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View Full Version : Ask Wizards: 09/05/2007 [DISCUSSION]



PnP News Bot
09-05-2007, 12:22 AM
http://www.wizards.com/books/images/dnd_logo_small.jpg

Check out this new article Wizards of the Coast posted recently:

Ask Wizards: 09/05/2007 (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ask/20070905a)

What is the subscription price for D&D Insider?

Farcaster
09-05-2007, 01:18 AM
between the cost of a single print issue of Dragon magazine and the monthly fee of a MMORPG (in other words, between $10 and $15).

WHAT??! You have got to be frikken kidding me! This is a pen and paper game. It is not an MMPOG! Why in the world would I want to pay $10-$15 per month just a digital publication and a few online tools?

PhishStyx
09-05-2007, 01:52 AM
In fact, I've wondered this for a while

Dragon and DungeonIs there some significant difference between these two magazines?

Why does WOTC need 2 online magazines at all?

And perhaps I don't quite understand, but these are basically WOTC shill-machines, right?

Just as a reference, Palladium's Rifter, which appear to be a similar product are priced at $10.95.
EDIT: I forgot to mention earlier that the Rifter is a soft cover book print product. Sorry about that.

starfalconkd
09-05-2007, 07:00 AM
...They are out of their f*****g minds. An online magazine subscription and a bunch of little tools are not worth that. I'd pay $5 if I ever intended to do it at all.

Moritz
09-05-2007, 08:12 AM
Hum, let's review.

MMORPG's make a lot of money. WotC wants to make a lot of money.

There's a sucker born every day. WotC knows this and wants the sucker's money.

WotC creates products to make money. The more products they create, the more money they stand to make.

Were Dungeon and Dragon magazines discontinued? If so, it's just another medium in which to sell something and make another buck.

TheYeti1775
09-05-2007, 11:19 AM
If it's that high, I won't be subscribing.
Wife and a 7yr old son will prevent that. If it's something like $3-5/month not a problem. Then you have to figure in, any kind of annual renewal discount.
And have they announced if old stuff will be accessible if you let it lapse?

InfoStorm
09-05-2007, 12:23 PM
I'm with the Yeti.

The MMORPG I play is the one of the few I've found with NO monthly fee. I've got a mortgage and family to take care of. It's the reason I haven't bought any books since last Christmas and that's that. A monthly fee to play my D&D? NOT. I quit a large live RPG group because they started charging.

Moritz
09-05-2007, 12:29 PM
Yeah, we pay enough for the books already. Screw paying for extras. Hell, I'm half inclined to use uTorrent.

TheYeti1775
09-05-2007, 01:34 PM
Yeah, we pay enough for the books already. Screw paying for extras. Hell, I'm half inclined to use uTorrent.
There's easier ways than that.
Google is your friend.
:D Not that I condone it. :D

But really it takes me about 3-4 links with a proper search on Google for any WOTC book, and not more than 10 links usually for the Bigger Name D20 companies (Green Ronin / Mongoose) to find the PDF's of the books.

Do I feel bad about downloading these when I find them? Nope I don't. Course I usually have any book (the real hard copy) that I've found for downloading so far.

Sad part is since I pre-order my books through the year via Amazon, many times I can find the PDF before I even receive the book in the mail.

ajmuszkiewicz
09-05-2007, 02:11 PM
Well, I have to say that if you don't plan on using the online tools or the material from Dungeon or Dragon, then no, the subscription fee is not worth it. If you do use material from Dragon and adventures from Dungeon, the price becomes more sensible. I was paying about that every month to buy print issues, and to be honest, at this point in my life, I really don't need anything else clogging up my bookshelves. Add to that the online tools and game table, with integration of the material from the magazines (and whatever WotC published books you buy), and the price is a lot more reasonable. I myself would most likely use the online game table, character creator and DM toolkit, so really, for me, I'd be paying for those things. Dungeon and Dragon are just a plus.

RealmsDM
09-05-2007, 06:14 PM
lets face it.. pdf's are useful, but nothing beats a hard copy.Like farcaster said, this is a P&P game- not World of Warcraft. They're trying to pull a fast one on us for some crappy DM tools and online role playing- things we cant do/find on our own for free.

Moritz
09-05-2007, 06:16 PM
I have a printer

Skunkape
09-06-2007, 06:54 AM
While I have no problems paying an online subscription fee, I'm currently playing 2 mmorpgs, I'm not sure I like the idea of adding a computer to my table top gaming experience. While I've been looking at the advantages of having a computer there, from adding sound to the game to using some kind of instant messaging system, (see example here (http://www.ultimategamingtable.org/)) to communicate with the players for notes, fundamentally, there's just something wrong with having a computer at a table top game.

When I finally get around to building my dedicated gaming room, which is somewhere in the next 5 to 10 years, then I might add a computer to the mix, but I donít think Iíll be subscribing to Wizardís new service. While I do like the idea of character builders and DM tools, I currently own DMGenie, I think thatís what Iíll be using for the near future because the cost of the Wizard's subscription just doesnít add enough value, at least to me.

Hopefully they'll let us demo the service before we have to sign up.

ajmuszkiewicz
09-06-2007, 07:15 AM
I use a computer (the same MacBook Pro I'm writing this on right now) at the gaming table every time I sit down. Every shred of information is right here at my fingertips. Every rule, every race, every class, every feat.

I used to be of the "nothing beats a book" mentality, but since I got my laptop, I've realized that all that paper has just been slowing me down. Now, I usually read every book on the laptop in pdf before I ever think about buying a physical copy. The last things I need is another shelf of textbook-sized pulped trees in my apartment.

Is a book better than a desktop? Of course! Would I be using a computer at the gaming table if it wasn't a laptop? Of course not!

I just gamed with a new group on Friday, bringing my laptop to the table. Each time the game started to get bogged down with rules, I simply opened up the laptop and found the answer before anyone else could even get a book out. The DM was so impressed that he remarked how much he envied my tool (and appreciated the skinny on how Improved Grab works) and really needed to get one of his own.

But really, the strengths of the tools that WotC is producing has little to do with at-the-gaming-table time. Really, only the online gaming table will be an at-the-table tool, and even that's mostly designed for online play. The biggest advantage of these tools (like the character creator and the DM's toolkit) is on the GAME PREP side. Personally, I think any help with that side of the game is worth the paltry sum they're asking for.

Could you do any of this stuff without DDI's online tools? Sure you could. Is it worth paying a bit extra every month (on top of your regular games budget) to have these services? If you'll use them, yes emphatically; if you won't, of course not.

ajmuszkiewicz
09-06-2007, 07:24 AM
They're trying to pull a fast one on us for some crappy DM tools and online role playing- things we cant do/find on our own for free.

I'll assume you meant "things we CAN do/find on our own."

And really, I have to ask, have you SEEN the videos from GenCon with the DDI tools? I'd really have to assume you haven't, if you can make a statement like that. If you have, then I implore you, WHERE CAN I FIND THEM????? I have scoured the internet looking for programs that do what the DDI tools will do and have always come up short.

Where can I find a 3d virtual game table top that uses virtual DnD minis that look like what I want them to? Or that use DDM minis for monsters? Where can I find this amazing tool that lets me edit my game maps on the fly while I'm playing the game?

The old adage says "don't knock it 'til you've tried it."

Not that I've tried it, I just really have a lot of hope that WotC will come out with the product that THEY'VE WANTED TO for the last 8 years. There's a reason eTools was dropped: it never did what WotC wanted. If WotC is pushing forward this DDI, it can only be because the tools do what they were designed to do.

Farcaster
09-06-2007, 11:54 AM
Where can I find a 3d virtual game table top that uses virtual DnD minis that look like what I want them to? Or that use DDM minis for monsters? Where can I find this amazing tool that lets me edit my game maps on the fly while I'm playing the game?

I've been pretty happy with KloOge, albeit a two-dimensional virtual gaming table. With KloOge, I can markup the map if I need to, and I can use images from online to make my minis. My regular game at this point is online, so I pretty much rely on this tool and it does a pretty good job. Best of all, it's a one time fee. If I'm only purchasing a subscription to DI for the tools, then I'm paying up to $180/yr for it. And I'd presume everyone at my gaming table would need to be a DI to logon to my game, so that's $720/yr for the four of us. That's asking a lot.

PhishStyx
09-06-2007, 01:24 PM
that's $720/yr for the four of us. That's asking a lot.

I think I should stick with just describing what's going on and sketching the occasional bad map out.

ajmuszkiewicz
09-06-2007, 02:55 PM
I've been pretty happy with KloOge, albeit a two-dimensional virtual gaming table.

Sorry, but KloOge just doesn't do it for me. For what I want, it's actually pretty lame (by my standards, that is).

The integration between these tools and Dungeon and Dragon as well as the published materials are something that I'm the only one talking about here. If I want to use an adventure out of Dungeon, I can just load the maps up on the gametable (I'd assume the same would be true of published modules I purchased as well) and everything will be there already; less prep work, more action. Similarly, if there's a character option (whether it be a feat, talent, race or whatever) in an issue of Dragon that I like (or, again, in a book that I buy), I'd be able to load that into the character creator. All of this with little to no work done on my part.

Am I paying for convenience? Yes. I'm also paying to have things done right the first time; I cannot tell you how many times I've mis-coded something for CharGen and had to go back and fix (or scrap) my work.

If you don't want those conveniences, don't pay for them.

Some_call_me_Tim
09-06-2007, 03:44 PM
"At Gen Con, we did state that the price would fall somewhere between the cost of a single print issue of Dragon magazine and the monthly fee of a MMORPG (in other words, between $10 and $15)."

I used to subscribe to both Dungeon and Dragon magazines that was $37.95 a year each; or about $6.33/month for a well-produced print magazine delivered to my door.

Now, WotC wants to double that price for online content.

One of the reason I don't play MMORPGs is the monthly cost. I don't always have time to play, yet I'm still having to pay that monthly fee. Great for the company, not so great for the consumer.

I hope they have an ala carte menu where I can get what I want/need without having to pay for things I won't use. I kinda doubt it though. WotC is making their stand based on what their marketing/finance departments think will boost their revenue the most, not what I want.

Besides if I wanted to play a MMORPG there are plenty out there, I want to play pen and paper with my friends. Just my two copper.

Rjrw92
09-07-2007, 01:28 PM
Plain and simple WoTC are greedy.

I think having a online tabletop in cool, but, if I wanted to play an online graphics based D&D, I've got NWN, and that's free. Or, I can play WOW for a fee that is less than what they want for the Insider.

The thing about D&D is you can own 3 books and thats all you need, actually, if you only want to play you really only need the PHB. Sure, all the expansions are cool, but they are not needed to play the game. I feel the same way about the Insider, I would love to be able to take advantage of some of the extras, but I am not going to pay a monthly fee for D&D, ever.



I will miss Dragon and Dungeon, they were good readings, however I never had a subscription, and rarely bought them because they are both close to $8 or $9 a month.

Like some of the posters said, having a hard copy of D&D product is much better than digital downloads.


Oh, well.. What Do I know about D&D, I've only been playing it for over a decade or two.

Grimwell
09-09-2007, 07:50 PM
The sky is not falling. :)

Yes, Wizards wants to profit. That's how they stay in business. Price is between the cost of a magazine and a MMO sub, and they are saying this early to gauge responses. I'm going to wager that this comes in under $10.

I love the idea of online tools, but have yet to find one that I think is any good for my picky needs. Here is to hoping theirs are good.

Being able to unlock the products I buy and have everything in the online tool is also huge. I have friends in multiple states that I still wish I could game with. If I could game with my local group and then turn around and run the same module a few times on the internet with old friends... that's HUGE.

It could suck, and it could be over priced - at which point we just don't buy it and someone (Pazio) steps in with print products to make us happy. This is just another option Wizards is throwing on the table, and provided that they don't break our arms for not using it, I'm not worried. I'll try it and decide from there.

ajmuszkiewicz
09-10-2007, 12:34 AM
The sky is not falling. :)

Yes, Wizards wants to profit. That's how they stay in business. Price is between the cost of a magazine and a MMO sub, and they are saying this early to gauge responses. I'm going to wager that this comes in under $10.

I love the idea of online tools, but have yet to find one that I think is any good for my picky needs. Here is to hoping theirs are good.

Being able to unlock the products I buy and have everything in the online tool is also huge. I have friends in multiple states that I still wish I could game with. If I could game with my local group and then turn around and run the same module a few times on the internet with old friends... that's HUGE.

It could suck, and it could be over priced - at which point we just don't buy it and someone (Pazio) steps in with print products to make us happy. This is just another option Wizards is throwing on the table, and provided that they don't break our arms for not using it, I'm not worried. I'll try it and decide from there.

AMEN.

Farcaster
09-10-2007, 11:38 AM
Being able to unlock the products I buy and have everything in the online tool is also huge. I have friends in multiple states that I still wish I could game with. If I could game with my local group and then turn around and run the same module a few times on the internet with old friends... that's HUGE.

You can do that now. I run a game for my old group in Dallas using the Video chat of Skype (free) and KloOge for our battle mat (~$35 I think it was). I'm not saying the concept of online tools isn't appealing. What I'm saying is that it would have to be amazingly impressive to be worth $180 per year. I very much doubt the tools on their own are going to be worth shelling that much out, so I suspect you'd also have to be interested in their online publication.

Perhaps if they provide a la carte pricing...

Rjrw92
09-11-2007, 06:38 AM
Not sure if I would say I classify my post as a sky is falling post, but whatever...

As far as pricing, as it stands the two mags in print are both around $11 a piece.. Point being, it could be a good deal you are correct.. If they charge $10 and you get all the tools they are talking about (Gaming table, etc).

RealmsDM
09-11-2007, 12:42 PM
just to get up to speed here, does Paizo or another company have plans to continue with print fantasy RPG mags? (Other than Pathfinder, which seems to be a fancy version of Dungeon, which is fine with me)

And, is the rumor I heard true- is WotC planning on cancelling the OGL?

With all this, sites like this one will become all the more important to gamers. Thanks Farcaster!

Farcaster
09-11-2007, 01:16 PM
And, is the rumor I heard true- is WotC planning on cancelling the OGL?

With all this, sites like this one will become all the more important to gamers. Thanks Farcaster!

No, it is not true. According to their press release, the OGL will be available in 4th edition... And, you're welcome. :cool:

rabkala
09-11-2007, 06:39 PM
The OGL is there so that WoTC doesn't have to concentrate on things they do not feel are profitable enough.

I was a huge fan of Dungeon, but not Dragon so much. I do prefer the hard copy as I prefer a good table top game over computer assisted nonsense. I can't see the cost as reasonable.

The sky might not be falling, but the ground is moving beneath our feet.

RealmsDM
09-11-2007, 08:28 PM
I can't be alone in the fact that I like the feeling of flipping through a new mag- browsing it on the train to work, before bed, on lunch- online magz & materials just dont have that draw, the is a void & someone needs to fill it.
God, I wish I had the starting capital to put out a fan-zine

ajmuszkiewicz
09-12-2007, 10:07 AM
The OGL is there so that WoTC doesn't have to concentrate on things they do not feel are profitable enough.


This isn't entirely accurate. The OGL exists to drive sales of WotC's core product.

Think of it like this: Microsoft makes XBox 360 video game consoles, and some games. Other studios (combined) make a lot more 360 games than Microsoft can kick out annually. But, those games need a computing platform to work off of, a system; Microsoft licenses studios to produce games for its system under its software license. These games not only drive the sale of games themselves, but also the basic game system.

Similarly, the core rulebooks are designed in such a way that a third party designer can come along and simply start producing new material and never have to write his own Player's Handbook, DMG or MM. This is good for WotC since more and more people using their system as a base line for their own products will drive the sales of their own products. It's really a symbiotic market relationship.

When you add to this mix some of the peculiarities of the OGL and d20STL, reliance on the core books is nearly assured. For example, the OGL precludes anyone from describing the effects of experience points upon characters -- you can't describe the process for leveling up your character! There are similar restrictions on part of character creation.

I know your gut reaction may be something along the lines of how much you hate evil, money-grubbing companies, but think about this: we live in a capitalist economy. We love DnD. We want DnD to be around for a long, long time. If DnD is going to be around for a long, long time, the company that produces it needs to be profitable. For the company that produces DnD to be profitable, it needs a good business model. The good business model should do everything it can to drive sales of the DnD product, assuring not only its market penetration, but also its profitability and, thus, long life.

Business isn't bad, folks. The OGL system is actually here to serve us, to keep the game I assume we all love around for as long as possible.