D&D General Maps on D&DBeyond

UngainlyTitan

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This looks like a new parallel development track, but i just started watching this view on the D&D beyond YouTube channel and it loos super interesting.

It is alpha testing and for Master Tier subscribers only. I am now being very tempted to test this.

Edit: Finished watching this. It looks pretty good. New product going forward will implement maps. It has fog of war and shows the combat/game chat from the D&DBeyond character pages.
  • Set the token size for medium creatures and everything else should scale.
  • Can upload your own maps.
  • Not sure if it has a native grid.
Questions abound, is this separate from the VTT? or does it use part of the VTT functionality?
 
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Questions abound, is this separate from the VTT? or does it use part of the VTT functionality?
That's the absolutely huge question here.

This doesn't look or feel like the 3D VTT that we've seen, even "2D mode" that the 3D VTT has. It's vastly more straightforward and limited - which is not necessarily a bad thing, but is very much a thing.

Currently it's ludicrously underfeatured, having tried it - like it removing a moderate amount of Fog of War takes like, minutes because the FoW eraser is so tiny and there doesn't seem to be any option to change the size or shape.

Looking at the roadmap, it seems like they need to get about 8 "roadmap items" in before it would be at a genuinely practical-to-use level (because you cannot currently hide, reveal, or rename tokens, and that being added is the eighth item).

It's nice to have it, but, like, why do we have it? Why is it being developed in what appears to be a fairly aggressive way? I see two more obvious possibilities - but neither seems terribly likely.

1) It's a prototype or spin-off of the 3D VTT project, intended to be intentionally basically replaced by the 3D VTT - maybe they're using for training staff, or testing Beyond integration or whatever. That seems kind of unlikely because a 2D mode exists for the 3D VTT already.

2) Something weird is happening with the 3D VTT and it's not going to be part of Beyond, even if it can draw information from it. So this is actually the VTT that the Beyond team was previously working on maybe, just developed to a near-usable level (and later to be fully usable). This seems slightly more likely because there have been rumours for a while that the 3D VTT team leaders are pretty territorial and don't want to be part of Beyond (and indeed, recommended against buying Beyond), but it still doesn't seem very likely.

I don't get it. I'm interested to hear other theories.
 


UngainlyTitan

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Supporter
That's the absolutely huge question here.

This doesn't look or feel like the 3D VTT that we've seen, even "2D mode" that the 3D VTT has. It's vastly more straightforward and limited - which is not necessarily a bad thing, but is very much a thing.

Currently it's ludicrously underfeatured, having tried it - like it removing a moderate amount of Fog of War takes like, minutes because the FoW eraser is so tiny and there doesn't seem to be any option to change the size or shape.

Looking at the roadmap, it seems like they need to get about 8 "roadmap items" in before it would be at a genuinely practical-to-use level (because you cannot currently hide, reveal, or rename tokens, and that being added is the eighth item).

It's nice to have it, but, like, why do we have it? Why is it being developed in what appears to be a fairly aggressive way? I see two more obvious possibilities - but neither seems terribly likely.

1) It's a prototype or spin-off of the 3D VTT project, intended to be intentionally basically replaced by the 3D VTT - maybe they're using for training staff, or testing Beyond integration or whatever. That seems kind of unlikely because a 2D mode exists for the 3D VTT already.
If I was in charge it would be based off of existing VTT tech because having competing internal products is a bad idea. it should be using the networking code for the VTT, since that is doing stuff that is common to both and this would be a good test of same.
All the elements you mentioned above would be need in both VTTs along with an encounter builder and some DM campaign management tools.
These tools I would see as more world building and D&DBeyond specific but should integrate with the VTT since they are quality of life stuff that will really attract DM to the VTT.
2) Something weird is happening with the 3D VTT and it's not going to be part of Beyond, even if it can draw information from it. So this is actually the VTT that the Beyond team was previously working on maybe, just developed to a near-usable level (and later to be fully usable). This seems slightly more likely because there have been rumours for a while that the 3D VTT team leaders are pretty territorial and don't want to be part of Beyond (and indeed, recommended against buying Beyond), but it still doesn't seem very likely.

I don't get it. I'm interested to hear other theories.
If anyone has insider knowledge of WoTC/D&DBeyond personel and can tell us if the heads seen the video work on the main VTT?

It I was Cynthia Williams I would be really sceptical about the utility of a 3D VTT over the medium term (the next 5 to 10 years - because homebrewing on 3D is going to be a huge pain) but I would also be aware that it takes time to develop experience with that kind of software and both tool up to develop it and get a team with the skill to create it. On the other hand I would be aware that if WotC does not start now but waits for the tech to get better there is a danger that some third party would slip in and eat WotC's lunch.
So, I would be pretty happy with a 3d VTT in alpha/beta for the next 5 years or so if I can get a rock solid 2d VTT integrated with Beyond out in the next 2 years.

But to be honest I do not know, your guess is as good as mine. Alternatively "Let a thousand flowers bloom", may be upper management is not completely committed either way. 🤷‍♂️
 


It I was Cynthia Williams I would be really sceptical about the utility of a 3D VTT over the medium term (the next 5 to 10 years - because homebrewing on 3D is going to be a huge pain) but I would also be aware that it takes time to develop experience with that kind of software and both tool up to develop it and get a team with the skill to create it.
And that might be reasonable for you, but it's 100% definitely not how Cynthia Williams feels, given WotC has, according to her, 250+ people working on the 3D VTT. The idea of employing 250+ people for 5-10 years without producing a product on what is essentially a "speculative" project is not one that is likely to fly at WotC, a relatively penny-pinching company.

Given the 3D VTT appears at least to be somewhat developed, from even recent videos on it, it seems more likely it's less than 2 years from a full release. Possibly less than one.

Which makes this particularly odd.
If anyone has insider knowledge of WoTC/D&DBeyond personel and can tell us if the heads seen the video work on the main VTT?
I'm not an insider, but all of those people are specifically associated with D&D Beyond.

And we know the 3D VTT or D&D VTT was in developed before D&D Beyond. Indeed we know the "Game Director" for it is - Kale Stutzman.

Supported here: WotC Unveils Official D&D Virtual Tabletop – Take a Closer Look.

So that's not conclusive, but it's suggestive that these are separate products. When that's added to the long-term rumours that the 3D VTT team don't want to be part of Beyond (and of course are far more numerous than the people working at Beyond) and I don't think it's more than a 60% belief but I'd tend to think this is a separate project to the 3D VTT.
 



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