D&D 5E D&D Beyond: No More À La Carte Purchases But US Customers Can Buy Physical Books

Plus UI changes and more product information in listings.

Screenshot 2024-05-02 at 17.52.09.png


WotC has announced some changes to D&D Beyond's marketplace. These include physical products (for US customers), the removal of à la carte purchases, and various navigational changes.

You can no longer buy individual feats, subclasses, etc. -- you'll need to buy the whole book. The full list of changes includes:
  • US shoppers can now buy physical books
  • More info on product listings, including previews
  • UI improvements to makee finding your purchased content and redeeming keys easier
  • No more à la carte purchases (though your previous ones still count)
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Giving each an individual key is trivial, and even desirable since content is rehused by other books all of the time. I'm not convinced this would be that costly in a way that could be quantified and given a price tag.

Well, right there we see part of the issue.

Assume that each bit of game-rule content (like a race, a class, a subclass, a monster, a spell, etc) is identified with some key for use by the software. I don't know that is how the architecture works, but let us assume it.

Let us also assume you are correct, we expect them to reshuffle bits of content and have it appear in many different products.

That means that when selling a product, we need a separate product key, that will map to a list of software content keys on the back end. The business needs to be able to create new product keys, and mix and match their product keys with the back-end content.

This implies a whole process of management of the products for sale, and what software bits they are associated with. In some places I've worked, that process was manual, and some engineer had to go and manually edit database entries when a new product was defined. Or, maybe they have a software tool to do it for them.

So, either there's some poor engineer who gets called on to create product key listings, or there's a system that will need maintenance and updating when D&DB changes.

Either way, the more product keys you intend to manage, the more of a burden that becomes. Reducing the number of product keys by eliminating al la carte purchases would be one way to cap that burden.
 

mamba

Legend
Assume that each bit of game-rule content (like a race, a class, a subclass, a monster, a spell, etc) is identified with some key for use by the software. I don't know that is how the architecture works, but let us assume it.
it working like that is pretty much a given

You do not really need any for the SRD content that everyone has access to, but for anything you want to restrict / sell individually you do
 


ECMO3

Hero
I wonder if WOTC is going to go after the sites online pirating their content (thinking of one in particular). I do know there are a lot of people who go online to look for 5E content but go do a different site from DNDBeyond. I am not talking about SRD stuff, I am talking about races, classes options from TCE, Fizbans, PHB etc.

Many of those players then come to DNDBeyond to build their character and need those bits. These people are not buying the books now because they get the material for free anyway. If WOTC successfully addressed the sites pirating their material it would mean people would need to get the entire books to get that material.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
it working like that is pretty much a given

You do not really need any for the SRD content that everyone has access to, but for anything you want to restrict / sell individually you do

You probably still want "content keys" for the SRD content - or how else do you reference that a character has an SRD class, and subclass with a specific ability that references a specific spell on D&DB? When you want to show or reference the mechanics, you want those keys, right?

Aside - this is a way to do "legacy" content. You don't edit or erase old content, you stand up new keys, and reference them going forward, but leave the old ones around for when you want them.
 




MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Also, I have players in my store that make their characters on Beyond, but print them (too bad their printed sheets kind of suck). They still buy books. And like I said above, I suspect that a lot of people who buy dice, minis, and paints might get their books on DDB.
Yeah, the character sheet print outs from DDB really do suck. I think it was a poor decision to try to fit everything into paper character-sheet design from the PHB.

I really liked how Hero Lab printed character sheets when I was using it back in the early days of 5e. Tick boxes to track amunition. The spell sheets where you can track your slots would also have snipits summarizing the spell rules in nice, concise, but helpful manner. Yeah, a high-level character could be 4-8 pages long, but it it was easy to reference, easy to read, and no text got cut off to make everything fit.
 

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