WotC Guessing as to WotC's VTT plans

Steel_Wind

Legend
3. Very little animation.

Is it simple? No, of course not. It's very complex. The rules interactions are going to be insane. But, by the same token, a lot of the elements of an actual video game just aren't needed for a VTT. Your token isn't going to animate, walk across the screen and then attack like it would in a video game. You are going to slide a static token from point A to point B and then attacks and whatnot will be handled in text with zero interaction with the images.

So, no, I don't think it looks like a video game at all. It's closer to something like Zoom.
There will be TONS of animations, just not in the way you meant (on what you mean? We mostly agree).

I expect every single spell in the game to have a VFX particle animation for it. While it is true that those do not use Kinetic rigging for limb movement (or whatever - which is what you correctly meant) there will still be a crap-ton of particle animations and shader effects for every spell in the game.

As for attacks, I expect something similar to the approach used by JB2A, which create animations for static 2d images to breath life into weapon attacks. These are what Foundry uses for attack and some spell animations. You can view them online here in a pretty spiffy asset viewer: JB2A

Yes, I expect at least this sort of approach for static models in an WotC VTT.

Leave FGU and come to Foundry @Hussar. I had both FG and FG2. FVTT is better dude. Really, it is.
 

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Hussar

Legend
There will be TONS of animations, just not in the way you meant (on what you mean? We mostly agree).

I expect every single spell in the game to have a VFX particle animation for it. While it is true that those do not use Kinetic rigging for limb movement (or whatever - which is what you correctly meant) there will still be a crap-ton of particle animations and shader effects for every spell in the game.

As for attacks, I expect something similar to the approach used by JB2A, which create animations for static 2d images to breath life into weapon attacks. These are what Foundry uses for attack and some spell animations. You can view them online here in a pretty spiffy asset viewer: JB2A

Yes, I expect at least this sort of approach for static models in an WotC VTT.

Leave FGU and come to Foundry @Hussar. I had both FG and FG2. FVTT is better dude. Really, it is.
I really hope you're wrong or that this will be optional add ons. I have zero interest in this sort of thing for my VTT. Far, far too resource intensive and far, far too much of a pain in the ass. I want a virtual tabletop, not a video game. I don't even use animated dice in my tabletop.

This is something I do not want at all.
 

Grantypants

Explorer
I think that's incredibly unlikely.

WotC just are not the sort of company who is into that. WotC have ultra-tight control over the aesthetics of their products. They're absolutely obsessive about it. It's one of the few things that's been completely consistent with WotC over the last three decades.

So the idea of essentially allowing a "free-for-all" where anyone who can meet basic guidelines can upload 3D models etc. subject only to basic approval/checks (i.e. that they're not obscene or gory or broken or whatever - and that's a whole burden anyway which WotC would probably like to avoid) is just absolutely abhorrent to WotC. Particularly on a premium product that they're aiming to present to millions of people. DM's Guild largely exists as it is because it's relatively unpopular and niche and WotC does absolutely nothing ever to make anyone aware of its existence. It might as well be in a back room with a "do not enter" sign on the door lol. What you're suggesting would be part of WotC's top-shelf product, one which they're going to be expecting to have mass uptake of, and would necessarily be pretty central to that product.

It's possible WotC will do bespoke deals with certain artists and so on to have them to models or even model-lines (or architecture or whatever) for the VTT. But opening the floodgates like that? It won't happen.

I don't think it's even particularly likely that they'll allow 3PP adventures or the like in the VTT. They might, but I think it's a little more likely they'll only have first-party (or invited 3PP) stuff, and DMs will have to manually assemble anything 3PP like it was homebrew.
You might be right. On the other hand, WotC is sinking a lot of money into this VTT plan, so they have to have a plan for making some of that back. One efficient way of doing that will be to open up a marketplace so that they can get paid for whatever art the fans add to the game. Good 3d artists are expensive and there are a lot of assets to make. If WotC can rely on the community to do some of that work, that's more money for the stockholders.
 

drl2

Explorer
The main reason people stayed with Roll20 is they either: 1) aren't familiar with Foundry VTT and the advantages it offers; or 2) don't realize they can migrate their campaigns and purchased content to Foundry VTT with a utility to do so and believe their purchased content won't transfer to that VTT.

I'm a Foundry user (have run 4 different systems and written two) who finds himself disappointed when invited to a game that's hosted on Roll20 because it just feels really antiquated, but having had a number of conversations with people who have done the research and still not made the jump, there are lots of other (mostly situationally valid) reasons people haven't switched. Among them:

  • No free option
  • My system's not available in Foundry and I'm not interested in trying to create it in one of those sandbox builders
  • I want to buy official content that isn't available in Foundry and use it without having to deal with some third-party export/import process
  • Port forwarding? Waazzat? Somebody recommended something about Oracle cloud services and Docker containers and SSL certificates and does it open up my home network to hacking and.... and... and... <sound of non-tech-geek-head exploding>
  • Port forwarding? My ISP doesn't allow that! (Alternately: My internet connection is too slow to host!)
  • Or I could pay for monthly hosting (e.g. Forge), which goes back to the first point
  • There's a big learning curve to switch! (At which point I usually argue that it's relatively easy to get to the point where you have the same functionality as R20 and the learning curve really kicks in when you start playing with all the other stuff you can do, and IMO Foundry is more logically organized once you get used to it...)
  • My players are logging in on crap hardware
  • I heard Foundry was full of bugs because there was an update and some module still hasn't been updated!

There are also a number of older GMs that, in accordance with what has been posted recently, go with the "too fancy, gets in the way of imagination" stuff. I'm not too sure about all of that -- but I accept that for whatever reason, they don't want something more than Roll20.

I play in a regular game with someone who's fairly well known in the industry (in a game run by someone else, in Foundry, having moved from R20) and he's somewhat of this opinion - for him, all the flashy features take the focus away from the game itself, and he prefers roll20 for games he runs.



... and, to bring this back to something in the vicinity of the original topic, I suspect I won't be using whatever VTT WOTC comes up with unless a) my players REALLY want to use it and are dead set on 5e, and b) I can actually own any content I pay for, not have to rent ongoing access to it.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
I'm a Foundry user (have run 4 different systems and written two) who finds himself disappointed when invited to a game that's hosted on Roll20 because it just feels really antiquated, but having had a number of conversations with people who have done the research and still not made the jump, there are lots of other (mostly situationally valid) reasons people haven't switched. Among them:

  • No free option
  • My system's not available in Foundry and I'm not interested in trying to create it in one of those sandbox builders
  • I want to buy official content that isn't available in Foundry and use it without having to deal with some third-party export/import process
  • Port forwarding? Waazzat? Somebody recommended something about Oracle cloud services and Docker containers and SSL certificates and does it open up my home network to hacking and.... and... and... <sound of non-tech-geek-head exploding>
  • Port forwarding? My ISP doesn't allow that! (Alternately: My internet connection is too slow to host!)
  • Or I could pay for monthly hosting (e.g. Forge), which goes back to the first point
  • There's a big learning curve to switch! (At which point I usually argue that it's relatively easy to get to the point where you have the same functionality as R20 and the learning curve really kicks in when you start playing with all the other stuff you can do, and IMO Foundry is more logically organized once you get used to it...)
  • My players are logging in on crap hardware
  • I heard Foundry was full of bugs because there was an update and some module still hasn't been updated!



I play in a regular game with someone who's fairly well known in the industry (in a game run by someone else, in Foundry, having moved from R20) and he's somewhat of this opinion - for him, all the flashy features take the focus away from the game itself, and he prefers roll20 for games he runs.



... and, to bring this back to something in the vicinity of the original topic, I suspect I won't be using whatever VTT WOTC comes up with unless a) my players REALLY want to use it and are dead set on 5e, and b) I can actually own any content I pay for, not have to rent ongoing access to it.
My comments were directed at 5e DMs, not at GMs of other RPG systems (though there are many of them well supported on FVTT ,too, as you know).

I find most of that not to be reasons, so much as excuses. They don't want to do it because of what amounts to inertia. They have not seen what's possible and how it plays, so they can't be bothered. 95%? I think it really comes down to that.

There are some port forwarding issues which happen on older routers -- and more particularly -- among ISP users located in the East and Mid-West of the USA where this issue arises (it seems confined largely to the East Coast of the USA). It's a Comcast issue I believe. I understand those people's aggravation completely. That's a separate issue. I'd be pretty pissed off about it, too. But to be clear, that's not a problem with Foundry, that's a problem with somebody's ISP.

Still, if you have got to that point in your install of Foundry VTT where that's the cock-block? I get it. By that point though, they have bought it and have installed it. They are pretty much committed at that stage -- so going ASW or The Forge is just another final hoop to jump through.

As for Roll20 after Foundry? I never used Roll20 to GM, though I did look at it and decided it was too basic for me -- and in terms of the quality/expense, the bang for the buck was just too low. I came to Foundry from D20Pro. I do play in one game on Roll20 though -- and I hate it. It's old. slow, looks ugly and ... yeah. Yuck. I can't understand why somebody would continue to use it when there are clearly better options for not much money at all.

For those who insist on limiting cost at every turn in terms of their RPG gaming? That's not somebody I will end up playing with if they are the GM for a number of reasons. As players, I cover the cost of Foundry and host my own server. I pay for a DDB subscription for 5e books and otherwise, with PF2, the rules are available online for free if that is an issue.
 
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There's a lot of unknowns here.

First, any VTT that outright requires a VR headset is doomed to failure until said headsets are actually affordable (less than $100 and does NOT require an additional gaming system/pc on top of it) for the mainstream.

Assuming their "3D VTT isn't Referring to VR, then the next big question is how much will it cost and how will it be monetized? Also how will it work with preexisting assets from other sources? Unless I can take a generic JPG or PNG and convert it to an asset that works you're not going to convince me their VTT is worth my while. And honestly the cost matters too. I refuse to use Roll20 or Foundry for the high price tag both have, though out of the two I prefer the one WITHOUT a subscription fee.

Frankly I'm old school and have no desire to play d&d online. Period. Not when I can use a play mat and minis. I've begrudgingly accepted that streaming online or using a bare bones VTT is near a requirement atm due to covid, but I use an older VTT that's completely opensource by choice: Maptools.

Additionally, I've frankly found both the roll20 and foundry communities to be filled with a bunch of min maxing optimizing power gamers that I frankly would never want NEAR my table. I realize milage may vary here but that has been my experience and it's turned me off of them permanently, especially when combined with the fact that I don't ever want to spend a single dime on a VTT to begin with if I can help it, mainly because I've already invested hundreds/thousands of dollars into physical stuff already. I'd much rather spend my money figuring out how to buy and rig up an actual streaming video camera to use online in a heartbeat. But to be fair I realize my opinions here may not be the majority.
 

There's a lot of unknowns here.

First, any VTT that outright requires a VR headset is doomed to failure until said headsets are actually affordable (less than $100 and does NOT require an additional gaming system/pc on top of it) for the mainstream.

Assuming their "3D VTT isn't Referring to VR, then the next big question is how much will it cost and how will it be monetized? Also how will it work with preexisting assets from other sources? Unless I can take a generic JPG or PNG and convert it to an asset that works you're not going to convince me their VTT is worth my while. And honestly the cost matters too. I refuse to use Roll20 or Foundry for the high price tag both have, though out of the two I prefer the one WITHOUT a subscription fee.

Frankly I'm old school and have no desire to play d&d online. Period. Not when I can use a play mat and minis. I've begrudgingly accepted that streaming online or using a bare bones VTT is near a requirement atm due to covid, but I use an older VTT that's completely opensource by choice: Maptools.

Additionally, I've frankly found both the roll20 and foundry communities to be filled with a bunch of min maxing optimizing power gamers that I frankly would never want NEAR my table. I realize milage may vary here but that has been my experience and it's turned me off of them permanently, especially when combined with the fact that I don't ever want to spend a single dime on a VTT to begin with if I can help it, mainly because I've already invested hundreds/thousands of dollars into physical stuff already. I'd much rather spend my money figuring out how to buy and rig up an actual streaming video camera to use online in a heartbeat. But to be fair I realize my opinions here may not be the majority.
It’s not going to require a headset. It’s supposed to look somewhat like you are playing with minis.
 

It’s not going to require a headset. It’s supposed to look somewhat like you are playing with minis.
That's at least a start. I've still no desire to use it if it's more than a one time fee and doesn't Allow customization and importing generic assets.

But I'm also llikely not the target audience. I have no desire to use DnD Beyond either and likely never will. And I've STILL never forgiven WoTC for the complete catastrophe that was the 4E digital toolsets.
 

That's at least a start. I've still no desire to use it if it's more than a one time fee and doesn't Allow customization and importing generic assets.

But I'm also llikely not the target audience. I have no desire to use DnD Beyond either and likely never will. And I've STILL never forgiven WoTC for the complete catastrophe that was the 4E digital toolsets.
You are holding a decade old grudge over the 4e stuff. Which did not get done cause the guy in-charge died. That seems overly petty.
 

You are holding a decade old grudge over the 4e stuff. Which did not get done cause the guy in-charge died. That seems overly petty.
I also don't like DnD Beyond. Something I've been very vocal about both here and to wizards ever since it's Beta inception. I think it's asinine that one has to pay both a subscription fee AND purchase books a second time in order to truly use their product. And before someone claims that it is "free", I remind others that sharing of homebrew material is not. I also don't like the actual user Interface of the website, nor that it cannot be used offline, or that products that I have purchase could conceptually be taken away from me at any point without my consent if they should ever shut down their servers. I also dislike that BECAUSE of Dnd Beyond I STILL cannot buy a legal pdf of any of the books.

I am VERY wary of Wizards requiring a dndbeyond account to access their new playtest and the not so subtle implications that the OGL license could very well be getting changed to force all 3rd party developers to use the DMsguild and no I don't trust the single tweet that attempted to assure others that the OGL wasn't going away, especially considering that tweet was filled with intentionally vague corporate speak and unclear language deliberately designed for future wiggle room to change their minds later.

I sure as hell don't like any sort of monopoly on products of any kind, nor do I agree with apple or steam taking such large cuts of independent app developers, and Wizards potentially forcing 3rd party developers to use the DMsguild is no different. And whose to say they won't find a way to ban all 3rd party Virtual tabletops while at it? I've a healthy fear of wizards arguably trying to muscle out all of competition, especially given their proven track record of poorly mismanaging digital content.
 
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Hussar

Legend
There are some port forwarding issues which happen on older routers
Note, this is an issue I've run into before. I could not port forward and needed to use Hamachi for years in order to use Fantasy Grounds.

To be fair though, that was a problem on my end, totally.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Note, this is an issue I've run into before. I could not port forward and needed to use Hamachi for years in order to use Fantasy Grounds.

To be fair though, that was a problem on my end, totally.
With modern routers and an adequate ISP, you don't even have to change a setting on your router. The Foundry software handles it all in the background, automagically. The extra-setup step takes, literally, 0 seconds as a modern router does this automatically without user intervention.

What causes this persistent issue among a fairly large swath of the American East-coast is Comcast. Its system is setup to STOP all of its subscribers from having any router automatically do port-forwarding for installed software. It's a nutty technical design; a built in and deliberate crippling of their high-speed network.
 

darjr

I crit!
Point of order. WotC didn’t drop PDFs because of DnDBeyond.

WotC said they did it in an attempt to thwart piracy.

My pet anecdotal theory is they also did it to appease the retail stores.

Kinda a perfect storm of bad decisions. Imho.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Point of order. WotC didn’t drop PDFs because of DnDBeyond.

WotC said they did it in an attempt to thwart piracy.

My pet anecdotal theory is they also did it to appease the retail stores.

Kinda a perfect storm of bad decisions. Imho.
I think it was mostly aimed at retailers, too.

Paizo's sale of PDFs and direct subscriber PDF benefits is a stone in the shoe of many store owners. The vast majority sell Paizo products anyway, but many grumble about it.

If WotC's only relationship with FLGS owners was their selling D&D books? WotC would sell direct to customers, too.

Of course, that isn't their main relationship at all. WotC has a critically important relationship with FLGS owners who sell M:TG. That sales relationship changes everything - and dominates every aspect of their relationship with store owners. WotC no longer attends at Gencon for the same reason: (other than DDB) -- they don't want to sell direct to fans because they have promised FLGS owners that they won't. WotC won't compete with their retail partners.

DDB ended up working out for them far beyond expectations. It's been an unexpected great success, but it was never the reason for not selling PDFs. WotC's prolonged absence from Gencon tells you all you need to know.

Whether DDB is seen by store owners as competition subsequent to WotC's purchase of it is unclear. I haven't heard or seen any shop owners complain about it like they do with Paizo though. Perhaps that's the real point. Close to the line - but not over. Not yet anyways.
 
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darjr

I crit!
I think it was mostly aimed at retailers, too.

Paizo's sale of PDFs and direct subscriber PDF benefits is a stone in the shoe of many store owners. The vast majority sell Paizo products anyway, but many grumble about it.

If WotC's only relationship with FLGS owners was their selling D&D books? WotC would sell direct to customers, too.

Of course, that isn't their main relationship at all. WotC has a critically important relationship with FLGS owners who sell M:TG. That sales relationship changes everything - and dominates every aspect of their relationship with store owners. WotC no longer attends at Gencon for the same reason: (other than DDB) -- they don't want to sell direct to fans because they have promised FLGS owners that they won't. WotC won't compete with their retail partners.

DDB ended up working out for them far beyond expectations. It's been an unexpected great success, but it was never the reason for not selling PDFs. WotC's prolonged absence from Gencon tells you all you need to know.

Whether DDB is seen by store owners as competition subsequent to WotC's purchase of it is unclear. I haven't heard or seen any shop owners complain about it like they do with Paizo though. Perhaps that's the real point. Close to the line - but not over. Not yet anyways.
Oh I have!

In some areas where store owners talk it was a five alarm panic mode. But strangely still about magic.
 

Hussar

Legend
With modern routers and an adequate ISP, you don't even have to change a setting on your router. The Foundry software handles it all in the background, automagically. The extra-setup step takes, literally, 0 seconds as a modern router does this automatically without user intervention.

What causes this persistent issue among a fairly large swath of the American East-coast is Comcast. Its system is setup to STOP all of its subscribers from having any router automatically do port-forwarding for installed software. It's a nutty technical design; a built in and deliberate crippling of their high-speed network.
Not all of us live in America too.
 

Point of order. WotC didn’t drop PDFs because of DnDBeyond.

WotC said they did it in an attempt to thwart piracy.

My pet anecdotal theory is they also did it to appease the retail stores.

Kinda a perfect storm of bad decisions. Imho.
Yes. Because Wizards, a corporate entity under Hasbro would totally tell the truth about a major reason for not releasing pdfs being that they want to "encourage" people to use their proprietary (and now 1st party) system in order to have any sort of electronic access to their ruleset, especially when, ya know, specifically admitting to that is a crime in the United States? In other news: everything you read on the internet is true, there's a certain Nigerian prince out there who wants to give you money, and there really are hot singles in yor local area looking to meet you.

More to the rest of your post: I can see the argument that perhaps retailers may have been worried about sales of physical books, but...as has been brought up in this age old argument for why there are no pdfs time and time again, why not simply attach codes to download pdfs to the sale of physical books? Both sides win.

And before you claim this would detract from sales rom people pirating the pdfs, news flash bud, they already do. It just ain't legal. (Obligatory disclaimer that I do not endorse piracy).
 




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