So no more than a week after they announced pulling the plug on Gleemax to focus on the electronics D&D Insider stuff that was supposed to launch with D&D 4e but didn’t, Wizards has announced the next part of D&DI that will be ready for players to use. Which is it?
- Is it the character builder? No, that’s still in development.
- The character visualizer? No, no date on that yet.
- Is it the game table? No, that’s a long way off, they say. It’s complicated. No one’s ever done a virtual gaming table before.
Give up? That’s right, the new feature is that they’re going to start charging for it now. No, nothing more is coming online. Although they promise to get the DMG rules into the Rules Compendium. But you do get the honor of starting to pay $5 to $8 a month, depending on how many months you buy in advance. That’s so sweet that I’m having a hard time expressing how sweet it is.
And check out what you get! The Rules Compendium! Check out this screen shot of the boss interface.
That’s… boss. The bossest thing I’ve ever seen probably. Now search in it! (No, there’s no typeahead or cool Ajax stuff, who do you think you are?) The coolest thing about it is that the Rules Compendium doesn’t have the actual rules in it. Like, search on “blinded” and you can see the nine powers that blind someone – but not the rules definition of “blinded,” for example. Awesome.
Let’s check out Dungeon Magazine! I’m sure it’ll be an awesome improvement over the old Paizo print mag, since 4e is so uber. Let’s see how many adventures they’ve come out with so far in 2008. January – 2 adventures. February – 3. March – 1. April – 0. May – 2. June – 3. July – 3 (and a Side Trek). Ah, finally, after a year and a half they’ve gotten back to where Paizo left off. Will they be able to keep it up? Let’s see. Paizo was delivering 3 full adventures plus the other articles/Side Treks/comics per month every month. They’ve hit the goal one month in a row, I’m totally going to sign up for a 12 month stint! And it’s cool because it’s the same price I used to pay for a real print magazine!
So here’s my question.
Let’s say that I, in a moment of utter madness, purchase a year’s subscription. Let us also say that the promised features of DDI take 4 months or more to be implemented.
Has WotC opened itself up to a fraud lawsuit? I am paying for things that were promised but not delivered.
Or is it a sleazy case of, “You’re paying for access, not for content”?
Spot on about the rules compendium. The first thing I noticed was the lack of condition descriptions. Seeing as how those are the #1 thing I’m looking up over and over, it seems like a good thing to have in a rules database.
Oh how I already yearn for a 4E version of the hypertext d20 SRD…
I’d chide you for being unfair, but it would be silly, being as they totally deserve the thrashing they have brought unto themselves.
I have no big problem with 4e, I’m still putting it through the wringer, as 3.5/Pathfinder is my chosen direction.
One piece of advice though, Don’t give in to hating it because you must, it’s an easy way of painting oneself into a corner.
That said, Game on!
@Erin – I suspect the latter. They’re being careful not to commit to any dates on any of it.
@Donny – I still hold hope in my heart that they’ll turn around and get on the right path sometime. I mock them for their own good. Clark Peterson has the “be really nice to them and hope that works” angle covered. I’m taking the “publicize their malfeasance and maybe shame will shape them up” angle. (Getting their initial even-more-evil GSL direction slashdotted seemed to help on that issue, so I have some reason to believe it’s effective.) I wouldn’t be busting their balls if I didn’t care about D&D and Wizards. Palladium’s pretty gooney as a company but eh, not my problem.
Just an update, but the article linked to with the list of virtual table tops has moved to a new domain: