Besides being a developer, an occasional designer, a D&Di columnist, and a sometimes miniature painter, I'm also one of the members of the D&D update team.
Roughly once a week I sit in a room with Greg Bilsland and Charles Arnett where we go over pages and pages of potential updates to the game. It usually starts with Greg handing out a long list of paper, churns into all of us going over books and twisting our heads around issues both simple and sublime, and ends in me going on some frenzied (and often humorous, if I do say so myself) tangent about something that’s bugs me about our game.
Ultimately we find solutions. Some questions go back to development; sometimes taking up large chunks of our weekly meeting or spinning off into a meeting of its own. Final decisions are made, and then compiled into the update document that goes on to Andy Collins, the Development and Editing Manager. He gets feedback from key members of the staff (including the eagle-eyed editor Jeremy Crawford, and development lead Stephen Schubert), sometimes asks us why we came up with some solutions and not others, and from time to time challenge us to create a better solution than the one we presented.
At the end of this process, a document gets sent to the data team, who fix files and tweak programming, and update documents are laid out and put up on the website for those not using the character builder or that don’t have access to D&Di.
And this is how we fix issues in D&D.
The current updates, that went live today, were months in the making. We had roughly 70% of the updates complete prior to Gen Con this year, but had to make strategic decisions on which ones to release because of scheduling constraints, so we picked the ones that would likely affect Gen Con play the most and left the rest for today.
I’m very happy to see that folks on the 4e optimization board not only understand the need for many of the fixes, but approve of them. Many are even rejoicing over them. It’s always our goal to make D&D better. That’s what ever single one of us who work in R&D (and those freelancers that work outside these cubes) strives to do each and every day. I hope many of you appreciate that, as much as we appreciate your love and devotion to the greatest game in existence (and I don’t think that’s hyperbole BTW).
Well, see you, I am off to another update meeting!