A Technical Look at D&D Insider Applications - Page 6




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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relique du Madde
    Here is what I forsee happening:

    Random person goes into the book store with a pen and paper and sees a DnD book they want. He knows that with the DDI you can recieve a pdf copy of the book IF you fork over 10 buxs AND you will recieve extras. He then writes down the code (maybe necessitating that he ripes open a packet or writing down serial numbers), goes on-line enters the code + spends 10 bux to recieve his pdf and extras.
    Maybe they'll have to make it so that more than 1 person can enter code for the same book. That'd solve my issues with it regarding a gaming group where different people own different books to contribute to the whole collection...
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    Quote Originally Posted by epochrpg
    But this online thing you each have to have your OWN copy to get access to the updates for your character. Don't have the 4e version of Complete Warrior? Oh well, your fighter cannot have spiffy feat/presige class-- but we'll tell you what book it is in.
    Check above for the complete summary, but as has been mentioned, they've already explained this. Putting the code in just unlocks the descriptions of what they do. Everything will still be there no matter what. You can still pick the feat/class ability even if you dont have the book.

  • #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relique du Madde
    The random person then goes on-line enters the code + spends 10 dollars to receive his pdf and extras. Unfortunately, since its impossible to keep track of which books were sold at a store, WoTC would not know that the book's code was pirated. If the code is TRULY unique, then once that copy is bought, it's legal owner then get's screwed out of the content since Wizards would say that the legal owner stole the code.
    So don't buy a book when the code packet has already been ripped open?

    If I go to a store and find that it's supposed to have a CD in it, and the CD is missing I won't buy it.

  • #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scribble
    Again that's awesome if it's true.

    I was making a comment based on what was officially stated on the wizards website. It didn't say anything about a separate copy, only that when you are online you can access the digital info. So, if it's two different things... Awesome. But until that if officially announced, my comment still stands.
    It was said already, just not in that article. It was on a message board(can't remember which one). Someone asked "can you get the digital copy if you aren't a subscriber" and the answer was yes but that being a subscriber also unlocked the rules items in all of the DDI databases.

    When asked if you'd be able to access the digital copy while offline, the answer was more ambiguous. I believe it was something like "we are looking at ways to maximize the use of your digital copy of the book while making sure it is protected from copying, however we have not decided how this will work."

    There were similar answers to questions asked about whether the file would be a PDF and whether it would have DRM or watermarking. It all amounted to "We don't want you to be able to copy the file or let anyone else use it. The easiest way to do that is make it so that you need to be logged in using your username and password online to view the book, making it impossible to copy it. However, a lot of people might complain about that, so maybe we'll turn it into a PDF file with DRM preventing people from copying it or giving it to other people. However, a lot of people might complain about that. So, we'll have a meeting sometime and discuss how much protection we can get away with putting on these things before June."
    Majoru Oakheart

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  • #55
    Quote Originally Posted by epochrpg
    This burns me. In my group, and I am sure 99.9% of gaming groups, not every person owns their own individual copy of each and every book. On person had the complete series, I had spell compendium and bo9s, someone else had the races series, etc. As a GROUP we had a pretty complete collection, but as individuals it was fragmentary. It wasn't a problem making characters-- we'd just look at each other's books.

    But this online thing you each have to have your OWN copy to get access to the updates for your character. Don't have the 4e version of Complete Warrior? Oh well, your fighter cannot have spiffy feat/presige class-- but we'll tell you what book it is in.
    Actually you WILL be able to have that spiffy feat/prestige class - IF you already know what it does according to the text:

    To get access to the full details of the relevant rules and mechanical elements, though, you will need to own the E-version of the physical book where these rules or mechanical elements were published. When you purchase the printed book, a code will grant access to the E-version of the book for a nominal fee. As a subscriber, ownership of the E-version gives you access, when you are online, to the rules content while youre filling out or updating your character sheet. Without the E-version, however, the character sheet will give you only the barest information (such as the names of feats and such) and refer you to the appropriate published books.

    So you will be able to borrow your buddy's book to look up the feat, put it on your character in the generator, but just not have access to the full text of the feat/prestige class is what I get from that, right?

  • #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azgulor
    Yes it does.

    Unfortunately for WotC, I can think of two answers:

    1) Because they can for said reasons.

    2) Because Paizo is more customer-focused than WotC.


    Now if WotC had been the first to offer PDF versions of their books when the book was purchased, answer #1 would probably be the dominant answer.

    Now take the fact that companies like Paizo have already "set the standard" so to speak and combine it with WotC's less-than-stellar 4e PR to date, and I'm willing to bet more people will be thinking along the lines of answer #2. If the reaction to WotC's new Dragon & Dungeon is any indication, the number of people agreeing with answer #2 may be sizeable.
    Keep in mind that Paizo is merely offering a simple PDF version of some of the elements in a print magazine. Aside from the chore of uploading, there's literally no extra work--they just save the file (which they've already created for the printer) as a PDF.

    WotC is not just offering a simple PDF version. They're offering something entirely different: "As a subscriber, ownership of the E-version gives you access, when you are online, to the rules content while youre filling out or updating your character sheet."

    They're offering the content of the book entered into a database that integrates with their other tools. Creating such content is an additional expense--it's not just choosing "save as PDF" from the print layout program.

    Frankly, WotC taking the time to create this huge suite of useful tools demonstrates that they are incredibly customer focused. There have been dozens of threads on this board asking WotC to create exactly what's described in that article. The DDI's tools (particularly the character and encounter builders) is a huge win for customers.
    Know the difference: A loose shoe can cause you to lose a race.

  • #57
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    I wionder if they'll have a CD included with the books... You put the cd in, log into the system and download the digital version plus unlock the features in DDI.

    If someone else uses the CD to do the same, your copy disapears. (like if you sell a book now...)

  • #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relique du Madde
    Here is what I foresee happening.
    1.) To access the e-book version, you must already have DDI account. Which means you've already registered your name and credit-card billing address. Withouy a DDI account (and a credit card to pay the unlock fee) the code itself is useless.

    2.) I doubt the codes will be unique to each book. More likely, there will be one generic code for each book. The code will allow you to purchase the e-book version (for a fee). So even if you don't buy the book (you copy down the code), you could still buy an online-only version (available to you as long as you have a DDI account) without penalty (except for the lack of a paper/printable copy).

    3.) Even if you DON'T buy the hardcover, WotC still gets you for DDI+Access Cost. And you'll have to be online on there site to use it. Thats more money than they'd get if you downloaded a OCR version off Kazaa...

    4.) It finally gives users a choice: An online-only version for a nominal fee (still readable, if not printable) a paper-only version (and you get the bare-bones version online) or get the premium package and get BOTH the online version for reference (and the more robust generators) and the paper-book.

    5.) Will it stop piracy? No. Will it slow it down by giving it a legitimate alternative (like iTunes did) yes.
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  • #59
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    Well I love the concept of the digital table. Sadly, I won't ever be able to use it due to the computer limitations. Bummer.

    As far as the ebook goes, I support them charging the extra fee. As has been mentioned, the service that Paizo provides and the one that Wizards will be offering are not truly comparable. You'll be getting a lot more for your bucks.

    I'm inclined to agree with the poster who suggested the generic code as the way to go. Otherwise, there's no real way to protect the code aside from shrink wrapping the book, which would be a marketing disaster. A CD is not much of an option...lots of computers don't even bother with CD-Rom anymore, and it'd add a great deal to the cost that people who have no interest in electronic materials would be rightfully unwilling to pay. Having a generic code might open them to some theft issues (though I like the sealed envelope idea) but it'll be fairly well balanced by the profit they'll be making from those who don't steal the code. Besides, they could put a protective device into the code entry system that would require the book to be present when entering the code online.

    In the end, the only issue I have are the hardware limitations for the online apps. I can understand the reasons for it, but that doesn't do me or most of my friends any good.

  • #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesRyan
    Keep in mind also that the nominal fee creates accountability that, in the end, protects you.

    By charging a small fee, WotC makes it impossible to anonymously take ownership of the digital version of the book. Anyone who enters a code to get the digital version must identify themselves in a real, positive manner (through the use of a credit card or other verifiable payment scheme). That makes the fee one of (probably several) roadblocks to piracy.

    [And before this blossoms into a discussion of intellectual property rights, remember this: What you're downloading is a unique digital object assigned to the book you bought. If somebody steals that, they've stolen your right to access the digital version of the book. YOU are the loser in a very real way, not some giant corporation is a very intangible way.]

    [And before this blossoms into a discussion of how the pirates always find a way, remember this: This will not be perfect in preventing piracy, and neither will any of the other steps WotC takes. But, combined, they're intended to keep theft to a minimum. WotC has a lot of experience with digital objects (via Magic Online), so their overall system will probably be pretty effective.]

    So the requirement to purchase increases the likelihood that when I buy a book, the code to obtain the digital version is likely to still be valid when I take the book home and type it into DDI. That alone seems to be worth an extra buck or two.
    Charles has this exactly right.

    The nominal fee is likely $1-2.
    Scott Rouse

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