5E Why is WOTC so awful at providing digital content?
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  1. #1
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Why is WOTC so awful at providing digital content?

    I like 5e. It's fantastic, I also like 4e and 3e and all the others Es out there. The guys over at WOTC are very adept at game design but every time they try to offer some kind of digital -thing- they fail, almost invariably either through bad negotiations, deals falling apart, inept programming or just plain bad ideas.

    WHY, in this day and age can wizards not provide this? Specifically the D&D group. Magic The Gathering has, the past couple of years, released decent online games and programs.

    -There was that character builder that came with the 3e books that was buggy as all heck.
    -Gleemax failed and failed hard.
    -They promised the world with 4e tools and we saw a decent character creator, but then they went with the silverlight thing and completely alienated mac users and tablet users.
    -That virtual tabletop and DM content manager for 4e seems to have been vaporware.
    -They pulled the PDFs and have no way to provide us with digital content.
    -The 4e pc/console Neverwinter game was abysmal at launch (don't know if it was ever fixed)
    -They started to break up the Dungeon and Dragon magazines providing no cohesive issues and as it stands right now the magazine is completely gone.
    -Recently the morningstar debacle.

    It's just so.... strange that in 2015 a huge player in the industry simply doesn't or cant offer digital content that should at this point be almost mandatory given the wide increase in smartphones, tablets, PC usage, and console usage. Surely I can't be the only person who has noticed this.
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  2. #2
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Evenglare View Post
    Surely I can't be the only person who has noticed this.
    In all my years on D&D forums, this is the first time I see a thread about this subject.

    It would seem you are the first!
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  3. #3
    This is an important critique to make, and I agree with the idea (if not the sentiment), but... there are threads about this on the front page right now. This is an extremely common, incendiary topic.

  4. #4
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...igital+content
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...igital+content
    Also search on the boards for "Morningstar".

    Tongue in cheek way to say that there has been copious discussion on this.

    In all honesty, I don't know, and I would venture that not many people have enough information to give an informed response. It should be fairly straightforward. The software starts small and grows as the most desired features are added. The project goes to market quickly and continues to add features until funding or interest runs out.

  5. #5
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    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)



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    You're asking the wrong question.

    Why is WOTC so reluctant to go digital?

    Previous attempts have produced digital tools that were rubbish
    They believe that by staying physical that they are helping the FLGS stay in business which is good for the gaming ecosystem and ultimately good for them.


    Any other suggestions?
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  6. #6
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    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)



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    The simple answer is because they are not equipped to do so.

    I remember an old interview Arnold Schwarzenegger did back in the 80's. The interviewer was commenting that he was so successful as an actor, why didn't he write and direct as well?

    His answer: "Because I can't"
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    Control.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExploderWizard View Post
    The simple answer is because they are not equipped to do so.
    WOTC is not equipped with someone with the knowhow to hire a firm to properly produce a digital product?

  9. #9
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    Gallant (Lvl 3)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Evenglare View Post
    -They promised the world with 4e tools and we saw a decent character creator, but then they went with the silverlight thing and completely alienated mac users and tablet users.
    -That virtual tabletop and DM content manager for 4e seems to have been vaporware.
    I recently saw some context on this, and it's quite sad

    http://www.examiner.com/article/the-...dragons-online
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tormyr View Post
    In all honesty, I don't know, and I would venture that not many people have enough information to give an informed response. It should be fairly straightforward. The software starts small and grows as the most desired features are added. The project goes to market quickly and continues to add features until funding or interest runs out.
    That's an agile development process. You know that lots of folks do not know, or use, Agile processes, right? You know that not all projects are even suited for agile management, right?

    Now, also note how this is somewhat at odds with the mindset required for physical publishing - where *everything* must be done by a certain point to go to a printer. Publishing is Waterfall. The overwhelming bulk of WotC is Waterfall. Probably most of Hasbro, too. What you're talking about isn't how they think about the rest of their business. So, it isn't so odd they don't quite get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
    WOTC is not equipped with someone with the knowhow to hire a firm to properly produce a digital product?
    Well, they tried that recently, and look what happened.

    The problem is that a firm solid enough to be really reliable will likely cost more than they can afford to pay. Anything else... well, amateurs screw things up.
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