Really disappointing Psion article...

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Being a huge fan of psionics, I--and many others in my gaming group--have been waiting to see the new Psion for some time. When it came out today, though, to say I was disappointed in the presentation is an understatement.

Now, I didn't hate it all, mind you. I really love the class itself, as a starting point for psionics, and I like the addition of developer commentary in little sidebars. HOWEVER...and this is the major caveat that completely ruins the article's usefulness...

You can't use it as a standalone feature. Unless you copy the powers, or something, it's completely reliant on the Compendium to actually see any powers. This, if you ask me, is completely unforgivable and a sure way to lose at least this subscriber if it becomes the norm.

I'm not connected to the internet 24/7, nor do I rely on browsers being open at all times, so the fact that I can't simply use my content as-is is ludicrous. There's simply no excuse to leave powers out of the pdf itself. This is the age of high-speed internet, you're not saving anyone any time by scrapping half of the article.

This reminds me of when Bradygames released the Final Fantasy IX player's guide, and required buyers to utilize the PlayOnline service to get the guide's full content. Needless to say, there's a reason that sort of thing didn't become the norm.

I can only hope there ends up being an errata that adds the powers into the basic pdf, and if not then I can only hope that future articles leave all the content right where they belong--in the pdf itself. I've never been interested in any part of D&Di beyond the articles, and I'll be darned if I'm forced into utilizing tools I want no part of just to get the information I'm actually looking for.

This compendium is supposed to be a resource index, not the only source.
It basically makes it so you have to be a ddi subscriber to use it though. Not just acquire a printed out version. Not that I'm saying it's right. Also, the compendium IS the only source, in theory, since it's a DDI exclusive... or something.
Well, yes, that's kind of my point. I'm sure it's all well and noble and Wizards' latest misguided attempt at stopping piracy, but it's wrong. I am sick of dealing with companies that think the best way to stave off the criminal is to punish the legal customer, and I'm not going to be subscribing any longer if this is the way they continue to roll things out.

It's cumbersome, it's completely useless to how I utilize my content half of the time--that is, offline, away from the PC, etc--and it forces me into using tools I don't even have interest in. No. Thanks.
So you don't want to have to use your computer to access your digital subscription? Make your character with the builder, print it out... Everything you need in in the CB.
You need to realize that this is a free PREVIEW of a complete class from a Book that wont be published until next year.

If you don't want to use your "Digital" subscription the way it is intended to be used then you should probably not use it at all and wait for the finished product instead of complaining that wizards is giving you something in a form that YOU don't like...

Don't like it, don't buy it.
I am the God of Dragons! Hail Wizards and it's mighty awesomeness for finally addressing some of the issues we had with the old forums and website! It's about damn time this place got an overhaul! Wahoo!
I think the point is that up until now, you could have a printed reference straight from Dragon/Dungeon of the content. So if you're totally offline, in the pen-and-paper world, you can't use it.

Plus it brings into question whether it's legal for Living Forgotten Realms play... I think it has to be IN the magazine to be used... not just in the Compendium/CB. That may have been indicated in one of the other articles, but I can't find it right now.
Being a huge fan of psionics, I--and many others in my gaming group--have been waiting to see the new Psion for some time. When it came out today, though, to say I was disappointed in the presentation is an understatement.

Now, I didn't hate it all, mind you. I really love the class itself, as a starting point for psionics, and I like the addition of developer commentary in little sidebars. HOWEVER...and this is the major caveat that completely ruins the article's usefulness...

You can't use it as a standalone feature. Unless you copy the powers, or something, it's completely reliant on the Compendium to actually see any powers. This, if you ask me, is completely unforgivable and a sure way to lose at least this subscriber if it becomes the norm.

I'm not connected to the internet 24/7, nor do I rely on browsers being open at all times, so the fact that I can't simply use my content as-is is ludicrous. There's simply no excuse to leave powers out of the pdf itself. This is the age of high-speed internet, you're not saving anyone any time by scrapping half of the article.

This reminds me of when Bradygames released the Final Fantasy IX player's guide, and required buyers to utilize the PlayOnline service to get the guide's full content. Needless to say, there's a reason that sort of thing didn't become the norm.

I can only hope there ends up being an errata that adds the powers into the basic pdf, and if not then I can only hope that future articles leave all the content right where they belong--in the pdf itself. I've never been interested in any part of D&Di beyond the articles, and I'll be darned if I'm forced into utilizing tools I want no part of just to get the information I'm actually looking for.

This compendium is supposed to be a resource index, not the only source.

It's a preview, it will be in hardcover eventually anyway. DDI exclusive preview, we're getting what we're paying for. It came out already included in the compendium AND Character builder. There is really only one build in there so if you are making one the old fashioned way without the CB, it's all right there in order. Nothing you can't go around by using the prnt scrn button on your keyboard and cutting it out.

If you ask me, WotC went all out with this and rewarded the customer. Stop complaining, you can simply make a character in the CB anyhow.
I started a thread in the Future Release forum a few days raising the same concern. I kinda thought maybe i was the only one who was annoyed at the lack of a printable article since everyone was all over my case there. I use a Mac so the Character Builder isn't an option for me and bringing the compendium to the table isnt possible either.

People keep saying they are giving us something for "free", so we shouldn't complain. This isnt quite true. We are paying for a service and they have chosen to add an extra feature to that service. The new Debut content is no more "free" than the Class Acts articles or the Character Builder: it all part of a package that we are paying money for. They seem perfectly content to charge us money to playtest one build of their classes at a time in full PDF form, i see no reason they can't do the same with the Debut content that we are also paying to see.
To try and expand on what others are saying:

The Psion (and other yet unnamed PHB3 content - presumably more classes/races/feats/goodies) is D&D Insider Exclusive Debut content.

During this exclusive debut/preview it is only available in D&D Insider (the CB and the Compendium) - but in a year (give or take) it will also be appearing for everyone in the format of the Player's Handbook 3.

This debut/preview content sits outside the conventional formats of the magazines or other published sources - for now.

The entire point at this time it to try and reward subscribers for, well, being subscribers - to add value to our subscriptions.

The rest of the PHB3 content will, presumably, be delivered in this format as well. This isn't, necessarily, an anti-piracy step, but more an attempt to keep it DDI exclusive (again, to add/maintain value for us).

Since the content in also in today Character Builder update any and all rules sources a subscriber needs to play a Psion can be printed out and carried to the table with them - a 24/7 connection is not required, though it may help to print the psionic power article out and take it along with you as well.

Does that help explain why the content was delivered as it has been?
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

When Wizards first announced the free previews of 4E there was about a dozen threads on how this would make Dragon nothing more than ad vehicle so should be free.

So it was stated that the content wasn't going to be taking up dragon space.
Now: We have at least two posters (probably many more as all Mac users are likely to be somewhat to greatly annoyed by it) who are upset about the lack of articles.

Essentially the morale: Wizards can't win for losing.
Is it LFR legal? Or do we have to wait for the compilation on this one. Came up in discussion.
Yes everything can be printed out, the new format just makes it more of a pain to do so. I enjoy having the previews so I am willing to pay for them. I enjoy having developers comment of why they made the decisions they did in designing the class. What I do not enjoy is having to waste more time getting the class in a format that more readily accommodates printing without wasting ink.
Is it LFR legal? Or do we have to wait for the compilation on this one. Came up in discussion.

Still hunting for the article where they said it was. I'm sure they said it, just can't find it yet.

Edit : Found it, sorta.

The LFR Character Creation Guide Update Doc indicates in the PDF that D&D Insider Character Builder Debut Content is valid for RPGA play.
The entire point at this time it to try and reward subscribers for, well, being subscribers - to add value to our subscriptions.

The exact same reasoning was given for the class Playtest articles, and yet they came in PDF format as well the Character Builder.

Since the content in also in today Character Builder update any and all rules sources a subscriber needs to play a Psion can be printed out and carried to the table with them - a 24/7 connection is not required, though it may help to print the psionic power article out and take it along with you as well.

I use a Mac (non-intel) and thus i can't use the Character Builder. If they would have just made a PDF and put it on the CB/Compendium like all the other DDI material, then every subscriber, regardless of what OS they use, would be able to print out a copy to bring to the table.
The exact same reasoning was given for the class Playtest articles, and yet they came in PDF format as well the Character Builder.

True, but the playtest articles were for classes that were still in development so the PDF content may have changed in part or even wholesale between our PDFs and final publication.

These are (we've been told) complete/finished content - and it's a year or so early. I can see why this is being given a little extra "oomph".

I use a Mac (non-intel) and thus i can't use the Character Builder. If they would have just made a PDF and put it on the CB/Compendium like all the other DDI material, then every subscriber, regardless of what OS they use, would be able to print out a copy to bring to the table.

Well, if having a copy to read is that big of a deal, and assuming you don't know anyone with a PC wherein you could install the CB, even temporarily - you can still copy/paste the information into a word processor and read it that way if its that important to you.

Sure, it takes a little more legwork, but I can appreciate wanting to have all the data in front of you to absorb/digest.
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

They have the API out for accessing hte compendium. All it takes is someone with a bit of XML skill to write up a page that can create a printer-friendly version of the Psion that would just require you to enter your DDI login info to make it work. I'm sure if enough people think it's worth it someone will do it.
Sure, it takes a little more legwork, but I can appreciate wanting to have all the data in front of you to absorb/digest.

Yeah...i guess im going to have to start getting to work on that.

My biggest concern is that if no one complains to WotC about the lack of PDFs, if they decide to add new features in the future they may decide that it is in their best interest to make content only available to current customers in lieu of downloadables. Since they don't seem to be interested in supporting Mac OS, it makes me worried about the direction they may choose to go with new DDI content in the future.
It's advertised as being the finished version of the class, so the argument that it's coming out later in a book doesn't hold water. It's especially unforgivable because they increased the price of the subscription based on the premise of releasing finished products early. As such, they need to give subscribers a usable, finished product. The OP has every right to be angry.
It's advertised as being the finished version of the class, so the argument that it's coming out later in a book doesn't hold water. It's especially unforgivable because they increased the price of the subscription based on the premise of releasing finished products early. As such, they need to give subscribers a usable, finished product. The OP has every right to be angry.

The price increase coincides with PH3 preview material but is not the reason for the price increase. The price increase is because the introductory pricing has finally ended. Also to 'make up for the increase' they're giving us DDI exclusive content with continued support like the revenant and assassin (as opposed to things like the minotaur and gnoll races that got an article then nothing after that though the minotaur at least is moving to a PH).

The article IS usable, its just not as 'convenient' as some people would like. They want it to fit a purpose it wasn't meant to cover. True the CB isn't usable by everyone but the compendium is and all the promised content is in both of those resources. They also only promised ONE build of each previewed class if that's what you're referring to so they delivered on what they promised (as well as 2 PPs and 6 feats).
It's advertised as being the finished version of the class, so the argument that it's coming out later in a book doesn't hold water. It's especially unforgivable because they increased the price of the subscription based on the premise of releasing finished products early. As such, they need to give subscribers a usable, finished product. The OP has every right to be angry.

No, it is a preview, there is only one build, so it isn't the full content. They already explained also that the price increase has nothing to do with the PHB3 previews, 'nuff said.

If you are a subscriber, there is no reason you can't use the product because of the simple fact that you can make it in the CB. I personally wouldn't go to a game session without a character already made, so the fact that it is all online at the moment doesn't bother me one bit. Just go old school and write 'em down with info from the compendium, nothing to get worked up about.

Also, it will be released in the original format in March, that has been confirmed. Be happy we can have it now.
No, it is a preview, there is only one build, so it isn't the full content. They already explained also that the price increase has nothing to do with the PHB3 previews, 'nuff said.

If you are a subscriber, there is no reason you can't use the product for the simple fact that you can make it in the CB. I personally wouldn't go to a game session to completely build a character from the ground up because of the simple fact I have a printed copy of all the powers, just go old school and write 'em down.

Also, it will be released in the original format in March, that has been confirmed. Be happy we can have it now.

Did you read the email that they sent you? They said they're upping the content, especially including fully finished products (READ: NOT PREVIEW) (and as a side note, it says that in either ampersand or the editorial as well). That's the reason for the price hike.

Being forced to use the CB is a pain because you have to make a character just to view the options. It's inconvenient. And for feats, you have to screw around with stats just to be sure that you can see them.

And, if I'm paying extra money for the content, I'd better not have to manually copy them down when the developers could just get an intern to type them up. Again, the OP has a right to be angry about this.
Did you read the email that they sent you? They said they're upping the content, especially including fully finished products (READ: NOT PREVIEW) (and as a side note, it says that in either ampersand or the editorial as well). That's the reason for the price hike.

Being forced to use the CB is a pain because you have to make a character just to view the options. It's inconvenient. And for feats, you have to screw around with stats just to be sure that you can see them.

And, if I'm paying extra money for the content, I'd better not have to manually copy them down when the developers could just get an intern to type them up. Again, the OP has a right to be angry about this.

The Psion is one build of the full class. We do not get the full class in this preview of the Psion. They also aren't asking for feedback, since it's not a playtest.
The article IS usable, its just not as 'convenient' as some people would like. They want it to fit a purpose it wasn't meant to cover.

Fit a purpose it wasn't meant to cover? The purpose is to make it usable at the table. Right now, i have to copy down the entire class myself if i want to show it to my DM.
Actually Ghost thats not the intent of the article. The article is really just to introduce the psion class. CB (For non-mac users) allows it to be played at the table readily.
Fit a purpose it wasn't meant to cover? The purpose is to make it usable at the table. Right now, i have to copy down the entire class myself if i want to show it to my DM.

Well, it is true that it is now more difficult to share the entire contents of the preview with another person who isn't a subscriber (assuming you have no computer available at hand). Which I think was part of the goal.

But I can't imagine this hindering most character creation via this - print out the class description from the compendium, and the half-dozen powers you plan to have the character take. Show them to the DM. Use them in the game. Problem solved, without all that much inconvenience at all. Even less, if using the Character Builder itself.
I am sick of dealing with companies that think the best way to stave off the criminal is to punish the legal customer

This.

It's basically what I complain of here
It's a free preview of a book people have to pay for eventually, that we'll have 50% of by then. I don't mind at all if they feel like protecting the content, and I don't feel it punishes me because it's for character building, which means once you've built it in the CB, you don't need to reference the pdf. Sheesh.
Yours, Dave the Brave
Please try and see the greater picture. Printed material will become obsolete one day. I know this is hard to comprehend for some of you, but it will happen. One day we will not print stuff anymore. Think Kindle.

D&D will either die, or go the digital way. And I'm very happy to see that they are shifting their business model away from print towards digital. Unlike the New York Times which is a dying company, because they haven't figured out yet how to replace print subscription with something that pays their fleet of editors with online revenue.

Everything you see right now and possibly whine about is about this, the new digital age. DDi subscribers are going to see more and more benefits, without totally alienating the print only customers. But one day, D&D will be digital only. Perhaps 5th edition will be online only already.

Bookmark my post, and pull it back up when it happens.

Now just enjoy the privileges of being in the know.
It's a free preview of a book people have to pay for eventually, that we'll have 50% of by then. I don't mind at all if they feel like protecting the content, and I don't feel it punishes me because it's for character building, which means once you've built it in the CB, you don't need to reference the pdf. Sheesh.

It doesn't protect it at all though. That's one of the issues. Pirates get access to the CB and then still have access to it. If they made it compendium only then you would see the information spread throughout the internet via copy/paste. Every single attempt to stop pirates ends up hurting those of us who have paid for the stuff. I buy the books I pay for DDI. I don't understand why Wizards doesn't get that what they're doing is hurting me and those who pay more than the pirates.
I'm a subscriber who feels annoyed by the links. I don't like them at all.
The psion article basically reflects what I've come to expect from WotC's online efforts ... one part shining brilliance mixed through with two parts complete, brain-numbing stupidity.

On the up side ...

Commentary: Yes, more please. The Design and Development rambles are one thing, but having annotations directly discussing the things that are on the page is much more informative.

New stuff: If you must have a paid preview this is how to do it. The Augmentation keyword is something new and intriguing that would make a selling point for the book. The box on page 8, along with the Level-3 or Level-7 At Will powers could have made a preview on their own that would be more worthwhile than the usual Paragon Paths and Feat summary tables.

And Yet ....

There's Something Missing: We've really done pretty poorly as far as 'learning the secrets of the psion class'. We only get one build and, presumably, only half the potential powers that build would have access to. Given that none of the powers appear to provide an extra benefit for the Telepathy Focus (though it's possible those entries were simply omitted) the missing powers are presumably almost as useful for this build as the other, so it would have been nice to see them included. Worse, in my mind, is the dearth of feats provided. Six? Really? I'd be hurting for class-related feats if I tried to make a character from this, even taking something like Exchange Power which I wouldn't exactly be rushing to.

Death By Previews: This is a paid preview, on a service which is already swimming in previews. Admittedly it comes closer to being actually useful than any preview or playtest thus far, but I really don't see enough support here to make a character, let alone two, which makes it less a useful play aid and more a huge advertisement.

Link Through: Pages 11 to 13 are wrong in two distinct ways. First, the links are not going to keep the data contained. If (and I don't know if this is the case, but I'd hardly be surprised) there is an issue with people disseminating subscription data to non-subscribers, it will be dissemenated just as easily from the Compendium as from a PDF article. All the links achieve are to ensure people who download the article from DDI won't get the full info, and encourage legitimate users to make copies of the Compendium info in the event they need to access it. Second, having decided to provide the information only by Compendium and CB why are these pages even there? Why waste someone's time typesetting and formatting 3 pages when the article could just as well say 'Look in your databases for powers and feats' for exactly the same effect? Hmmm ... actually it does say that. On page 10.

The intent seems to have been solid and there are places where that shines through. The execution, as with much of DDI, leaves a good deal to be desired.
+ one thousand agree with you.

It's just painfully stupid. It looks like ones can only run a psionic if he is a suscriber to the insider... $$$$

Being a huge fan of psionics, I--and many others in my gaming group--have been waiting to see the new Psion for some time. When it came out today, though, to say I was disappointed in the presentation is an understatement.

Now, I didn't hate it all, mind you. I really love the class itself, as a starting point for psionics, and I like the addition of developer commentary in little sidebars. HOWEVER...and this is the major caveat that completely ruins the article's usefulness...

You can't use it as a standalone feature. Unless you copy the powers, or something, it's completely reliant on the Compendium to actually see any powers. This, if you ask me, is completely unforgivable and a sure way to lose at least this subscriber if it becomes the norm.

I'm not connected to the internet 24/7, nor do I rely on browsers being open at all times, so the fact that I can't simply use my content as-is is ludicrous. There's simply no excuse to leave powers out of the pdf itself. This is the age of high-speed internet, you're not saving anyone any time by scrapping half of the article.

This reminds me of when Bradygames released the Final Fantasy IX player's guide, and required buyers to utilize the PlayOnline service to get the guide's full content. Needless to say, there's a reason that sort of thing didn't become the norm.

I can only hope there ends up being an errata that adds the powers into the basic pdf, and if not then I can only hope that future articles leave all the content right where they belong--in the pdf itself. I've never been interested in any part of D&Di beyond the articles, and I'll be darned if I'm forced into utilizing tools I want no part of just to get the information I'm actually looking for.

This compendium is supposed to be a resource index, not the only source.

+ one thousand agree with you.

It's just painfully stupid. It looks like ones can only run a psionic if he is a suscriber to the insider... $$$$

Well. . . that would be what DDI Exclusive means. . .
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

sorry, but do you really believe what you are saying here ?

there is only one, uno, une, ein, reason to publish this article under that way:
to forbid to print it and give it to everyone.

now, each of us can agree or disagree with this publishing way.

To try and expand on what others are saying:

The Psion (and other yet unnamed PHB3 content - presumably more classes/races/feats/goodies) is D&D Insider Exclusive Debut content.

During this exclusive debut/preview it is only available in D&D Insider (the CB and the Compendium) - but in a year (give or take) it will also be appearing for everyone in the format of the Player's Handbook 3.

This debut/preview content sits outside the conventional formats of the magazines or other published sources - for now.

The entire point at this time it to try and reward subscribers for, well, being subscribers - to add value to our subscriptions.

The rest of the PHB3 content will, presumably, be delivered in this format as well. This isn't, necessarily, an anti-piracy step, but more an attempt to keep it DDI exclusive (again, to add/maintain value for us).

Since the content in also in today Character Builder update any and all rules sources a subscriber needs to play a Psion can be printed out and carried to the table with them - a 24/7 connection is not required, though it may help to print the psionic power article out and take it along with you as well.

Does that help explain why the content was delivered as it has been?

Well. . . that would be what DDI Exclusive means. . .

yes. But, as I'm DM'ing how can I suggest this class to my players ?
how can I read this in the train, or my bath or where ever I want to read it ?

I (and obviously, others) don't like this way of doing it. For the first time, I'm really dispointed with the DDI editorial and publishing policy.
I think the point is that up until now, you could have a printed reference straight from Dragon/Dungeon of the content. So if you're totally offline, in the pen-and-paper world, you can't use it.

Plus it brings into question whether it's legal for Living Forgotten Realms play... I think it has to be IN the magazine to be used... not just in the Compendium/CB. That may have been indicated in one of the other articles, but I can't find it right now.

If you are offline, then you really shouldn't have access to it. That's part of the reason why they did it this way. One to save space, as people complain about having to print out to many pages, and two, so it can't be just printed out and scanned in and posted all over the place.

It is in the magazine, and the Comp/CB. So i guess that makes it official. You are allowed to share this info with your gaming group, even if they aren't DDi subscribers, because you are allowed to use it in your game, and that would mean you would have to share it. They just don't want you making copies and handing them out to anyone you know playing.
+ they ALWAYS said you'll get this material ONLY via CB and Compendium!
When you wanted to be angry, your WAY late.
It's a free preview of a book people have to pay for eventually, that we'll have 50% of by then. I don't mind at all if they feel like protecting the content, and I don't feel it punishes me because it's for character building, which means once you've built it in the CB, you don't need to reference the pdf. Sheesh.

It's not free at all. Did you forget that they hand you a bill every month?
The whole thing is pretty dubious.

They promised us a suite of computerized game-aids with our subscriptions, but then turned around and stopped development on all but the character builder. Truth is, for what I was paying, the Character Builder, the Compendium, Dragon and Dungeon are worth it (though Dungeon was a bit skimpy last issue). Still they need that extra money, so they're going to raise our rates even though they have nothing more to give us. Casting about for some way to justify the increase (and stave off a rebellion), they've decided to "graciously" offer us content that they've already completed (i.e. not really an extra effort on their part) and that they intend to sell to us a 2nd time when it comes out in paper format. End result: My rates go up, and all I get is a less than useful preview of something I'm already planning to buy. At the same time, they get thousands of proof readers.

My question: Does this count as a down-payment on the PHB3, or am I really supposed to pay for this twice?
sorry, but do you really believe what you are saying here ?

there is only one, uno, une, ein, reason to publish this article under that way:
to forbid to print it and give it to everyone.

now, each of us can agree or disagree with this publishing way.

Except it's a trivial matter to copy/paste the entries from the Compendium.

Yes, WotC has stopped PDF distribution of books for anti-piracy concerns, but that isn't the reason here.

It's as I stated - an attempt to keep the content DDI exclusive.
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

yes. But, as I'm DM'ing how can I suggest this class to my players ?

Make a sample character and show them the results. Let them borrow your CB and get a feel for it themselves.

how can I read this in the train, or my bath or where ever I want to read it ?

Now here we get into the meat of the issue - do people like the method. That's up to each of us to decide.

Personally, I'm on the fence.

I (and obviously, others) don't like this way of doing it. For the first time, I'm really dispointed with the DDI editorial and publishing policy.

As is your right.
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