Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wizards of the Coast Continues to Disappoint

I have been playing D&D for a LONG time (over 25 years) and it saddens me that Wizards of the Coast has disappointed me as a customer so many times as of late. I recently stopped playing 4E and sold off my books (for a variety of reasons) but I still hadn't completely given up on the new edition of the game. Why? Well, as an adult with a job and family, it's hard for me to get a group together to play very often. But WotC has promised the game table so I could at least play online occasionally. For that reason, I have kept my DDI subscription active.

Then I read the following post yesterday on the DDI forums (emphasis mine):

So last week we announced that we were working on a set of Campaign Tools with the intention of helping players manage and run their ongoing games and campaigns. These tools will focus on encounters, monsters, mapping and adventures.

Previously, we focused all of our energies and effort into making the Character Builder the best tool it could be. We're going to continue that focused effort as we move forward - we're just shifting our attention to the Campaign Tools. This means that we're not actively working on any other unreleased tools, which includes the game table and the character visualizer. Once we have the Campaign Tools out and we're as happy with them as we are with the Character Builder, we'll have a better idea of what our next step is.

This means that the game table will not be seeing the light of day anytime soon. Just DAMN.

On an unrelated note, Wizards finally posted a gallery of all 18 miniatures from the Player's Handbook Heroes Set 1. While I haven't seen them in real life yet - color me unimpressed.


kaeosdad said...

I think that they were working on it up until dec/jan when they fired a bunch of the digital guys. They then (wisely) switched focus to making what they had finished look good.

I think working on campaign tools is a much better and more useful idea then an online game table as it helps both online and offline games.

John Lammers said...

Despite WotC's failure to deliver on the gametable feature, all is not lost. There are several "virtual tabletops" on the market and in development. (My product, EpicTable, is one such virtual tabletop.) Due to licensing restrictions, the virtual tabletops cannot implement the same level of rules automation for WotC games as WotC themselves. However, they're still pretty usable for roleplaying over the internet.

MJ Harnish said...

Labyrinth Lord or the various other forms of original/basic/1st ed. D&D work really well on Fantasy Grounds 2 software - there's even a free ruleset for LL available. It really rocks since all of the features built into VTTs can be used to augment the game, rather than being necessary just to make it work.

4E, OTOH, is playable online but tends to play pretty slowly due to the focus on maps and pushing minis around - encounters tend to run quite slowly and there's quite a bit of coding that needs to go on behind the scenes if you want any sort of automated functionality.

Nathan said...

My group is using Maptools from as a vurtual tabletop, the DM's can make up maps ahead of time but don't need to worry about either printing them out and taping them together, or trying to draw them out for the players. (either of which take up a bunch of time out of the session.

We are using it both for the 3.5 and 4e games and both dm's are rather enjoying it. The chat fuctions work well for passing notes back and forth, and you can turn on a lot of different states on the tokens to show when chars are held, webbed, bloodied, charmed, etc.