade)
2: Righteous Rage of Tempus
4: Warforged Tactics
6: Armor Proficiency (Scale)
8: Armor Proficiency (Plate)
10: Student of the Sword
11: Devastating Critical
12: Armor Specialization (Plate)
14: Novice Power
16: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)

POWERS
1, At-Will: Righteous Brand
1, At-Will: Priest's Shield
1, Encounter: Healing Strike
1, Daily: Avenging Flame
2, Utility: Cure Light Wounds
3, Encounter: Blazing Beacon
5, Daily: Rune of Peace
6, Utility: Bastion of Health
7, Encounter: Strengthen the Faithful
9, Daily: Divine Power
10, Utility: Shielding Word
13, Encounter: Arc of the Righteous (replaces Healing Strike)
15, Daily: Holy Spark (replaces Avenging Flame)
16, Utility: Divine Armor

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Veteran's Gith plate armor +3, Vicious Fullblade +4, Healer's Brooch +3, Stalwart Belt (heroic tier), Horned Helm (heroic tier), Flame Braces (heroic tier), Holy Gauntlets (heroic tier)
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast DDI Character Builder ======


The idea is not to replace the character sheet. Just something you can paste quickly on the forums to show off the great build you made.

Feel free to suggest changes so we can make it more useful.

--
Mike Donais.
Product Owner for the Character Builder.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
So you're saying that we're not getting a full blown char sheet? I for one that would be using it would want to be able to print out a full blown char sheet that I could use in my games. Please give us both options, one to generate a full blown char sheet that we can save and print and a text option so they can be pasted in the forums as you suggested above.
@Cyberwolf - no, this is just an additional feature. There will be an option to print a full sheet. This is just an aditional option in the works.

@mdonais -

1. An option to include forum bbcode formatting would be nice. That way, we can copy/paste directly, without trying to format ourselves.

something like

[noparse]AC: 32 Fort: 28 Reflex: 21 Will: 26
HP: 106 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 26[/noparse]

So when we copy and paste, it just shows up as

AC: 32 Fort: 28 Reflex: 21 Will: 26
HP: 106 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 26

2. I think i'd prefer this as a layout for the top piece.

Name: EDGE
Race: Warforged Level: 16
Class: Cleric Build: Battle Cleric
Paragon: Swordmaster Epic: none

3. If you can add tables to the forum's bbcode, then that could help with the formatting, assuming the bbcode is implimented as suggested above.
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So you're saying that we're not getting a full blown char sheet? I for one that would be using it would want to be able to print out a full blown char sheet that I could use in my games. Please give us both options, one to generate a full blown char sheet that we can save and print and a text option so they can be pasted in the forums as you suggested above.

The full blown character sheet and full color power cards with all the math done for you are already done. This is a new feature I am working on to let people post a brief summary on the forums quickly and easily.

--
Mike.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
@mdonais -

1. An option to include forum bbcode formatting would be nice. That way, we can copy/paste directly, without trying to format ourselves.
2. I think i'd prefer this as a layout for the top piece.
3. If you can add tables to the forum's bbcode, then that could help with the formatting, assuming the bbcode is implimented as suggested above.

Thanks this is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for!

--
Mike.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
My suggestion is:
Stop adding features! Get it working with PHB/DMG/MM with a printable character sheet and ship it!

Once that is done, begin playing catch up on books in FIFO order while adding 1-2 incremental features at the same time.

This is a live service tool. It does NOT have to be perfect when shipped to be useful to subscribers. :-)

Todd
I would say take advantage of some of the things regarding multiclassing in the big nomenclature thread, so that people know how much multiclassing the character did...
Attack bonuses for the powers. Or just at the top three rows stating the most important attack bonuses:

e.g.:

Mace +2 (Str): +9
Holy Symbol +2 (Wis): +6
Javelin (Str): +7
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam
I wonder if there would be any benefit in listing item levels and/or a source reference (PHB pxxx) for items/powers/feats in the copy/paste text?

I can forsee wondering how this character or that character came to certain bonus ("Where's the 5 poison resist from?") and wanting to peruse the options to help check the "math" of the generator.

This would be simplified by having quick, easy source references.

Then again, I suppose that could be handled, in part, by typing in the option name(s) in the Compendium and using that as a reference. . .
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("Where's the 5 poison resist from?") and wanting to peruse the options to help check the "math" of the generator.

I would definitely like that. Not because I think the builder might be wrong, but simply because I like to know about the races and classes I'm using and what gives me what benefits.

Perhaps when clicking on an icon next to a power/sentence (e.g. An Icon next to the name of a spell or the sentence of "5 poison resistance") within the builder, it creates a pop-up to say why you get this.

For example I might be confused why I can have 2 daily spells at level 1. So I click on the icon and it lists the Wizard feature that lets me have 2 daily spells. That would save me having to check all my feats, features, items, etc to see why I'm getting this strange behaviour (which would become difficult at higher levels).
maybe a way to copy/paste from the forums into charater builder? That way someone can post their character, and someone else could test it out, or even use it in their own campaign. A player could then use the proposed character themselves, or a DM could make them an NPC.
I would be interested in an export feature that provided a layout like the monster descriptions. As a DM, I get used to that layout, so I am already familiar with what information goes where. Additionally, a consise layout like that of the monsters might actually be more functional for me at the game table than a full character sheet that I might have to print out anew for each session.
This is definitely one of those cases of Less Is More.

This particular function is not meant to replace a full character sheet, so it definitely should remain as simple as it can be while giving the info that is required to give.
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Yeah, I'd have to agree with AL. For now, the main purpose of the text output is to provide something to share on the forums as feedback. I.e. "I made this character, but see, the AC is wrong".

Adding features to make the output more readable to other beta testers and to the developers is useful. But let's not get carried away. I want to see the beta next week, not next month.
I concurr.

Features will be great and all, but I think we should be looking at simple/easy/minor requests in this particular thread.

Once we have the tools in our hands and can really tear into it, THEN is the time to tell them what new stuff needs to be added. ;)
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Can the power cards generated please contain the flavour text as it supports our roleplaying? Thankyou.
Mike-

First, thanks, as always, for the opportunity to watch the development of this as it happens.

One thing off the top of my head: Please give us the ability to print out our PCs in both the traditional portrait and the new landscape sheet format offered with the published 4e character sheets.

Thanks!

-Lefty (Jim C.)
Jim Crocker, Managing Partner Modern Myths, LLC Northampton, MA www.modern-myths.com
maybe a way to copy/paste from the forums into charater builder? That way someone can post their character, and someone else could test it out, or even use it in their own campaign. A player could then use the proposed character themselves, or a DM could make them an NPC.

I didn't bring this up because it won't be in the first version of the character builder but I do like the idea.

The first version is feature complete now and we are just tweaking and debugging things to ensure we release as soon as reasonable. Despite that I am always happy to hear ideas for the future.

In particular any ideas that give a big return without costing a lot of coding and design time are the best, because then we can do more of them.

--
Mike.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
We already have a way to export to/import from XML.

Rather than create a way to import from the forums, it might be a lot simpler to just allow the attachment of XML files to forum posts. Then anyone can import it to their char builder and look it over, tinker with it, and re-upload it with suggested changes.

Of course, people can already host the XML file somewhere, and just post a link to it, but making that process easier might be worth considering.
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My suggestion is:
Stop adding features! Get it working with PHB/DMG/MM with a printable character sheet and ship it!

Once that is done, begin playing catch up on books in FIFO order while adding 1-2 incremental features at the same time.

This is a live service tool. It does NOT have to be perfect when shipped to be useful to subscribers. :-)

Todd

To ship the full version, we need some infrastructure features linked to the now deployed subscription infrastructure put in place last month.

This is what we are working on now, and that is the main feature required for the full commercial version to ship.

As this infrastructure related feature is being built, we are closely monitoring the functionality features that we are still working on so that they do not carry over.

We will ship the full version as soon as the subscription related infrastructure is ready, tested and sound, and as Randy mentioned in this weeks news, we are on track of releasing the full version early next year.

We are not adding features for the sake of more features.
Can the power cards generated please contain the flavour text as it supports our roleplaying? Thankyou.

Editable flavour text would be even better since some of us 're-skin' the powers while retaining the mechanical effects.

The character summary above looks really cool and useful.
Use the red green and black color codes for the at will, encounter, and daily powers.

Would it be too much work to link the powers to the compendium?
Mike-

First, thanks, as always, for the opportunity to watch the development of this as it happens.

One thing off the top of my head: Please give us the ability to print out our PCs in both the traditional portrait and the new landscape sheet format offered with the published 4e character sheets.

Thanks!

-Lefty (Jim C.)

Done!

I like easy requests!
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
I wonder if there would be any benefit in listing item levels and/or a source reference (PHB pxxx) for items/powers/feats in the copy/paste text?

I can forsee wondering how this character or that character came to certain bonus ("Where's the 5 poison resist from?") and wanting to peruse the options to help check the "math" of the generator.

This would be simplified by having quick, easy source references.

Then again, I suppose that could be handled, in part, by typing in the option name(s) in the Compendium and using that as a reference. . .

Source for everything listed is something I am considering, and waiting a bit to see if everyone wants it, vs the extra text that the output would contain.

Attack bonuses is another thing like that. I suspect we will include them both though as they seem very useful.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
Sorry if this question is redundant, but will Dragon-article crunch 'n fluff be in the Character Builder? I'm currently playtesting a Barbarian for LFR and am looking forward to making him over using the Character Builder...however, if the Barbarian playtest isn't in there, I'm a bit out of luck, eh?
The FAQ mentions the restrictions page/tab (which thrills me to no end because I will invariably not want to include some material). Will we be able to restrict individual feats/powers or just entire books/magazine sources? I know it wont be active in the beta but it's just one of those questions that might help sort out preconceptions.

(I know it would be more work to be able to select/deselct indivdual items but it would make using it in games that don't allow certain feats/powers/items easier.)
IMAGE(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y239/SoulCatcher78/techdevil78.jpg)
Also for the restrictions thing, it would be nice if we can export our restrictions list and give it to someone else to import. That way if a DM decides to restrict something, he can give the file to all his subscribed players, and they can make the character in their own copy of the builder.
Also for the restrictions thing, it would be nice if we can export our restrictions list and give it to someone else to import. That way if a DM decides to restrict something, he can give the file to all his subscribed players, and they can make the character in their own copy of the builder.

+1
IMAGE(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y239/SoulCatcher78/techdevil78.jpg)
The FAQ mentions the restrictions page/tab (which thrills me to no end because I will invariably not want to include some material). Will we be able to restrict individual feats/powers or just entire books/magazine sources? I know it wont be active in the beta but it's just one of those questions that might help sort out preconceptions.

(I know it would be more work to be able to select/deselect indivdual items but it would make using it in games that don't allow certain feats/powers/items easier.)

Yes, in the full version you can choose exactly what you want and don't want through a nice tiered interface. Allowing specific books or powers or any combination of things.

You can then save it as a file and inflict it on your all of your players.

Hopefully this is all in for our release version, since it isn't in beta I can't guarantee it will all be in, but 90% of this works already on the version I am using. And honestly our programmers are so good I don't feel bad talking about it

I actually love the interface for this because I can click on Dragon 365 and click on feats and click through the feats and read them in the info panel one by one. This is a pretty fun and easy way to browse content from different sources.

Anyways, back to making characters!
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
As one of my campaigns is set in Monte Cook's Ptolus (a large city), we've tinkered with the Ranger a litlle bit: our Ranger has Streetwise instead of Nature as possible skill. (Psst, I'm at work, so my skill names may be off; but it's an official skill.)

Is this tinkering (exchanging class skills or designating an additional skill as class skill) already possible with the Beta?

If not, will it be supported in the full version?

Huldvoll

Baron von Bomberg

Huldvoll

 

---Baron von Bomberg

 

Former DDI subscriber

As one of my campaigns is set in Monte Cook's Ptolus (a large city)

Best campaign settings ever...

I don't like the cosmology, but otherwise it's a blast
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam
Digging around on the site, I saw an untitled link that lead here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20081105b

Which is the FAQ for the Beta. It went up recently (yesterday) and seems to indicate that DDI subscribers can DL the beta from here:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insider/characterbuilder

But that page is just the usual preview (with no link).

Am I missing something, or have I jumped the gun? Is there a set day for Beta launch?
OK, I'm not a subscriber (yet, I expect to be by tomorrow), but one thing that I'd like is the ability to see the 'math', in both the text version and the full version. If you go to this site and build a character, it has a small checkbox that you can use to do this. I have found it very nice, because it tells me where bonus' I may have missed come from [yes, I will check the computers math each and every time a create a character; even computers can be wrong (ugh...now I feel sick for even insinuating that computers are imperfect...], and if I don't know, and the DM is suspicious, then that could help.

Thanks,
Hdier

EDIT: oops, there's another thread for suggestions...should I delete this post and put it over there?
EDIT EDIT: nevermind, I just found out that was for FAQ...
@sturtwrangler - They are releasing the closed beta early next week. That link was placed pre-emptively, so it would be available as soon as the beta goes live.
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Digging around on the site, I saw an untitled link that lead here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20081105b

Which is the FAQ for the Beta. It went up recently (yesterday) and seems to indicate that DDI subscribers can DL the beta from here:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insider/characterbuilder

But that page is just the usual preview (with no link).

Am I missing something, or have I jumped the gun? Is there a set day for Beta launch?

Based on the following quote, it sounds like Nov 10th at the earliest: "I hinted last week and Bill said explicitly on Monday, the Character Builder closed beta will begin early next week (hopefully Monday)" -Character Builder Closed Beta FAQ by Randy Buehler.
Good news. Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for clearing that up.
As one of my campaigns is set in Monte Cook's Ptolus (a large city), we've tinkered with the Ranger a litlle bit: our Ranger has Streetwise instead of Nature as possible skill. (Psst, I'm at work, so my skill names may be off; but it's an official skill.)

Is this tinkering (exchanging class skills or designating an additional skill as class skill) already possible with the Beta?

If not, will it be supported in the full version?

Huldvoll

Baron von Bomberg

You can't change the rules, you just decide if you want to include the rules from various sources.

You can also override rules and take whatever skill you want if you press the house rules button. So in this case you would do that for your ranger.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
Source for everything listed is something I am considering, and waiting a bit to see if everyone wants it, vs the extra text that the output would contain.

Attack bonuses is another thing like that. I suspect we will include them both though as they seem very useful.

Since there's never a feature that "everyone" wants when it comes to customizing output like this (I like it, sothers may see it as clutter) - perhaps implementing it as an option to be toggled would suit "everyone" better?
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

Since there's never a feature that "everyone" wants when it comes to customizing output like this (I like it, sothers may see it as clutter) - perhaps implementing it as an option to be toggled would suit "everyone" better?

For this particular screen it isn't quite that simple because in the long term I want this interface to work for importing people's forum posts also. It is much easier to read in something that was pasted by a different user with just one format.
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
You can also override rules and take whatever skill you want if you press the house rules button. So in this case you would do that for your ranger.

That's perfectly ok with me ... if the CB calculates the correct bonus for this "illegal" skill.

Hudvoll

Baron von Bomberg

Huldvoll

 

---Baron von Bomberg

 

Former DDI subscriber