OGL DnD Shorts final video

S'mon

Legend

Good to finally have it all out I guess!

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Xyxox

Hero
The strategy is also weird in the sense that, if I wanted to play a MMORPG, I could play one right now. World of Warcraft has certainly seen better times, but it's not like there is any risk they would turn off the servers tomorrow.
Yes, and given WotC's history with VTTs, at least WoW is already up and running. After the 4E fiasco, I wonder if they'll ever get a workable VTT running.
 

S'mon

Legend
Kyle Reese tells the OGL 1.0 about WoTC's Digital Initiative:

"It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop... ever, until you are dead!"

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From what D&D Shorts says, WoTC-Skynet are absolutely determined to eliminate all VTTs - Foundry, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds et al - these are their John Connors. Everyone else is just collateral damage, like the club goers in Tech Noir.

I think the 3PPs are now the Human Resistance.
 
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SAVeira

Adventurer
I am finding D&D Shorts to be highly irresponsible. Clearly showing that he has zero journalism training. His poorly thought-out method of reporting the situation is going to cause several people to be fired at WotC. Should have done a much better job at ensure that his sources cannot traced or letting Hasbro know about secret MS Teams chats. Sigh...
 


SAVeira

Adventurer
Well, those MS Teams groups are compromised. Hope the sources were using different logins.
Doubtful. MS Teams logins normally would be tired to their corporate network emails. So non-Hasbro/WotC would not have access the Hasbro/WotC and most companies do not issue individual more than one account.

This is why I call D&D Shorts highly irresponsible. MS Teams has a ton of elements in it that can allow an employer to track their employee's active. I know as I am an IT manager and we have discussing turning that on at my work.

If someone does not think that Hasbro/WotC is not going to start looking for leakers with every tool they can, I am afraid you are very mistaken. The last three years, there has been two items that clients have been coming to my company looking for cyber security and tools to monitor their employee.
 

BrassDragon

Adventurer
Supporter
Doubtful. MS Teams logins normally would be tired to their corporate network emails. So non-Hasbro/WotC would not have access the Hasbro/WotC and most companies do not issue individual more than one account.

This is why I call D&D Shorts highly irresponsible.
Spot on. A responsible journalist would have stated something like 'To discuss these issues between themselves, WOTC employees had to take extra steps to make sure their communications could not be monitored by management' not 'The employees were using X feature of tool Y'. It's silly, needlessly reckless stuff that doesn't add anything to the story for the audience but can have very real consequences for the sources.
 

I am finding D&D Shorts to be highly irresponsible. Clearly showing that he has zero journalism training. His poorly thought-out method of reporting the situation is going to cause several people to be fired at WotC. Should have done a much better job at ensure that his sources cannot traced or letting Hasbro know about secret MS Teams chats. Sigh...
Watching a bit more of the video, I unfortunately have to agree. That is a major blunder and I really hope no one at WotC gets fired over this.
 

The strategy is also weird in the sense that if I wanted to play a MMORPG, I could play one right now. World of Warcraft has certainly seen better times, but it's not like there is any risk they would turn off the servers tomorrow.
So I have a theory on this.

MMOs seem to be kind of cyclical/generational, and people tend to be wary of them if they're presented to them as MMOs. As an example I'd present Destiny, particularly Destiny 2. It's "obviously" (ahem) a particularly grindy MMORPG vaguely disguised as an FPS (I say this having played it). But the vast majority of people playing it are 10-15+ years younger than me, and virtually all of them missed out on WoW and the whole MMORPG thing. So they think this is this totally novel experience, and that this is just a cool "online FPS", and are only, as they get older and bitterer, starting to realize, maybe this is actually just a grindy MMO (I know a few voices in the wilderness always said that lol). If you read articles or watch videos by Destiny 2 players it's almost hilarious how close a lot of what they say is to WoW players, especially talking about how great certain things were/are, the ways they defend it and so on.

So I don't think WotC want people to think of OneDnD as an MMORPG. One thing they seem to have understood is that, when 4E (which had a nearly identical strategy but 10% of the budget and only 20% of the evil, if that) suffered hard because of the MMO comparisons the then-CEO (I believe it was) of WotC made, where he talked specifically about the ambitions to make it "like WoW". I don't think he meant quite literally, but in terms of a digital online subscription thing? Absolutely.

And games like WoW can't be monetized to the same degree without people throwing a fit.

In WoW, you're paying a hefty subscription. People have shown they'll tolerate mounts/pets being sold, as long as you throw huge numbers of both at them every expansion, and obtainable purely through normal gameplay. People will pay for new expansions, but they won't pay for old ones (so WoW folds everything but the newest expansion into the sub). FFXIV is similar - people are slightly more tolerant to paying for stuff, but it also has a lower subscription.

Because OneDnD/3D VTT "isn't an MMO", it can be monetized much more aggressively without triggering the same red flags, at least for a few years. Subscription, sourcebooks, adventures, virtual minis, dungeon tiles/dressing, virtual dice, and more!

And that's the key. Nothing lasts forever, but WoW made $2.7bn one year, and if they could even break $500m with 3D VTT, that'd prove it was at least semi-worthwhile investment. If they could go higher, or do multiple years of that? Good god.
 
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Yes, and given WotC's history with VTTs, at least WoW is already up and running. After the 4E fiasco, I wonder if they'll ever get a workable VTT running.
That is the big risk here.

They've got 350 people on it, so they're spending tens of millions. It's something nobody has done before. Will they succeed in making an amazing product everyone wants to use by 2024 (even Q4)? My magic 8-ball says "Nope", but it's been wrong before. I think them either half-arsing it or going way overtime and overbudget is more likely, but just look at history. How many companies spent $50m to $300m on MMORPGs that basically flopped? Dozens, I think would be correct to say. Every one of them thought they'd succeed. Many of them convinced a lot of players - until they actually played it!
 

SAVeira

Adventurer
That is the big risk here.

They've got 350 people on it, so they're spending tens of millions. It's something nobody has done before. Will they succeed in making an amazing product everyone wants to use by 2024 (even Q4)? My magic 8-ball says "Nope", but it's been wrong before. I think them either half-arsing it or going way overtime and overbudget is more likely, but just look at history. How many companies spent $50m to $300m on MMORPGs that basically flopped? Dozens, I think would be correct to say. Every one of them thought they'd succeed. Many of them convinced a lot of players - until they actually played it!
No kidding. How many good game franchises have been wrecked by seeking to become the next WOW?

One fact that is forgotten is a not all D&D players are MMORPG players. In fact, most of the people I have played with no not like MMO. Otherwise, would the two D&D MMOs be bigger then they are?
 

Watching the video now.

Wow. Damn.

This is basically everything I casually predicted months or even years ago, with a less doom-y mindset. It all makes sense, though if it's true, Chris Cao is a bit of an idiot, because he wants to go far too hard too fast. Also, given D&D Beyond was acquired against his advice, it sounds like WotC is not unified on his vision. That's not necessarily a good thing, but it's interesting. I can believe they thought $30 was viable whilst discussing it internally, not because they could get it, but because echo-chamber-type discussions often give people ridiculous ideas. I mean, I've been in discussions watching highly intelligent and educated men and women wildly overestimate how successful a legal product is going to be, and my careful attempts to burst balloons are accepted politely but basically ignored. Then unfortunately I was right lol.

The Blueprint 2.0 seems to be nigh-identical to what happened with 4E, as well. The whole thing back then was "These IPs need to make more money!" except back then it was only $50m, not hundreds of millions or more.

Fascinated to hear Dan Rawson is a good guy, and Williams is hands-off, that's kind of interesting. Unsurprised to hear Jeremy Crawford is well-regarded, he seems like he'd be a lot of fun when not trolling us all with Sage Advice. Good that he's respecting Ray's story and also unsurprising he was well-liked. Kyle Brink whilst theoretically outranking Chris Cao is allegedly basically working for him, which is interesting - it makes sense given the tens of millions being poured in to D&D - if you've twice the employees and twice the budget, even if the org chart says you're lower, that's not going to be how it works, politically.
 


kenada

Legend
Supporter
Very few MMOs are able to stick to the subscription anymore. Final Fantasy XIV is somewhat unique in having done it and launched in the last decade-ish (technically 12 years ago with 1.0). YoshiP has spoken about why they were able to do that: Square Enix takes the long view with its MMOs because they had one success already — Final Fantasy XI was the most profitable game in the FF series (until FFXIV eventually supplanted it). Unfortunately, many MMOs have inventors who want a quick return, which usually prompts them to take hasty action when their subscriptions start to dip.Hasbro should be immune to that in theory, but their history suggests they’re not good at taking the long view either (otherwise, why would they have made such a mess of M:tG’s 30th anniversary?).

If Hasbro think they’re going to get players subscribing to a VTT, they’re nuts. It’s not a surprise that the VTT models with successful business models are ones where the players don’t pay (because it makes the barrier to finding players very low, and players are needed to play games). If the solution to that problem is to eliminate any other choice, then they’re inevitably going to draw scrutiny from regulators. App Stores are already under a spotlight, and Hasbro would be not only trying to move D&D to that model but (presumably) using its dominant position to force that change by eliminating the competition.
 

One fact that is forgotten is a not all D&D players are MMORPG players. In fact, most of the people I have played with no not like MMO. Otherwise, would the two D&D MMOs be bigger then they are?
There's certainly some overlap between TTRPG players and MMORPG players - people like me, for example.

But yeah if I look at any of the TTRPG groups I've played with a lot, only about 1 in 5 had ever "seriously" played MMOs, and maybe 2-3 in 5 played them at least casually.

Re: the D&D MMOs - no because they were terrible. That's a separate issue though. The first one was damn silly, because it picked Eberron as a setting, but it was a version of Eberron with almost no Eberron-stuff in it lol (why?!?) and the gameplay was weak compared to MMOs of the era, and it also didn't feel like D&D. The NWN MMO (not to be confused with other NWNs) was better as an MMO, almost good, but "almost good" is exactly how you end up being yet another F2P MMO sitting at the side of the road.
 

Watching a bit more of the video, I unfortunately have to agree. That is a major blunder and I really hope no one at WotC gets fired over this.
I think the issue is he literally didn't know what Teams was, so doesn't understand that by mentioning those, WotC can, potentially, depending on their Teams setup, find them. Though it may well be a needle-in-a-haystack deal.

I think it's good that he's passing people on to Linda because of stuff like that. Linda is a bit more tech-savvy and likely to double-check stuff like that.
 


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