Sunday, September 6, 2009, 8:27 PM
Have you read the new ToU?
I've glanced over it and afterward I was shocked. I will no longer post any ideas, optimizations, or anything else that constitutes an idea about Dungeons & Dragons. Why you ask? Because WotC (Wizards of the Coast) have once again shown what their true motivations are. They have pretty much blatantly taken the rights away for anything that you post. Basically if you post a new feat, they can steal it and use it however they want without telling you or compensating you in any way (not even a credit in the book). When you signed up to use the 'community site' you had to agree to this to be able to join. So basically they can use anything you post, and you can't use it in anyway because they now 'irrevocably' own the rights to it.
Sad isn't it? I mean if they just wanted to protect themselves they could have put something in like they did with the GSL. Something along the lines of if they publish something that was previously published without knowing it, they would try to figure out who published first and then the copyright would immediately revert to that entity. Not so here, if you so much as mention it, they own it now. So that means I can no longer visit the whole D&D fundamentals section of the forums, or I might be tempted to post an idea or two and feed the beast so to speak. I also won't set foot into the houserules & homebrew section because everything in there is a potential time bomb for when WotC takes the ideas and uses them in one of their 'official' products.
Really it is getting harder and harder to be a fan of Dungeons & Dragons, first all the lies about the GT (Game Table) and CV (Character Visualizer) then the whole hoopla about the DDI price, and online books. Now we have this idea sucking blackhole called the 'community site'. What's next WotC? if we buy one of your books you come collect our soul?
I'm seriously considering looking for another hobby. This is just way too much crap to put up with just to play a moderately fun game.
Remember kiddies 'teamwork' is doing someone else's job so they don't have to!
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Sunday, September 6, 2009, 5:42 AM
Friar's Almanac is finally finished and out the door. In case you don't know Friar's Almanac is an alternative to Dragon and Dungeon magazine where you can get 3rd party GSL content that is much more dynamic than what WotC (Wizards of the Coast) offers in their magazines.
Included are things like adventure ideas, NPCs, monsters, campaign ideas, how-to articles, and reviews of the latest WotC modules and products. There is even a whole section devoted to reviews and pre-views of D&D related software. We also cover non-D&D roleplaying games, and have content that can be used for previous editions.
In case you're wondering yes we do take submissions. Feel free to message me if you have a submission or if you find something that needs to be changed. There is compensation, though it is completely based on the advertisers and number of subscribers for that month. We will take any kind of article so long as it falls under the rules of the GSL and doesn't violate anyones IP (intellectual property).
You can get it at Drive Thru RPG (google it), under the company Dark Spire. Its free, I did mention its free right?
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Friday, September 4, 2009, 10:00 AM
I have to say I'm impressed with the two tools that WotC (Wizards of the Coast) have put out so far. The character builder is a nice peice of software that allows me to view every power, feat, race, class, class feature, and item in the game without having a subscription to DDI. It also speed up character creation by at least 50%.
The monster builder is also a nice tool it lets me create monsters from scratch or cobble one together from the powers of other monsters. It also pre-calculates the numbers for me and it allows me to see every monster in the game, once again without having to have a current subscription to DDI (you do need to have one initially to download it and get the first update though).
Now the only problem I have is that these programs are ONLY for window$ users. Mac users can't use them. WotC said at one time they were interested in porting them, but they never got back to us. So here is what I'm going to do. I am going to put a poll up and see many people use Other operating systems and want the tools to be ported over.
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Monday, August 31, 2009, 1:53 PM
After doing some research I've come to the conclusion that the people that are doing the actual work at WotC are not really that bad. They seem to genuinely care about their work and the fanbase.
Management on the other hand has a serious problem. It all started way back when they were talking about releasing the GT(game table) and CV(character visualizer). Then all of a sudden there are three sets of layoffs with some big names in D&D on the list. Then there is a hiring freeze, then another small layoff. Then they are left with 2 programmers for a 10 programmer job. They constantly decide to take the quick money instead of looking ahead to see what will keep people interested in the long run. I'm sorry, but they should require the management to play the different games that they produce and go out and socialize with the kinds of people that play them. This way they at least have a general idea of what the fanbase wants, or they will have a chance of spotting a bad idea before they sign off on it.
Lets let them know what we think about it.
Hopefully with this information they will choose to start making good decisions.
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Saturday, August 29, 2009, 6:52 PM
I was in error in my previous blog.
Crap, the old Gleemax Forums are gone! is how I now feel.
I'm sorry, but I recently found out they are making in excess of 38k per month off DDI, so there is no excuse for this kind of screw up anymore. They need to hire real development teams to handle each project. Their managers should be required to have real experience in managing these kinds of projects. This kind of stuff should not happen in a company of this size with this kind of income. It is purely unacceptable.
Some of the 'feature ideas' were nice, but their implementation speaks of inexperience and a lack of even basic knowledge in those areas.
I am a programmer and I used to program websites at a small company. I'm sorry, but I could have done better than this even back then.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009, 7:37 PM
Wizards finally got rid of that monster of a disable forum: Gleemax. It was about time to destroy that thing. It did nothing but make everyones lives horrible. It really was the worst thing that wizards has done in a while (well aside from all the GT and CV stuff).
Dark Spire is about to release a new magazine. It should be relatively cheap or even free. It will include reviews of various products. Several interesting articles about custom content as well as things like free monsters, items, quest ideas, adventure ideas, campaign ideas. It will also have a section devoted to computerized dungeons and dragons where we will review various 1st party and 3rd party tools that make playing D&D much easier. So if your interested head on over to www.drivethrurpg.com and look up Dark Spire.
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