Matt Colville weighs in.


B/X Known World
With respect to the actual topic, as much as I like a lot of what Matt does and enjoy a lot of his videos, I think he's wrong about this.

Any way you slice it, they're asking people to pay more for less. I don't think it will work.

A lot of RPG gamers don't want any part of it. Especially the older, more plugged into the hobby and industry folks. They are generally going to be your DMs and GMs...who are the whale customers, who spend the most money and spend it on non-WotC products. Those are the people immediately affected by this. A lot of them seem to be bailing in droves.

But what about the kids coming in? The same kid Matt's worried about jumping on the VTT can buy an immersive video game for $50 that will generally give them hours of play. That video game is on their steamdeck or is a disc or is a download on their console and they can play that as many times as they want. Maybe a few bucks a month to play with friends online. Plus they already have dozens of free-to-play video games on their phones.

And WotC wants to directly compete with all that? Compete against flashy and noisy button smashers with a clunky turn-based game that you need other people to play with? No way. Yeah, the possibility of chat bot DMs exists...but it'll be years before there's any real chance of it being a thing they can rely on.

Think about actual plays for a second. WotC will want people to play on their VTT and stream it to show off how flashy it is. But how many of the live plays with actual followings will do that? Essentially none. So WotC will be advertising their VTT to the same customers they just pissed off or new people. Those new people will take one look at a clunky, turned-based game with micro-transactions and laugh. If they notice it at all. I mean...look at WoW. It's $60 every few years plus $15 a month and you could play that almost non-stop for a decade and not run out of stuff to do. (Heya, Asmon.) And next to that you have...a shiny VTT for a clunky turn-based game that you can't play solo at all.

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Greggy C

Matt has lost the plot.

D&D lost to video games a long, long time ago.

Wotc 3D D&D will be a novelty for sure. Maybe it will be even better than playing on roll20 or Foundry. Who cares.

Kobold Press just made $800,000 churning out 5e content, not even new content, rehashed content.
Everyone will go back to making 5e content by the end of the year under OGL 2.0.


FWIW, I think WoW is a slightly dated thing for what they're actually going for.
yes sure, it is, still the big one, that is why I used it. Go with Diablo IV then, or Path of Exile, or Lost Ark, or ... plenty to choose from and the TTRPG will be a lot more clunky than any of them if that is what they are aiming for

Colville mentions loot boxes. If that's near the target, it's more free-to-play / freemium online tabletop or something. A live service. Which can be a lot cheaper to launch than a full MMO.
Not really, you can gradually release content I guess (adventure modules), but in the end you need to have people playing. If they can get through your content in a week (ands they can...) then they won't keep spending


The way I read mr Colville is that the big depressing thing here is that we will lose the gating into the hobby. It is a bait and switch. There will be people curious about this D&D thing, they will find references to it all over Internet. And when they check out how they can play, they are coming across this digital platform that provides an experience that is deceptively close to what is being presented in those old articles, just upgraded "for a new generation".

There will still be fighting dragons. There will still be talking in character rather than dialog options. There will still be character creation and builds, and for the full experience with live GM you will still have a real inteligence adapting to your custom input. And it is this later feature that can differentiate D&D from WoW and its decendants.

What they misses out is the wider creative experience that is harder to explain. The joy of fully freely imagine your character in all possible detail with no skin microtransactions involved. The experience of how insanely more creepy a scene can be in the teathre of the mind vs as assets on a screen. The creative freedom of coming up with, implementing and enforcing whole new mini rulesystems on the fly without any rechnical knowledge.

I tried running some games using highly automated VTT. While convinient for speeding up the mechanics, I found it heavily distracted both me and my players from really enjoying the creative aspects of the game. People were looking at the map artwork to orient themselves more than my descriptions. I was lucky enough to know a different style I can go back to.

The worry is that the next generation won't know, and won't have the chance as the weird stuff we are doing is clearly outdated and obsolete way of doing things. After all there are no known brands associated with it, and they are doing exactly the same just augmented with the best a computer can offer - right?

How are an activity where you have to do math in your head ever going to compete with that?
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We'll see. Wizards is going into it with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot. This is a social game, and there is no word about about social tools. And it's been shown that the executives running the show don't understand the game or the community.
So, those same kids I work with? They care a lot about the OGL thing, judging from their chatter. Again, they're young. They're mostly a lot more liberal than older folks. Right now they see WotC as The Man. And they are naturally inclined to dislike The Man.

A self-inflicted gunshot wound indeed - and worse than WotC yet realizes, IMO.

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