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Zeus
May 20th, 2009, 00:07
Hey all,

Just received an email from DDI Insider detailing some good and bad news and thought I'd share.

good news - from July 7th DDI will debut complete sections of final, playable, D&D 4e Player's Handbook 3 material each month leading up to the book's release in March 2010. This is good news indeed for all those who plan to parse what with the current PDF crisis.

bad news - DDI subscription costs will increase from July 2nd to reflect the new content recently added. That leaves 44 days to secure your subscription and the current more favorable costs.

Z.

Illrigger
May 20th, 2009, 21:26
I had just cancelled my DDI subscription the day before. While having the character generator and compendium was handy, the whole reason it was is because you could just take your laptop and PDFs with you to the game table. Without the PDFs, you're stuck carrying a laptop AND a big bag of books around.

While it's tempting, the offer of a free copy of one book (ARV ~$23 from Amazon) for a subscription price of $81 at the discounted rate isn't tremendously appealing. If they had any idea whan and if the game table was coming, that might be an incentive, but as it is, it's a tough sell.

Also, what publishing model are they using that they can be generating "final, playable" sections of an RPG book 9 months before it's published?

Griogre
May 20th, 2009, 23:49
Also, what publishing model are they using that they can be generating "final, playable" sections of an RPG book 9 months before it's published?
I'd say the advanced play test model - like they do with Dragon. ;) The actual hardcopy will probably incorporate any feedback. Academically it should be interesting how it actually works out - Im not planning on getting the PH3 anyway I never like psionics or monks in D&D anyway.

Right now it seems like you are paying to be a play tester to me.

Illrigger
May 21st, 2009, 03:30
I never like psionics or monks in D&D anyway.
Like Psionics will really be any different than any of the other power sources in the game anyway, 4e turning out to be so "cookie-cutter"ish. I remember being excited about it when I got the PHB, but the new content has really left me very flat.

EugeneZ
May 21st, 2009, 03:45
Maybe some are paying to playtest. I'm paying for Dragon and Dungeon magazine, which for $6 a month isn't a bad deal at all. Many hobby magazines are much more expensive. I consider Dragon and Dungeon material to be of excellent quality, more or less. I'm certainly happy with it.

DNH
May 21st, 2009, 09:14
Hang on - "DDI subscription costs will increase ... to reflect the new content recently added"?! That's the thin end of the wedge, right there. That means that the more they put on there, the more it's going to cost us. That sucks. Hell, I know the whole World of Warcraft comparison thing has been done to death but I wonder if Blizzard would have the 10 million subscribers/players they do if they increased their prices with every content patch.

Bad news indeed.

Illrigger
May 21st, 2009, 15:25
Maybe some are paying to playtest. I'm paying for Dragon and Dungeon magazine, which for $6 a month isn't a bad deal at all. Many hobby magazines are much more expensive. I consider Dragon and Dungeon material to be of excellent quality, more or less. I'm certainly happy with it.
DDI is $8 a month, at least that's what they've been charging me.

I agree, it's not a bad deal if you like the mags, but looking at the price yearly it's pretty expensive. I know there are no ads, but PDF-only mag sunscriptions don't usually cost ~$48 a year (going up to $60!), especially when over 10% of Dragon every month is "pay to playtest" content. Dungeon, overall, is a much better value, but if you aren't a DM it's not overly useful.

Sure, those prices aren't including the character generator or compendium, or the ability to download the maps from the galleries in a zip, but the only tangible content you get without buying another product is the magazines, so in the end they're really all you're paying for at this point.

EugeneZ
May 21st, 2009, 20:01
Price: $71.40/year is $5.95/month. Agreed, not the cheapest magazine I've ever subscribed to. But it's also one of the better ones, no fluff at all and high quality content and art, both of which I use in my FG games.

I also forgot to mention the Character Builder. All of my players and myself, we find it an invaluable tool. But I mentioned the magazine because I feel if the magazines weren't offered, I wouldn't be paying, but if the CB wasn't offered, I still would be.

Regarding them raising the price, they have an FAQ item that asks something along those lines: "Do you plan to raise the price again when the Dungeon Tools are released?" and the answer is that "No, they have no plans to do so." Of course, that leaves them a loophole incase they want to MAKE plans, but if they're putting the FAQ out there that means they intend not to raise to the price.

Ebonscarab
May 24th, 2009, 14:08
I agree with Eugenez, I actually find the price to be fair for the magazine content that we receive. The constantly updated character builder and compendium are just added bonuses.

I've read several complaints to the FG2 program as well, which to me is unfounded. Considering that the price of any other entertainment software (PC, Xbox, PS3,Wii) is higher for the sheer amount of use that you will get on this program.

But I digress...

To each his own I guess, but in this day and age where the cost of a movie plus snacks equals (or exceeds) the monthly subscription for DDI, I know where my money goes: to the non-passive form of entertainment.

Illrigger
May 24th, 2009, 17:18
To each his own I guess, but in this day and age where the cost of a movie plus snacks equals (or exceeds) the monthly subscription for DDI, I know where my money goes: to the non-passive form of entertainment.

I want to libe where you do if movies + snacks cost that little there ;)

Point taken, however.

Illrigger
July 7th, 2009, 22:10
OK, so the first installment of PHB3 is out. You guys are gonna LOVE this, this is what the powers look like:

Yep, each power includes only fluff text and a link to the compendium entry.

So if you ever cancel your sub, the sections of Dragon that contain the PHB3 items are useless (unless you happen to still have the Character builder still installed). Sorta devalues Dragon overall, in my opinion.

Atras
July 7th, 2009, 22:28
Sorta devalues Dragon overall, in my opinion.I'm pretty sure this isn't going to be in the compiled version of the magazine, anyway. I agree that if you only got one month of DnDI you are out of luck on reading what everything does (except you will still have the information in your Character Builder). The good news, of course, is that when the actual PHB3 comes out, this PDF is excess bits taking up space on your hard drive anyway!

I actually think WotC could use this idea as a way to put out PDFs for subscribers. It's certainly an interesting way to encourage a subscription, and it gives them a really clean way to do errata.

Illrigger
July 7th, 2009, 22:46
I wouldn't count on the compiled Dragon having the full text. That would be handing this content to the pirates, which they obviously are willing to go to any lengths to avoid, even hosing paying customers.

I thought the same thing about the PDFs. If they were free with DDI, I think they could be a valuable addition to the value of the subscription. Paying extra for them would be a less than cool thing, however.

In the end, the Character Builder includes everything in the rulebooks except flavor text anyway. While I am disappointed with what they did with the powers in the Psion article, the fact is that the Builder app @ $8 a month makes it so you don't have to buy the books at all if you don't want to. I re-upped for that reason alone.