D&D 4th Edition WotC's D&D Virtual Table Cancelled - Page 10




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  1. #91
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    Dear Wotc, epic mess, really, so what about trying to get an arrangement with some stable VTT company and provide DDN support for them instead?
    F I G H T E R

 

  • #92
    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wind View Post
    In all honesty, while the perception of being let down again is admittedly bad -- I expect that the real answer is simply that this is too expensive for the relatively small audience this appeals to. This does not surprise me at all.

    Moreover, every time I use a VTT, I am convinced it is YESTERDAY'S ANSWER that doesn't make real sense to use with today's technology.

    If we are all on broadband, we already have a crap ton of miniatures, (or Pawns), battlemats and flip-mats and 4 lbs. of polyhedral dice in a leather satchel and a bazillion books and pdfs -- why are we reinventing the wheel with the dozens of VTT's that exist so that we DO NOT use the stuff we love to own and collect and that the game companies have already sold us? Seriously: WHY WOULD THAT BE A GOOD IDEA? It's REALLY not necessary.

    If you have Skype, a microphone stand to act as a webcam tripod and another webcam (the GM needs two -- the players only need one) then there is one program you need to run a game online. It's called XSplit. That's it and that's all.

    XSplit is camera management software that allows you to create your own live television studio online. All the cool watermarks and screen fades and wipes to enable live streaming of still and live content you could ever want. In a slick and professional package, for about the cost of a new videogame.

    When you want to roll dice? You just pick up the damn dice and roll them. You use a flip mat and some minis for the monsters. You look at the people you are playing with in the eye. It's not "like" real gaming -- it IS real gaming.

    I do it two to three times a week. It doesn't simply work well -- it is outstanding. Given the sheer convenience and the HUGE savings in travel time, I frankly prefer it to attending in person.

    I am convinced that remote play via multiple-cameras is the future. We dont need to reinvent the wheel. The way we game face to face is the way we need to game remotely, too.

    Every time we move away from that -- we take a step in the wrong direction.

    Urg, no thanks. I don't have a bunch of minis, I don't have any flip mats and my gaming is 100% digital and has been for almost a decade now. So, your set up would be a massive step backward for me. Additionally, since we've got computers right there, why not use them? Let the computer handle 99% of the math, and any rule lookups.

    For me, going back to a standard tabletop setup while using computers is like swatting flies with a Buick. Massive overkill and very much underutilizing resources. I have no interest in playing like this anymore.

    Besides, if I turn on the camera, I can't play in my underwear anymore.
    Last edited by Hussar; Wednesday, 11th July, 2012 at 04:28 AM.
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  • #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaezen View Post
    Honest question, of those of you complaining about the cancellation oft he VTT who actually uses it on a regular basis?

    They are pulling it because not enough people are using it so it is not worth them spending the resources on it. This is purely a business decision, one the every business around the world has to make from time to time.
    The problem is that they created a catch-22 on various levels. At the simplest level, they kept desired functionality (such as sharing adventures and various levels of import/export) from working because some day they might want to sell that. Combined with a lack of true integration (you could import your CB character but changes you made could not be saved... and you had to make many changes initially for some PCs), this mean that DMs and PCs both needed to do work to get a game going. The whole point of using the VTT over something like MapTool was integration.

    At the heart of this is a fear that they were leaving money on the table and giving away too much. Instead, they killed innovation, killed efficiency, and drove away customers. Also, they hurt the Monster Builder (lay bug laden and outdated for months while they put resources on the VTT) and never developed the other useful tools like the Encounter Builder.

    The same could happen with Paizo. They announce it is free and light, and just this simple tool... and then their CEO says it isn't clear what the pricing will be. And meanwhile, because the communication isn't clear, fans start making outrageous demands for functionality. A catch-22 is again being set up where fans want functionality from Paizo, but creating that functionality demands a revenue stream.

    Paizo, like WotC, should have figured out the revenue model before ever mentioning or offering the product. Then they should have done some focus group work to see whether this was viable and would hit the volumes and revenues required to validate the work. No project is flawless, but competent teams (and managers) will mitigate that and make the needed adjustments. What you can't compensate for is the cart pulling the horse, where screenshots are being shared, your executives making wild statements, and fans making demands before you even have an internal revenue model.

    My advice to any RPG company: Sit down and figure out your priorities. If this isn't one of them, either don't offer a VTT or make it free and really bare-bones. Consider just a portal/gateway to a VTT provider with just some simple one-shot-development enablers. Consider fan-created elements with some very minor initial help from your dev team. Consider an API or limited license to use your rules/content and no more. If, by some miracle, this really is core to your priorities, then you need to have a robust deployment strategy that truly will bring in fans in droves. The financial model needs to be really strong. It needs to be taken seriously and no promises made until the strategy is agreed to by the team that will build the solution and the executives above.

  • #95
    It is failures like this which undermined the effectiveness of 4E.

  • #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSullivan View Post
    It is failures like this which undermined the effectiveness of 4E.
    I think it was foreseeable with the coming of 5e.

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  • #97
    Plus a change, plus c'est la mme chose.

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    I think it was a mistake for WotC to begin wasting resources on a project like this to start with. Despite the volume of people asking for VTT, when it was time to beta, no one was interested. There's no sense in pursuing this project any further. Besides, it's outside of their core competency, and the company isn't big enough to stretch like that. Quite frankly, I'm amazed they pulled the Compendium off like they did.

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    There's been talk about real OGL for D&D Next. Does that mean that we will be able to see real rules-embedded 3rd party VTTs?

    If so, then stopping spending on progressing with that to put that effort elsewhere is something that I can accept, even if it feels like "yet another WotC letdown".
    ...you might be eaten by a Grue...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wind View Post
    Moreover, every time I use a VTT, I am convinced it is YESTERDAY'S ANSWER that doesn't make real sense to use with today's technology.

    If we are all on broadband, we already have a crap ton of miniatures, (or Pawns), battlemats and flip-mats and 4 lbs. of polyhedral dice in a leather satchel and a bazillion books and pdfs -- why are we reinventing the wheel with the dozens of VTT's that exist so that we DO NOT use the stuff we love to own and collect and that the game companies have already sold us? Seriously: WHY WOULD THAT BE A GOOD IDEA? It's REALLY not necessary.

    If you have Skype, a microphone stand to act as a webcam tripod and another webcam (the GM needs two -- the players only need one) then there is one program you need to run a game online. It's called XSplit. That's it and that's all.

    XSplit is camera management software that allows you to create your own live television studio online. All the cool watermarks and screen fades and wipes to enable live streaming of still and live content you could ever want. In a slick and professional package, for about the cost of a new videogame.

    When you want to roll dice? You just pick up the damn dice and roll them. You use a flip mat and some minis for the monsters. You look at the people you are playing with in the eye. It's not "like" real gaming -- it IS real gaming.

    I do it two to three times a week. It doesn't simply work well -- it is outstanding. Given the sheer convenience and the HUGE savings in travel time, I frankly prefer it to attending in person.

    I am convinced that remote play via multiple-cameras is the future. We dont need to reinvent the wheel. The way we game face to face is the way we need to game remotely, too.

    Every time we move away from that -- we take a step in the wrong direction.
    I did this a bunch of years ago when one of our group moved tot he otehr coast. It worked very poorly. Battlemaps were hard to ready, minis were hard to distinguish and blocked lines of sight. This was AD&D 2nd ed and didn't need all the condition tracking, which would make it even worse.

    If you're playing over a device, leverage the device. Mouse over for conditions and state, have to shwo lines of sight and lines of effect, allow easy marking of zones and effects, both on the terrain and the PCs.

    I've liked Dungeon Forge and other 3d models for gaming, never had any. If you're playing on a device, you can just do it digitally.

    Have lots of maps ready so you don't need to spend prep time drawing mid-game. Including generic areas for unexpected encounters. Oh, and dont' limit the maps to the edge of the battlemap, in case you end up with a chase scene or something.

    I'm glad it works for you, but my experiences differ.
    ...you might be eaten by a Grue...

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