D&D 5E New WotC Survey! Learn About A New D&D Product!


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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So, you're not the only one who works in software around here, so I'm going to push back a bit on that - it is complicated and complex. Yes, many companies do similar work, but also many fail to do it. Moderate data complexity plus moderate customization per user, millions of users, three-nines uptime and a reasonable UX design is not a cakewalk of a project.

The number one way to make sure a project blunders is to be overconfident about it.
Sure, but I'm not running it, nor would I put myself forward to do so! :D

I don't really agree that, as software goes, this is what I would call "complicated and complex". It's well-trodden ground. Yeah, you can fail, but you don't need to be amazing to succeed. You don't need exceptional employees. You don't need a visionary in charge. You need cautious, circumspect, experienced people who have worked with similar projects (most of which will be outside of gaming, which makes them easier to hire), and they're absolutely possible to both identify and hire. That includes 99.9% uptime, which seems to be easier to maintain every year. I don't say that in a blase way quite, it amazes me on a certain level, but 10 years ago, I was impressed if we got 99% uptime on a product, and some we had less. Now I'm frustrated if it's not 99.9%. I guess that cuts both ways of course.

And not a cakewalk? I guess I do agree, but it's like, you're not doing anything tricksy or poorly understood or which requires any kind of innovation or imagination. I guess what I'm saying is it it's a straightforward procedure. If you invest sufficiently in it, and have even decent, solid, unimaginative management of it, the project will succeed. It might be quicker or slower, but given how much of the stuff you use is likely off-the-shelf (um, in the digital sense), the amount of truly difficult work is significantly lower than it might be with some products. It's not like you'd be building and maintaining the servers yourself or whatever, like you often had to back even a decade ago. You're going to be using something someone else already implemented. UX-wise you have a lot of models to look at, and if you just took DNDBeyond and improved on it, even then you'd be in a good place.

I dunno if they're including a VTT. If so that would be the hardest part (and the bit I know least about) - but it's clearly not that hard, because VTTs made by small teams, which high levels of functionality and accessibility (higher than well-established VTTs of a few years or a decade ago, in many cases) have proliferated over the last two years. You might even be able to acquire one (though on some levels that might be riskier than making your own and just hiring people who knew how to do it). I can think of so many - they're even beginning to appear on Steam and stuff, fully 3D ones.
As soon as you have two systems in active development become dependent on each other, things start to suck, fast. "You can't release that physical book that you've already sent off to the printer because we've got persistent issues implementing a class on the software side," is NOT a conversation we want them to have to have.
Oh definitely. But I've heard conversations somewhat akin to that happen (thankfully haven't had to "be the guy" yet though). I work in legaltech for full disclosure.
I think I would prefer to not see the software side have a lick of input into the RPG game development. I am still more than willing to use paper and pencil, so I want game developers to go with whatever works for the game, without concern of how hard it may be on the software side. As soon as they are linked, you're apt to see game design hobbled to the digital implementation.
Yeah I get this, but I'm saying, if I was WotC, I wouldn't see hobbling D&D somewhat to make it work with digital, so long as I had plausible deniability to be an actual "problem". I know it's not ideal...
If we had evidence that choice came from understanding the domain, instead of just luck, that would be a good sign.
Yeah I can't argue with you here.

I'm inferring that they are down to a better understanding since they got the new guy in charge, but that's not a fact, that's my opinion.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
A
I dunno if they're including a VTT. If so that would be the hardest part (and the bit I know least about) - but it's clearly not that hard, because VTTs made by small teams, which high levels of functionality and accessibility (higher than well-established VTTs of a few years or a decade ago, in many cases) have proliferated over the last two years. You might even be able to acquire one (though on some levels that might be riskier than making your own and just hiring people who knew how to do it). I can think of so many - they're even beginning to appear on Steam and stuff, fully 3D ones.
People have been talking about Beyond, but basically every digital partner that WotC works with might he nervous right now...theoretically.
 





Wardook

Explorer
I had to double check the Twitter link half way through to make sure that I didn't click some third party trash link. That survey was terrible.

I believe that you didn't get the advertisement for their new VTT if you chose that you are already a Beyond subscriber. Which seems weird. I would think that you would be trying to lure those customers in. I didn't get the survey.

If you didn't see this coming after they divided the company .... With their cool new logo and all.

It's a smart move. There is a lot of money to be made here. They just need Mercer to start using it and they are golden.

They have botched this badly in the past, but believe that they understand what they need to do to succeed. Throw money at it.

They see a road to success via the Disney/Marvel route. I am sure they have huge plans for the movie. They need to be careful or Disney will consume them.

Hopefully they don't let the software guys determine the future of the RPG. That has already been done and failed, 4e.
 

I likewise put zero down for digital tools, and didn't see anything secret.

I think how much you see is based on how much you use digital tools. I didn't get the nda or the video. I also answered 0 to all the digital media questions. I said earlier, publicity stunt, now I'm thinking targeted advertisement. Not even sure that the survey is important to WOTC. Whole thing is just silly.

As for tracking IP addresses, I know that it's not uncommon for survey applications to have IP-tracking options.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think beyond is the most siloed on D&D. But D&D is so huge on every other platforms it might not matter.
D&D Beyonds parent company bought the Cortex+ system a hot second ago, and are going to be publish a plethora of Cortex+ games, including with tools based on Bryond. So, Curse is entering the ting as a direct competitor to WotC.

I don't think Roll20 or FantasyGrounds are doomed if this happens, but it's not great news.
 



ZeshinX

Adventurer
I'd like to see them open up the license for D&D video games. By that I mean let devs who express an interest make a game using the D&D license, but don't force them to attach it to some WotC-driven storyline or force it to be canon. Just let them tell stories, either in their own settings, or established ones. It can be non-canon to the various settings. The Baldur's Gate games were non-canon for quite some time...it was only quite a while after their popularity they were integrated into the printed setting.

This "everything's connected" a la MCU approach...no one's duplicated it yet, nor are they likely to. WotC has a plan here, and they're following it, and good for them (honestly), but it severely limits my interest (and I doubt I'm alone that way) when just about every product has to revolve around some annual theme (which is both specific and as generic as possible) and so much is tied to digital endeavors. Enough. Seriously, enough.

Variety is the spice of life, and while options in various media is awesome...enough with the forced (bi-)annual themes.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
No secret questions/NDA for me either, probably because I said I didn't use D&D Beyond or the official D&D Discord. If they only knew how much time I spend on Roll20, they'd realize I'm exactly the kind of person they want to be asking about this stuff.
 





dave2008

Legend
No secret questions/NDA for me either, probably because I said I didn't use D&D Beyond or the official D&D Discord. If they only knew how much time I spend on Roll20, they'd realize I'm exactly the kind of person they want to be asking about this stuff.
No survey for me and I do use DnD Beyond, so you can check that off the criteria list.
 

Oofta

Legend
I spent money on DndBeyond, hardcover books and VTT but not discord. I don't plan on gaming online again in the future, but that's a different issue. Never got asked about birth month or had an option to watch a video. So who knows.
 

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