What would WotC need to do to win back the disenchanted?




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  1. #1
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    What would WotC need to do to win back the disenchanted?

    If you've read some of my ideas/opinions on this board, you'd know that I've never particularly been a fan of 4th Edition. Yes, I've played it, though sparingly, and I've read enough about the design theory of the system to understand what it was trying to accomplish, and I appreciate what it does bring to the table.

    But it's definitely not my "first choice" of RPGs, and is likely somewhere near #5--after Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, Warhammer FRPG, and GURPS.

    But even more than the system itself, I've been completely turned off to Wizards of the Coast's marketing tactics, business strategy, and PR.

    Over the past 24 months or so, they've been mediocre at best, and outright bunglers at worst when comes to PR, [and only a staunch Wizards defender would disagree.]

    Admin here. Well, no, that's not correct -- and your discussion is going to be a lot more productive if you don't preemptively label everyone who might not agree with you. Try to avoid that in the future, please, and PM me with any questions. ~ Piratecat

    Yanking PDF distribution with zero prior warning, the generally clumsy marketing of 4e, the GSL nearly killing third-party development for 4e . . . all in all, it has really turned me off to WotC as a business entity, to the point that even if I had a GM I really respected come to me and say, "Come join us for an awesome 4e campaign," I'd have serious reservations, because I don't think Wizards of the Coast is particularly worthy of my money at the moment, when there's far more independent and non-"mainstream" RPGs that I think could use my attention.

    So, here's my real question--

    If you're anything like me, and just generally disenchanted with WotC, what would they need to do to bring you back into the fold?

    I'd like to think that I'm the type of consumer that they should be dying to bring back--early 30s, lots more disposable income than when I was in my teens and 20s. I've spent more on RPGs this year alone than in any other year since about 1992.

    So how could Wizards best extend an olive branch to us, the Disenchanted?

    I'd like to hear your thoughts, but here are mine:

    1. I'd like to hear just once from someone at Wizards issue a public statement to the effect that, "Hey, we screwed up." I'm not asking them to apologize for 4th Edition, or the fact that they're in business to make money, but generally to just say, "We offended a lot of our loyal, paying customers, and we're sorry."

    Now I realize a lot of you are going to say, "Oh boo hoo, cry me a freakin' river and get over it already, the big bad corporation hurt your feelings." And I understand the sentiment.

    But the fact is, if they want customers like me back, I'd like them to show just a little bit more appreciation for the people that kept D&D alive before 4th Edition arrived.

    2. Bring back PDFs.

    If I wanted to pirate your crap, WotC, I would, but I don't, and I'd love to PAY YOU MY HARD EARNED MONEY for material that is no longer in your "current library," but continues to have tremendous value to the gaming community.

    But, oh yeah, even though I WANT to give you my money, you won't let me because you're afraid that some kid in Singapore is cutting what amounts to a tiny fraction of your profits with his massive Torrentz Librariez......

    3. Make DDI what you said it would be.

    The character builder is useless to me, because I don't play 4e. But if you were to put a working tabletop system into play, and charge the small premium for it? Now we're talking. DDI as it currently stands has zero interest to me.

    4. Incentives to play that DON'T include living FR, or D&D game days, or whatever RPGA schlock you're hocking.

    Give me a 25 percent discount coupon on any three core rulebooks. Give me an online coupon code for any purchases of $50 or more of my choice. Give me some incentive to come back to you, and see you as something other than a faceless corporate entity out to make a buck.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Thursday, 15th July, 2010 at 10:29 PM.
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  • #2
    Ivan Alias
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    Quote Originally Posted by innerdude View Post
    But the fact is, if they want customers like me back ...
    This assumes they want customers like you back.
    Pseudonym

  • #3
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    I've said it before: WotC needs to turn DDI into a repository of all that is D&D - both past and present. This way, all D&D players would have an incentive to subscribe, regardless of their edition preference. Since the addition of older edition stuff would be a one-time-only endeavor, WotC could focus on the current edition and still make money off of its older products from those who prefer them.

    For starters, take the AD&D core rules 2.0 and integrate them with the DDI database. Since it's all in a reasonably portable electronic format, this project shouldn't take more than 2 employee/months (if that much).
    Power clarifies, and absolute power clarifies absolutely.

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    1. Sell PDFs
    2. Release D&D 5.0 sometime around summer 2012, remixing some of the best ideas from 4e with classic tropes that have worked for decades
    3. Get the miniatures line going as viable support for the RPG, rather than a sideline run on a shoestring budget.
    4. Support the OGL by opening 4e and authorizing open content from 3e releases

  • #5
    For a start, they could get around to fixing the ToB errata so the latter half of it is not Complete Mage errata.

  • #6
    Nothing. They need to continue being arrogant and continue with things as they currently are. Sooner or later, you will realise that things aren't going to change and have little choice but to jump on the bandwagon as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    Nothing. They need to continue being arrogant and continue with things as they currently are. Sooner or later, you will realise that things aren't going to change and have little choice but to jump on the bandwagon as well.
    History says otherwise.

  • #8
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    Agreeing with Pawsplay and Sammael...

    1. Start selling the PDFs again. It really annoys me that I can't download the Veiled Society here after purchasing it. I think I did download one copy, but can't find it anywhere.
    2. OGL the rest of the 3.X stuff.
    3. DDI the previous editions. That would get me to subscribe.

    Cool, created two new verbs!
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    I'm not "disenchanted" or angry at Wizards in the least, but I no longer play 4e. It's a good game, but an OGL similar to 3rd might tempt me back into the game.

    I think that WOTC understood full well they would lose some folks. They had to make the decisions they felt were best for the company. I cannot begrudge them that. I hope 4th continues to be a big success for them.

    I will certainly try 5th edition, but there are a lot of cool games to play right now.

  • #10
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    It's pretty easy- make a game that I want to play.
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