D&D (2024) I'm a longtime player and there really is only one thing that will stop me from switching to 5.X

This. ☝️ For so many reasons. I feel like when they designed 5e, and one of its main reasons for success, was because they designed it around a feeling, specifically, the feeling of old-school tabletop gaming. Redesigning around a virtual tabletop might change the feeling drastically. And, in fact, I do not even see how it can be done.
I think it'll be a while before we feel any real impact. I mean, first off the 3D VTT has to actually arrive - that's probably at least six months before we even get a semi-open beta, maybe a year or more. Then it'll have to properly release. Then we'll see.

The big issue is that, if Cynthia Williams was correct (and we have no reason to believe otherwise), WotC have nearly 10x as many employees working on the 3D VTT as on the actual D&D team, which means they likely have close to 10x the expenditure - or more - too (unless the D&D team are on much higher salaries than one expects). Thus the 3D VTT represents a vastly larger commitment of resources, and larger perceived risk than TT D&D.

So then are two potentially big D&D-influencing outcomes:

1) If the 3D VTT is a big flop on full release or rapidly drops off, subscriber and microtransactor-wise, and looks like a bad investment, and WotC decides that investing further in it is throwing good money after bad, there will be an impetus with WotC to find a way to recoup some of those losses. One of the possible ways will be to sell off the D&D IP, including the 3D VTT. As the IP is reasonably popular, WotC might be able to ask a pretty large amount of money for this, likely from a videogame company. Top contender probably Microsoft because of Hasbro/WotC's close connections with Microsoft (as much, perhaps the majority of the upper management is ex-MS), but Sony, Ubisoft, EA and others would likely also be possibilities. To be clear, this isn't a certainty. WotC may well decide cutting their losses makes sense but that the D&D IP is too valuable to sell. In which case 5E 2024 version will likely just carry on, with WotC focusing instead on trying to get more games like BG3 to exist (a probably fruitless task).

2) If the 3D VTT is fairly successful or better, it will very rapidly eclipse TT D&D in terms of profitability, given the approach to monetization that WotC have already described. This means that TT D&D will naturally become a secondary concern. Not ignored, I'm sure, after all the 3D VTT still will have it's raison d'etre be fundamentally as a VTT. Initially at least. We've heard recently that WotC are trying to focus on making it as easy as possible for DMs, and almost automated, which I think will likely gradually drift the 3D VTT more towards being a kind of multiplayer videogame, essentially. Anyway, videogame aspects aren't likely to impact TT D&D. But what will is the approach to selling content. If you've got a subscription-based platform and you're already going hard with microtransactions (and again, we know this is the plan - WotC have said so is the beginning - to go hard with microtransactions), then different ways of delivering content and charging for it would make sense. WotC have already put out feelers about this with surveys. We may well see a sort of balkanization of classes, subclasses, races, spells, monsters, items and so on, as WotC attempts to focus on selling them - especially classes/subclasses/races - to players. This is likely to create a situation where, relative to today, classes/subclasses/races particularly are more expensive, and not necessarily collected in books. It's possible subscription tiers will include these, of course. It's likely to change adventures too, as any new adventures will want to work as well as possible with the 3D VTT. I suspect this may involve a degree of simplification in many areas, some reduction of abstract scenes and so on.

TT D&D is probably safest if the 3D VTT enjoys a very moderate success, perhaps doing well with cosmetic microtransactions, but poorly with rules-based ones.
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Could you explain this? Do you mean your online group will refuse to switch to D&D's digital table top or that the books of 5.5 need to be incorporated in Roll20?
That is correct; we won't be switching from Roll20 to another platform. My group all chips in for the purchase of books and stuff on Roll20, and we currently have several hundred dollars' worth of books and games invested in our Pro account. Having to abandon all of the materials we have already purchased and/or repurchase them on another platform would be an instant deal-breaker.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I think it'll be a while before we feel any real impact. I mean, first off the 3D VTT has to actually arrive - that's probably at least six months before we even get a semi-open beta, maybe a year or more. Then it'll have to properly release. Then we'll see.

The big issue is that, if Cynthia Williams was correct (and we have no reason to believe otherwise), WotC have nearly 10x as many employees working on the 3D VTT as on the actual D&D team, which means they likely have close to 10x the expenditure - or more - too (unless the D&D team are on much higher salaries than one expects). Thus the 3D VTT represents a vastly larger commitment of resources, and larger perceived risk than TT D&D.

So then are two potentially big D&D-influencing outcomes:

1) If the 3D VTT is a big flop on full release or rapidly drops off, subscriber and microtransactor-wise, and looks like a bad investment, and WotC decides that investing further in it is throwing good money after bad, there will be an impetus with WotC to find a way to recoup some of those losses. One of the possible ways will be to sell off the D&D IP, including the 3D VTT. As the IP is reasonably popular, WotC might be able to ask a pretty large amount of money for this, likely from a videogame company. Top contender probably Microsoft because of Hasbro/WotC's close connections with Microsoft (as much, perhaps the majority of the upper management is ex-MS), but Sony, Ubisoft, EA and others would likely also be possibilities. To be clear, this isn't a certainty. WotC may well decide cutting their losses makes sense but that the D&D IP is too valuable to sell. In which case 5E 2024 version will likely just carry on, with WotC focusing instead on trying to get more games like BG3 to exist (a probably fruitless task).
I think this is very unlikely. Even if it tanks, they will eat the investment and write down the losses, just as they did with the software plans for 4e.

The most likely failure mode is that it will technically work but the 3d nature make it difficult to homebrew, or people mostly use it in 2d mode for homebrew, it depends if the all singing and dancing 3d implementations of the Adventure Paths sell or not.
I fully expect that there will be a faily cheap option for the basic game framework for the hard core TTRPG crowd for quite a while or at the very least as long as the social media D&D influencer space is full of hardcore table top rp'ers.
2) If the 3D VTT is fairly successful or better, it will very rapidly eclipse TT D&D in terms of profitability, given the approach to monetization that WotC have already described. This means that TT D&D will naturally become a secondary concern. Not ignored, I'm sure, after all the 3D VTT still will have it's raison d'etre be fundamentally as a VTT. Initially at least. We've heard recently that WotC are trying to focus on making it as easy as possible for DMs, and almost automated, which I think will likely gradually drift the 3D VTT more towards being a kind of multiplayer videogame, essentially. Anyway, videogame aspects aren't likely to impact TT D&D. But what will is the approach to selling content. If you've got a subscription-based platform and you're already going hard with microtransactions (and again, we know this is the plan - WotC have said so is the beginning - to go hard with microtransactions), then different ways of delivering content and charging for it would make sense. WotC have already put out feelers about this with surveys. We may well see a sort of balkanization of classes, subclasses, races, spells, monsters, items and so on, as WotC attempts to focus on selling them - especially classes/subclasses/races - to players. This is likely to create a situation where, relative to today, classes/subclasses/races particularly are more expensive, and not necessarily collected in books. It's possible subscription tiers will include these, of course. It's likely to change adventures too, as any new adventures will want to work as well as possible with the 3D VTT. I suspect this may involve a degree of simplification in many areas, some reduction of abstract scenes and so on.
I think that an AI/procedural Open world type game is likely to evolve but as long as the current player base is not a fad and continues in roughly its present size the brand reputation is tied to the health of that core game.

TT D&D is probably safest if the 3D VTT enjoys a very moderate success, perhaps doing well with cosmetic microtransactions, but poorly with rules-based ones.
There are already rule based microtransactions on D&DBeyond. One can buy feats, spells and the like from books that one does not own or wish to buy at the moment.
 

I think this is very unlikely. Even if it tanks, they will eat the investment and write down the losses, just as they did with the software plans for 4e.
Do you understand the difference in scale?

They had what seems to be perhaps 5-15 devs working on 4E's software.

They've said they have over 250 working on the 3D VTT.

Thus expecting the same thing to happen is not reasonable, given that difference.
There are already rule based microtransactions on D&DBeyond. One can buy feats, spells and the like from books that one does not own or wish to buy at the moment.
I'm well aware.

But you can only buy them from existing books, and it's always wildly cheaper to buy the book, and further, they count towards buying the book (or used to, I assume they still do), so the amount you can spend is limited before you just buy the book.

I'm not sure why you didn't mention any of that. It's a bit misleading, but perhaps you didn't know? My point is if they move to microtransactions which aren't from books, things will be very different - especially as the amount you could spend could be far, far higher.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
For me the decision to not buy the 2024 book is a confluence of two factors:

1. Pretty strong disappointment in almost every major change...or lack thereof...I've seen in the first seven playtest packets. The ONE big change I was excited about, Druid template forms, was rescinded.

2. The discovery of Shadowdark, which is really everything I want in an RPG.

So, yeah, as a longtime player I will continue to follow the news on the coming changes, but...I just don't care anymore.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Do you understand the difference in scale?

They had what seems to be perhaps 5-15 devs working on 4E's software.

They've said they have over 250 working on the 3D VTT.

Thus expecting the same thing to happen is not reasonable, given that difference.
They shut down serveral games in development last year, they did not shutter the studios, so they must have ate the developments costs.
You are implying that they will sell Wizards to offset the development costs of a failed VTT. I think that is highly unlikely.

I'm well aware.

But you can only buy them from existing books, and it's always wildly cheaper to buy the book, and further, they count towards buying the book (or used to, I assume they still do), so the amount you can spend is limited before you just buy the book.

I'm not sure why you didn't mention any of that. It's a bit misleading, but perhaps you didn't know? My point is if they move to microtransactions which aren't from books, things will be very different - especially as the amount you could spend could be far, far higher.
I do not see how it is misleading.
 

They shut down serveral games in development last year, they did not shutter the studios, so they must have ate the developments costs.
No, I'm sorry, you're flatly wrong.

They primarily shut down games at studios that they don't own. So whether the studios remain open is immaterial, isn't it? WotC does not employ those people. They are not an ongoing cost to WotC, and indeed, it's not clear how much WotC was even funding them - I very much doubt it was 100% of the development costs - probably a much smaller fraction, possibly even nothing.

For example, they shut down games at Otherside and Hidden Path:


This is why very few WotC employees lost their jobs entirely, because they were shutting down projects that WotC was involved in, but that didn't actually own.

So the people "eating the development costs" there were likely largely the studios. WotC presumably lost some, perhaps even all of the money they'd put in, but it's unclear how much that was, it's going to be a fraction of what employing 250+ employees on your own money is.
You are implying that they will sell Wizards to offset the development costs of a failed VTT. I think that is highly unlikely.
No.

Why are you changing what I said? I said WotC might sell the D&D IP, not "Hasbro will sell WotC", I don't think that's at all likely.
I do not see how it is misleading.
It's hugely misleading to anyone unfamiliar with Beyond, because they're going to think that it operates very differently to how it does. The reality is that the books put a hard cap on that kind of spending, and the extremely high prices relative to buying the book mean that it isn't a good option.

But once you start releasing rules content independent of books, suddenly that excessive price is a very attractive baseline.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
No, I'm sorry, you're flatly wrong.

They primarily shut down games at studios that they don't own. So whether the studios remain open is immaterial, isn't it? WotC does not employ those people. They are not an ongoing cost to WotC, and indeed, it's not clear how much WotC was even funding them - I very much doubt it was 100% of the development costs - probably a much smaller fraction, possibly even nothing.

For example, they shut down games at Otherside and Hidden Path:


This is why very few WotC employees lost their jobs entirely, because they were shutting down projects that WotC was involved in, but that didn't actually own.

So the people "eating the development costs" there were likely largely the studios. WotC presumably lost some, perhaps even all of the money they'd put in, but it's unclear how much that was, it's going to be a fraction of what employing 250+ employees on your own money is.

No.

Why are you changing what I said? I said WotC might sell the D&D IP, not "Hasbro will sell WotC", I don't think that's at all likely.

It's hugely misleading to anyone unfamiliar with Beyond, because they're going to think that it operates very differently to how it does. The reality is that the books put a hard cap on that kind of spending, and the extremely high prices relative to buying the book mean that it isn't a good option.

But once you start releasing rules content independent of books, suddenly that excessive price is a very attractive baseline.
Ok I was wrong about them shutting down studios, it seems their studios are still doing something and even hiring.
 


Valetudo

Explorer
I cant point out any one thing, but while some things look like a boost and I like the balancing of feats. I feel like right now it's looking like I'll have to homebrew dnd one more than standard 5e. That's a turn off. And I dont like how they keep buffing caster while buffing and nerfing g martial.
 

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