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Thread: OMG .... WOTC does it again

  1. #1
    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Post OMG .... WOTC does it again

    http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insider/gametable

    They just can't leave anything alone.. now they have to come in and try to corner every single part of the market...



    This really doesn't make me happy for some reason ... maybe its just me.. maybe its that last proverbial straw...maybe... just maybe... WoTC is the DEVIL....

    bleh
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      torstan is offline
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    Well, you can't blame them for wanting to get in on an obvious market. It's just the natural extension of Heroquest which was always quite close to D&D. They have a problem though as the free apps and cheap apps appear to be superior in function to the gametable they are putting forward. The only thing they have got going for them is the eye-candy 3D effect. That will get them a decent following I'm sure, as will the fact that they have the 4ed rules built in.

    The eye-candy cuts both ways though. If you want to do something that can't be built in their 3D app then it is going to be harder to get your players to suspend their disbelief and go along with a verbal description that is at odds with the 3D views they are used to.

    I think the 2D apps actually have the edge in this one as no-one expects the 2D top-down views to be anything more than representative. Also, they are rules agnostic and appeal to broader markets than WotC. Also, as far as I can tell, trevor from rptools and Redrobes (of here, and ViewingDale) are not actually physical incarnations of EVIL and so probably have an edge there too

    PS Just to appeal to all the anti-WotC among us (I'm a 3.5 player so don't actually have that much of a problem with them) - they recently screwed up by releasing a 'screenshot' of gametable where they had just stolen the dice from a screen-grab of Fantasy Grounds. Whoops.
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      Sigurd is offline
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    Torstan I agree with your point but dont share your faith in the members of the market. ALOT of sales are just bought for someone else or impulse purchases based on reputation and hype. WOTC will have the most of both.

    Personally I think they'll have a long way to go before they can compete with the openness of the other VTT's.

    I know what delgondahntelius means when he says this makes him mad. I really want Maptools and Fantasy Grounds to succeed. (I don't have experience with the others) They're plucky startups that filled a need when nobody else would.

    I really really hope users of the VTTs reach out to other people and help the programs grow. Esp in RPtools case where I think the Open Source thing is a big philosophic plus.

    I am fundamentally biased against anything that WOTC adds to this market, doubly so if they expect a monthly fee. I think the bigger problem for WOTC is that the market may not be big enough to justify their interest. If their efforts are not successful enough it could hurt their rep and video game licenses.


    Sigurd


    I'd love to see the market 'correct' and kick out the big players (including WOTC). This should be about story telling not sales.

  4. #4
      torstan is offline
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    WotC has to be about sales unfortunately as they are a business. However I don't think it is quite as bad as it sounds. The gametable comes 'free' with the subscription which also includes Dungeon and Dragon magazines and a rules compendium. I think other people do elements of all of those better for free. However it still seems a decent package for the cost of 2 print magazines a month so I don't feel WotC are being completely unreasonable with the pricing they are using for these products. However that may just be because I am looking on from the perspective of the UK pound which makes $15 pretty affordable

    As this is only a subscription service, I don't see how this being bought by someone else as a gift, or as an impulse buy really affects this. Anyone who impulse buys a monthly subscription and is disappointed will drop it after a couple of months and go elsewhere. The other apps just need to reach these disaffected users with advertising, good word of mouth and pretty screenshots so the disaffected know what they are missing elsewhere.

    As for rptools succeeding, I think they already have. There is a solid and loyal user base for what is first and foremost a hobby project. As I understand it maptool was never intended to be a business. It is a fun free app developed for fun and the love of a type of gaming. Trevor is happy to keep coding it as long as people give him fun and challenging extras to code in and (most importantly) post good feedback whenever a game goes well with it. I can't see users migrating away from maptool given we seem to have a developer who does it for love, gives it away for free, tries to incorporate specific requests into the programme on the time-scale of a month or so and is willing to talk directly with any user experiencing problems until those problems are resolved. When WotC provide that level of service for free there may be a question but I can't see that being too cost-effective!

    The paying apps are a different matter as they are actually in competition with WotC.
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      Redrobes is offline
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    Gametable is old news though recently released. Its been talked about a lot right back to iCon 2007 no less. Theres a lot of chat about it on FUM but ill summarize the salient points.

    1. Its a pay per month subscription type model which is the primary beef for just about everyone who has ever commented on it.
    2. It uses these 3D tokens of which you cant build them yourself.
    3. You actually have to pay extra on top of the monthly subs to get more tokens over and above the 2D ones.
    4. All players 3D tokens are pooled for the session but if a player leaves for one week then his token goes away.
    5. Nobody has ever seen a real wilderness screenie so far. Alright if you like dungeons.

    ( The details are not clear so I might have some errors in there ).

    In terms of VTTs there are about 5 really good ones of which just a few are pretty popular and of them MapTool is the most popular because it is good and free. If MapTool declared that somehow they wanted to charge then I think things would be different. Of the 5 good ones I think all the others charge. Then there are some really popular not so graphical tools like (what is it ?) OpenRPG (?) plus another 30 something VTTs of some kind or another.

    WotC is playing catchup and though they have money and legal IP on their side I think the game is over for as long as MapTool keep up the pressure. Traditionally WotC software has been rubbish but this looks better than previous outings.

    Theres going to be some people who will use official stuff no matter what but methinks that you would need a hole in the head to want to use gametable - if not then expect a hole in the wallet at any rate.

    I don't think that WotC really get that RPG's are predominantly a user generated concept. Its hard to monetize it beyond the core rule books. This is particularly true now that desktop software can make great maps, printers can print them and the write up to commercial standards and the internet allows you to deliver them to anyone on the planet.

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      Redrobes is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    I'd love to see the market 'correct' and kick out the big players (including WOTC). This should be about story telling not sales.
    I think ole Del here makes adventures. Gamerprinter is writing and printing them. The Cartographist is making stuff. It's happening already. Theres no future for WotC - its a done deal and this is basically just death throws which is why I have always been happy to acknowledge the good MapTool is doing despite it kinda competes with mine. I would rather anybody comes up with a decent VTT which becomes popular before WotC expire than nobody makes a popular version or mine was partially popular and then trailed off so that there was no D&D after. It will continue whilst there is a mechanism to play and people want to. People always want to and in the last few years there is now a mechanism - actually a bit of a plethora.

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      Talroth is offline
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    Did anyone look at the system requirements to that thing? What are they doing with all that processing power? Cracking NSA encryption codes?

    I would have to look into it more, but the 3D tabletop might be fun to play on, provided there was a large enough pool of 3D minis, and it was made easy enough to import your own custom ones, or allow users to upload their own custom creations to a common's pool, because there is no way any popular company can outproduce their fans these days in content.


    In all honesty, I think WotC needs to get cracking on getting developers to license more D&D PC games, especially with 4th edition rules which will translate very well to the PC I think. For them to attempt to rely on tabletop games as their bread and butter is something likely to kill their business.


    Lack of Mac and Linux support, and rather insane system requirements for what is shown, suggests that their online tabletop isn't going to take off as well as it could. I personally don't relate "Likely to use windows" and "Likely to be willing to fork over hundreds of dollars for D&D" as two qualities common in a single person. (This said, I do tend to use windows most of the time simply because I keep forgetting to get around to installing linux)

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      NeonKnight is offline
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    Ok, time for me to either shine or fall based on my COOL inside knowledge.

    The 'table' utilises all of the current Dungeon Tiles products as well as will incorporate future products.

    Outside maps seem to be limited to mostly a topdown view of the current D&D Miniature maps. I would not be surprised if some sort of means is provided to allow someone to scan in hand drawn maps.

    As to the minis, I know that all of the miniatures that will initially be provided for the table will be the same miniatures as those found in the current Dungeons of Dread D&D Miniatures in Stores now. These minis are the first of the new line of minis to be produced from 3d Art software, and so will all future miniatures. This means that at minimum, the miniatures for the 3d table will be updated three times a year with 60 more miniatures. I do not know if the old miniatures currently out will be scanned in or whatever.

    The system looks cool, but is not something I personally would use.
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      Talroth is offline
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    Well, looking at the other tools they're offering.
    "The D&D Character Visualizer is client application that allows you to build the character you want to play, either for your D&D tabletop game or for your game on the D&D Game Table. You select your race, gender, class, and equipment, and this tool allows you to customize your character as you see fit. Once you've built a character you like, you can create a digital miniature of the character for the D&D Game Table or include a snapshot of the character on your D&D character record sheet."

    That actually doesn't sound half bad really. I likely wouldn't buy a subscription myself, unless it was like $30 a year or something, in that case I might be willing to drop a bit of cash for it.

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      GlennZilla is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talroth View Post
    I likely wouldn't buy a subscription myself, unless it was like $30 a year or something, in that case I might be willing to drop a bit of cash for it.
    It's $10 a month if you prepay for the year in full. So it's $120 a year for everything.

    The Character Creator is the only app that I am excited about. Being able to quickly (Please God!) select a few options and print out an NPC or new PC would help me greatly.

    The Character Visualizer is nice if you've never heard of Daz or Poser. The output looks about like Poser a decade ago.

    The Rules Compendium is expected to be the first app released. And according to the Gamer Radio Zero Podcast it's probably going to take the form of excell spread sheets. Too late, I got a player building an access database for me of all the races, classes, skills, feats, powers, equipment, and monsters. She really likes that kind of work and it helps her with memory and comprehension of the rules. God Bless her!

    The Dungeon Builder sounds neat but it's probably going to end up being dungeons only, I dunno how much I'd use it. It's a natural extension of the tile mapper WoTC released before.

    Dungeon and Dragon magazines will now be online and electronic versions. They seem to drop the ball on collecting the issues into one single PDF file. The last one I saw was Dragon #360. That's disapointing, but not a deal breaker. I have enjoyed the content so far since they took them in house, somewhat. But frankly, I miss the ads from the Paizo days. Now I have to try to find out what Crystal Caste is pushing directly.

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