D&DI Survey Results

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You can find the official article on our site here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4news/20090414

I wanted to take a couple seconds to highlight the big points. This is the survey that we asked everyone to take a while ago concerning what you wanted to see from D&D Insider. Both subscribers and non-subscribers who took the survey had tools for managing campaigns, tools to customize and print monsters, and tools to customize and print premade adventures as their top three choices.

Based on that information plus the feedback we were recieving from all our other sources, we began working on applications for your campaigns. As the article states, "this includes monsters, encounters, maps, and adventures."

Now I know you want to know all the specific information about when the next tool is coming out and what exactly it will do, but we won't be releasing any of that information until we get closer to launching the application. We'll make sure to post up information in the articles and here in the forums whenever we have any new details to share, but I did want to make it clear that we are working right now to bring you these applications.

Thanks to everyone who took the survey for providing your feedback, and to all the D&D Insider subscribers!

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Decent read - thanks Trevor!
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

Two words:

"Game Table"

For me, re-subbing is completely dependent on that.
Huzzah! We got communication. Thanks Trevor.

It sounds like what's being worked on are completely new tools. Can you say if this is the case?
Haha, I found it amusing that the game table did not score the highest.

However, I have to pcouncur with the findings. A Campaign organizing tool would be more helpful to me.
Well, those sound like good tools to have, honestly. And more feasible to release. I would definitely love to have a campaign management suite and a more fleshed out monster customizer/encounter generator.
Thanks for the update.
Great! I take it this means that WotC is putting the table-top further on the back burner?
This includes monsters, encounters, maps and adventures.

This is a tell to me. I reserve the right to be in error.
Plans are always subject to change.
No specific answer on what they are or aren't working on, and they're making business decisions on a study with a self-selected n of 4000.

Color me jaded.
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10
No specific answer on what they are or aren't working on, and they're making business decisions on a study with a self-selected n of 4000.

Color me jaded.

Surprise suprise... You should smile more often.

Thanks for the update and looking forward to more DDI tools in the future.
Suck it up and drive on.
No specific answer on what they are or aren't working on, and they're making business decisions on a study with a self-selected n of 4000.

Color me jaded.

As Trevor stated in the original post the survey of over 4000 people was not the only source of feedback that they are basing this decision.

Based on that information plus the feedback we were recieving from all our other sources, we began working on applications for your campaigns. As the article states, "this includes monsters, encounters, maps, and adventures."

This is a tell to me. I reserve the right to be in error.

It's always possible to be wrong, but I read it as: "Some people want a Game Table, but that wasn't the most popular thing, so we're not going to focus on it right now. Don't expect it anytime soon."
It's always possible to be wrong, but I read it as: "Some people want a Game Table, but that wasn't the most popular thing, so we're not going to focus on it right now. Don't expect it anytime soon."

That's pretty much how I read it too.
I still think it's amazing that the visualizer was so touted early on, and now appears DOA.

Someone wrote today that they want the things it isn't easy for them to create on their own, or something like that, and that's how I'm looking at it now. It's not that hard for me to organize my campaign, or create encounters, but an artist I'm not. And I definitely could not build a decent gametable app.

Sad, imo, that this is still so vague. I don't understand the vague part. Oh well.

This is a bit snide, but they should take a survey about how many people want to buy 4e pdfs. Sorry, that was a bit trollish of me...won't happen again.
do people really care about the visualizer? I want tool that help me at the table and before hand. A tool for building encounters and running xp budgest (one that's not based on flash).

A modular based system for printing official looking adventures wuld be AMAZING. If DDI is already advertising for one subscription a group, then DDI needs to market to DM's.

also - game table is a cool idea, but really a niche tool where strong competitors exist.
do people really care about the visualizer?

That was likely a rhetorical question, but yes, I'd love to see the visualizer completed. Something that would allow my players to better visualize, and thus identify with, their characters would be awesome. I've tried others in the past, but they all seem to require a bit of an artsy streak.

Honestly, the visualizer would be a more useful tool for me than the VTT, although I also think the dungeon builder would be very useful.
WOOOHOO!!!

Thanks Trevor for getting this info out to us. Much appreciated.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
honestly, I'm amazed that Game Table wasn't #1.

But, alright. Let's see what ya'll do next.
Rule Zero: Save vs. Hivemind http://rulezeroblog.wordpress.com
Well, I'm absolutely thrilled, but I belong to a small but vocal minority of D&D customers - Dungeon Masters. Ask me how many hours I end up spending each week formatting my notes and the stat blocks so I can actually refer to them easily during the game. It's more time than all my players spend on the game *combined*. I really, *really* love the idea of having tools that reduce that prep time so I can focus on planning instead of formatting.

Thanks for listening!
Huzzah! Campaign Tools! Exactly what I wanted to see next (which is probably why I voted for them). The bonus tools have been very useful to me, but they're still a bit limited, being simple flash apps and all. A Character Builder-quality program for DMs would be great.

Thank you, WotC, for listening to your customers!
What I see is "DM Tools" are rated more important than "Player Tools".

The Visualiser is a Player Tool, everything in front of it is a DM Tool.

What I also see is that the things that are above the Game Table are all things needed to make the Game Table really viable as a tool. Hopefully WotC realises that and engineers their material approapriately.

Also I think this gives a lot of creedance to the need for the Character Builder to have time spent on the customisation elements and the "Campaign" setting elements. A good "Campaign Manager" program should be able to turn out a "Campaign Settings" document for use with the Character Builder.

I just wonder how much WotC will think about this, or if we will end up with a suite of unconnected and unrelated tools.
What I see is "DM Tools" are rated more important than "Player Tools".

Agreed, which is surprising given there's a 1:4 or even a 1:6 ratio of DMs to Players. It would suggest that players are either eager to see their DMs lives made easier, or DMs are currently getting more out of DDi then players so more DMs are subscribing then players.
That was likely a rhetorical question, but yes, I'd love to see the visualizer completed. Something that would allow my players to better visualize, and thus identify with, their characters would be awesome. I've tried others in the past, but they all seem to require a bit of an artsy streak.

The answer to your prayers is here: Character Portrais Thread

This thread is populated by people who are Photoshop wizards, and can produce character images almost on demand. Best of all, it's totally free.
This is just like politics.

"Our polls show..."

And everybody I talk to or read on the message boards seems to be saying, "Wait, I wasn't polled?"

I see a lot of active community posters on this thread already saying these results do not reflect their wishes AND that they didn't get a vote.

The first part is going to happen in any democratic system if its justified. The second is a bit harder to swallow.

I would believe that DMs are by far the largest subscribers to DnDi and that the player base, if anything, is UNDER represented. Most players I know what things that pertain to playing, like a character visualizer, and really don't care how difficult it is for the DM to create encounters (mostly because they have no concept of it).

This certainly looks like Wizards is listening to their customers, until you see the known customers and community participants say, "Um... 4,000 of whom which didn't include us? People you found in Seattle coffee shops that really don't have a clue how we play in Orlando? 4,000 of the best graphic artists who play D&D and don't need the Character Visualizer?"

I'd like to thank Trevor for posting this, and I'm going to try to take it on good faith that this means good things for the future of DnDi and for my gameplay.

I'm just tired of seeing this play out:

Basic Customer Service: The customer is right.
Me: WOTC, I am your customer. I want X.
WOTC: You're wrong.
Me: On which point?
WOTC: 1. Our survey results do not indicate that you represent our customer base. Therefore either you are not a customer, or if you are a customer, you don't want X.
Feel like being mediocre? Not following through? Providing crappy service? Do people find you frustrating? Arrogant? Unhelpful? Simply add the word "beta" to any product or service you provide; all will be forgiven.
Basic Customer Service: The customer is right.
Me: WOTC, I am your customer. I want X.
WOTC: You're wrong.
Me: On which point?
WOTC: 1. Our survey results do not indicate that you represent our customer base. Therefore either you are not a customer, or if you are a customer, you don't want X.

I think its more likely a case of, the majority of our customers want X more than what you want, and we are going to take care of the majority first. If there is a strong enough interest in X we may get around to it eventually, but we will follow the money first. Which is as it should be.

They aren't saying you are wrong so much as in the minority, and a niche of a niche industry is harder to serve profitably.
Point taken, Electricbee. You are correct.
Feel like being mediocre? Not following through? Providing crappy service? Do people find you frustrating? Arrogant? Unhelpful? Simply add the word "beta" to any product or service you provide; all will be forgiven.
The poll was open to everyone, not just for people randomly selected by WotC. There was a link to it on the front page of the D&D site. It was easy to miss, though; it was in one of those news box dealies at the bottom of the page.
DM tools that help run encounters and track damage intitive, and effect would be great. Something like the combat cards in the back of the DMG but computer based.
The poll was open to everyone, not just for people randomly selected by WotC. There was a link to it on the front page of the D&D site. It was easy to miss, though; it was in one of those news box dealies at the bottom of the page.

This thread was also stickied in this forum. The first post pointing to the survey.

Also I believe you didn't need to click on the survey as it would ask you randomly if you wanted to take the survey while browsing the site.
It was also prominently posted at ENWorld (that I know of) and probably some other RPG discussion sites as well.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
This thread was also stickied in this forum. The first post pointing to the survey.

Also I believe you didn't need to click on the survey as it would ask you randomly if you wanted to take the survey while browsing the site.

IIRC, it only asked once - if you declined, then you had to find the link. But it was available.
DM tools that help run encounters and track damage intitive, and effect would be great. Something like the combat cards in the back of the DMG but computer based.

http://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=initiativetool

I wish they'd spend less time on trying to produce versions of tools that exist and work on actually taking advantage of the digital medium.

For instance: Hi-res maps of Dungeon adventures and released modules to support VTT users and those that want to print battle maps.
I'm sure they're aware that all of these types of studies are flawed. The fact that some of the products were on the way and others would be new concepts obviously influenced voting.

I would consider it odd that they'd share the survey with us if they do not plan to produce products in alignment with it, but they were supposedly very close to beta on some applications - I doubt they'd bury those to start others. Doing so in a business like theirs would usually mean losing traction on the near beta projects - which would write off most of the work they put in on it so far.

Personally, the thing I want most is updates on updates. I understand the hesitation to talk about new products until they are released, but I'd love to hear what new features are going into the compendium and character builder a little earlier...
D&D & Boardgames If I have everything I need to run great games for many years without repeating stuff, why do I need to buy anything right now?
I'm pretty happy with the new Campaign Tools direction, and the results of the survey match pretty closely with how I voted. The VTT would be cool, but the investment in development resources probably seems high, given that it ranks fairly low on peoples 'want' lists. Conversely, the CT is likely a lot easier to develop (since you've got the Compendium already), and is ranked high.

I'm sure it wasn't the results they were looking for. I'd like to know that the VTT and Visualizer were the top choices of people if I had spent the money to get the tools to near-alpha(?) stage. Unfortunately, they got "You know those bonus tools developed by Tweet (the guy you let go) as a side project? Build advanced versions of those, please."

Doh.

Verys.
I have to jump in and note that Obsidian Portal has had a suite of campaign management tools for about 2 years now. We're not D&D specific, but most of the campaigns we've got are D&D.

If you want help organizing your game notes and tracking your campaign, give us a try. I think you'll be pleased.

Just take a look at what's possible.

Oh, and did I mention it's free?
The DM direction does not surprise me. I think I read someplace that while players outnumber DMs, that DMs actually buy most of the product.

As far as the results being shared with us, I consider that a big giant hint that something is close to done. They (I hope) have learned from their mistakes, and wouldn't be talking about this if something was "close".

As far as the anti-4E crowd posting here (there is at least one here for sure), I just don't get it. They aren't going to support 3.x; they are going to support 4.x.
I found the polls posted on both ENWorld and Wizards sites. I actually did the poll from the link on the ENWorld site.
I have to jump in and note that Obsidian Portal has had a suite of campaign management tools for about 2 years now. We're not D&D specific, but most of the campaigns we've got are D&D.

If you want help organizing your game notes and tracking your campaign, give us a try. I think you'll be pleased.

Just take a look at what's possible.

Oh, and did I mention it's free?

While I haven't gotten in-depth with Obsidian Portal (being an RPGAer) I can say that what I've played around with over there has been impressive.

If you're looking for a way to manage your home campaign (keep notes on all those NPCs, start a wiki about your world, and SO MUCH more) - you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you don't at least take a look over here.

[/derail]
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 want to know one thing. Does this mean the character viewer, dungeon builder and VTT are canned? WOTC did not say one way or the other. If they are canned because the majority of the survery takers wanted a campaign manager, how can we be sure WOTC won't can the campaign manager when in the next survery it shows the majority wanting a VTT?

WOTC promised the viewer, dungeon maker and VTT as part of this new roll out of computer tools to go with 4th ed.. If they don't deliver then WOTC are liars. I will not subscribe until those tools are up and running in full.
I think this community and D&DI subscribers should not have to read between the lines about the status of online offerings that were the subject of very splashy convention announcements last year. Sometimes products get put on hold, delayed, canceled, are not economically feasible. I think we can handle it.