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How many people subscribe to D&D stuff?

Nagol

Unimportant
Personally, I chose the books over the subscription, and our 4Ed DM looks like he's not going to renew his subscription because of the advent of 5th.

When is the online support for 4th supposed to end, again?

No announcement. Assuming they are keeping the Internet channel, it would make most sense to keep 4e support going for as long as you have a handul of people willing to pay for it.
 

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Pretty much. THe "crunch" gets added to the appropriate online tools a month or 3 after intial publication. You lose out on some of the art and fluff unless you buy the physical product.

So, if as a player, you want the additional options for character development, get a DDI account for the cost of about 2-3 books a year and you're done. That said, WotC gets to collect more direct revenue from the subscriber than 2-3 books worth -- no distributor or store margins. There is indirect overhead in the channel, but if you're keeping it active, individual transactions are almost free.

Yeah, I think its reasonable to assume DDI cannibalizes SOME 4e splat book sales. Some of my players for instance have DDI but have purchased few, if any, splatbooks (though I suspect if PDFs had been available 4 years ago they could have sold quite a few of those). In general you would think that a web service would produce superior income, but its hard to say for sure. In the long run it probably could. Whether DDI has offset the loss in splat sales is hard to say, though presumably this would be a major market condition for WotC to figure out.

Anyway, I personally bought most of the 4e splat books. The very few I haven't got were either books I didn't really need, like the race books, or setting books, or a couple that I just never happened to get around to picking up a copy of, like Psionic Power (only one person has played a PHB3 class and for the small amount we'd use it I can use DDI for this book). I must admit though, if there are PDFs and DDI/Compendium in the future I'll be hard pressed to buy physical books again. I just don't use most of them a lot on an everyday basis.

Personally, I chose the books over the subscription, and our 4Ed DM looks like he's not going to renew his subscription because of the advent of 5th.

When is the online support for 4th supposed to end, again?

There is no scheduled termination. Mike actually stated at one time when this concern was first raised (right after DDN was announced) that his opinion was 4e DDI should be continued or DDN support should just be added, anyway in some fashion that 4e tools would still exist. In any case we have at least 18 months presumably until the release of DDN, there's not going to be a discontinuation before that.
 

jodyjohnson

Adventurer
Current DDI group membership is listed as 81,153.

The DDNext group is 8399 but you don't need to join the group to see Next info.
The DDN group is larger than the LFR and General D&D groups.

The second largest group I'm subscribed to is the Online Roleplaying Game Group at 45,700.
 
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dd.stevenson

Super KY
Pretty much. It's not that bad of an idea really. You can access the entire line for 7 bucks a month, or you can buy what you want to use and never pay again. It's not really direct competition IMO. Particularly since you cannot use the DDI elements offline. You have to have a computer.

I let my sub slide last September and I'm not really feeling the pinch. It was nice to have, but, not really necessary.

How does the "buy what you want to use and never pay again" part work? Do you have to pay full price for the splat books? (EDIT: Ah, I see now. This sentence in your post was talking about the physical books.)

If you can substitute both products for one another without feeling the pinch, then that's direct competition. Heck, this competition sounds more direct than the competition between Pathfinder and 4E.

Pretty much. THe "crunch" gets added to the appropriate online tools a month or 3 after intial publication. You lose out on some of the art and fluff unless you buy the physical product.

So, if as a player, you want the additional options for character development, get a DDI account for the cost of about 2-3 books a year and you're done. That said, WotC gets to collect more direct revenue from the subscriber than 2-3 books worth -- no distributor or store margins. There is indirect overhead in the channel, but if you're keeping it active, individual transactions are almost free.

That sounds great for the customers. Choose which ever one you want! But is there any good reason to buy both the books and the DDI subscription? Do these goods complement each other?
 
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Nagol

Unimportant
Ho

<snip>

That sounds great for the customers. Choose which ever one you want! But is there any good reason to buy both the books and the DDI subscription? Do these goods complement each other?

I'm not a subscriber. So far as I can tell, if you are interested in the crunch only then the products directly compete. The only reason to buy both is because thay are not completely overlapping offers.

Books
Access lasts as long as the physical product survives
Errata must be applied by owner
Contains art
Contains more descriptive text
Can be held
single purchase price

DDI
Access lasts only as long as WotC operates the toolset and a subscription is active
Has errata applied as part of the service
Limited art and descriptive text
Complements and extends convenience apps (character builder, encounter builders, etc.)
Has other offerings like columns and the online magazines
 

Dice4Hire

First Post
I never subscribed to DDI, but a friend who did and has since stopped gaming let me use his sub, which will run out in May or so. Overall, I have liked it, but I will do without it when the sub runs out.
 

D'karr

Adventurer
If you can substitute both products for one another without feeling the pinch, then that's direct competition. Heck, this competition sounds more direct than the competition between Pathfinder and 4E.

What DDI does not provide is the flavor content of the books. For example, all the information about the planes that appears in the books Plane Above, Plane Below, Heroes of the Fey Wild, and Heroes of the Elemental Chaos is not included in DDI. All of the mechanical content, such as backgrounds, themes, classes, powers and feats are included.

For me, it was important to have the flavor content - so I purchased a books. Until just recently, I also had a subscription to DDI for all the flavor content that is not in the books (Dungeon and Dragon), and for the electronic tools.
 




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