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WoTC online

Everything I have seen so far has made me worried that WoTC's so-called online focus for 4th edition D&D is going to be a disaster.

This exclusive Boing-Boing Gadgets preview gallery of D&D Insider is continuing that trend. This looks only incrementally better than the crappy demo shots they had at the Gen Con announcement last year. They have so far to go, and so little time in which to traverse the distance.

The real shame is this: because they are trying to make money off the computer tools associated with Dungeons and Dragons, they are much more likely to go and shut down any third-party tool makers. HeroForge 4th Ed? Much more likely to get sued out of existence than the 3rd Ed version. The PCGen data files D&D and all the add-on books? Completely out the window (as we've known since last summer when WoTC rescinded the license).

Reverting to a single legal source for this software is going to throw D&D computer aids back to the stone ages. All in the name of some crappy 3d animation that is completely unnecessary to the game.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Wow, that sure is ... ugly. Surely they must know that it's ugly?
Feb. 26th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
Seems to me that they act like they're proud.
Feb. 26th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
And yet, you'd think they must have seen a computer game in the last 5 years. That is the standard this is going to be compared to.

(shakes head)
Feb. 26th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
I think it will take time. I think their character generator's faces are awful. Talk about beating your characters with the ugly stick.

But other than the fact that the UI seems stuck in early 1990's Windows chic, I think it looks like just about what I expected it to be.

That said, I agree that they will probably kill HeroForge 4th Ed. Or try to. They'd be hard put to put out an SRD and disallow HeroForge. But HeroForge would have to stick to the SRD pretty closely. If there are "Complete" books, they may not be able to keep up with them or they'd face squashing.
Mar. 4th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
Actual preview vs. BoingBoing
The actual preview was so far away from what appeared on BoingBoing that it suggested someone taking very old screenshots and manually uglifying them in Photoshop. ...and they're pretty clearly not done yet.

That said, I care more about the data than the graphics, and there are lots of questions about the data products in 4E. I don't think it's a lost hope, though, because the Wizards product has some very specific uses in mind (namely `on-line'), and because there is a GSL (no longer OGL) coming. We don't know the details of the GSL yet, but we do know that it's taken longer than expected to make it out of Wizards, and we do know that it will prohibit certain kinds of products (like the D20STL but not the OGL).

Honestly, I have some hope for off-line character builders (ala HeroForge), because I believe that the Wizards people use, want, and see the value of such tools, but don't have any (announced) plans to provide such a tool. That said, I would love something better than HeroForge, which holds the current position of being the crock that I hate least.

They said at the meeting that you'd be able to save characters created in the character builder to local storage, and update when on-line. This may mean that the tools will work in limited fashion off-line, but given that the rules database is `a web app', that's not certain. Given things like the WoW model viewer, there's hope, at least, for an off-line viewer of some sort.

We'll see.
May. 7th, 2008 08:17 am (UTC)
HeroForge Moves Forward with a 4E version but not in Excel.
Well WotC is full aware of our plans for our 4th edition version of HeroForge and if anyone else would like to know more visit www.heroforgesoftware.com.

We weren't and haven't been told yet we can't or won't be able to build it. And trust me we have talked to all the people that would have said so by now.

Robert Daneri
HeroForge Software, LLC
Account & Marketing Manager
lead Interface Programmer
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )