WotC WotC'S May Community Update Talks School Support, Accessibilty, & Creator Marketplaces

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The Community Update page on D&D Beyond has a new entry which briefly covers topics such as ongoing support for schools and clubs, accessibilty of D&D Beyond for players with disabilities, early plans for the third-party creator marketplace, plans for convention attendance, and the upcoming Virtual Tabletop.

It's mainly a (very brief) recap of things which came out of the recent D&D Creator Summit (see D&D Creator Summit--VTT & One D&D, D&D Creator Summit--'D&D Beyond And Beyond', D&D Creator Summit -- Morning Sessions) but the key points include:
  • One D&D reiterated again as being 5th edition, not a new edition. This is something WotC is repeating frequently, and is a message they are clearly very keen to get across.
  • School and club support includes teaching kits, afterschool club kits, and free access to D&D Beyond resources for educators.
  • Plans to connect with accessibility experts to ensure D&D Beyond is a tool that everybody can use.
  • Migration to D&D Beyond as the 'front door' of D&D.
  • Intention to eventually create a third party marketplace, but this is a long way in the future.
  • A new creator summit at Gen Con in August.
  • Pre-alpha tests of the VTT with small groups.
 
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Vincent55

Adventurer
well they have to try and get back all those people who left andgot pissed off, has no affect on me though i left them before OGL as i saw this "new edition" coming and not paying for a slightly differant rule book and such again.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I already gave a reason - the same reason that makes is a fairly standard practice in the software industry. Grand openings tend to lead to a rush of people accessing the system all at once. The effect can be like a DDOS attack, and cause the system to have errors in dramatic ways, or fall over, possibly in states that can take days to fix.
Idealy the system - ANY system - will have been stress-tested to hell and back at 20x the highest conceivable load.

If not, it's not good enough. Do better.
The user experience at such events is... crappy. Uploads can get lost, logins can break, users can be left in unrecoverable states. Quite the mess, leaving WotC looking, yet again, incompetent.

It doesn't generally pay to engineer to take such rushes, unless you expect to have them on a regular basis.
This has been my experience: system designers don't expect rushes to happen ever, and are then floored when rushes happen frequently.

Ticketmaster shouldn't come close to crashing when a whole lot of Swifties all want tickets at once. That it crashed just shows it wasn't stress-tested nearly well enough. GenCon's website shouldn't crash twice every year (once when hotel booking opens up and again when events go live) - I mean hell, they know how many account holders they have, and their system should be designed to handle at least 20x that load all at once.
So, if you expect such a rush, you build for a lower volume, and simply stagger the rollout. Folks will forget a staggered rollout once everyone gets in. Folks would not ever forget the thing falling over on opening day.
I say you take the absolute highest volume you could ever conceive, then multiply it by a big number, and build for that.

Why? Because even if you stagger the rush at launch, who's to say there won't be a rush when something fad-level popular comes out in four years? Futureproof against that ever happening, and you're probably good to go.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
Idealy the system - ANY system - will have been stress-tested to hell and back at 20x the highest conceivable load.
No computer system is tested like this.
Facebook and Twitter both fail regularly just because people want to post about the Super Bowl. Video games with 100 million dollar budgets crash on day one for overload. On December 25 and 26 a new Playstation or XBox is unusable because so many people are on those networks.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
No computer system is tested like this.
My point is they should be.
Facebook and Twitter both fail regularly just because people want to post about the Super Bowl. Video games with 100 million dollar budgets crash on day one for overload. On December 25 and 26 a new Playstation or XBox is unusable because so many people are on those networks.
And the fault in every one of those cases lies with the system design, not the user; yet it's the user who feels the pinch.
 


mamba

Legend
Idealy the system - ANY system - will have been stress-tested to hell and back at 20x the highest conceivable load.
that is not that likely, just look at computer games, new releases like Diablo 3 always have a few days to weeks where connecting can take a long time because they underestimated demand

Building a system that is 10x the size you would need at peak costs more money than one that can handle 2x the expected peak, so no one does it
 

Plus it is far more than just a simple matter of excessive load. Load is the easiest thing to account for, even if it isn't always feasible/worthwhile to manage. Vastly expanding the number of users is also more ways they will try to use it, more people with a wider variety of ideas pushing it in ways the handful of designers didn't think of.

Sure, it'd be great to build a flawless system on the first attempt that can handle every conceivable thing a user might try - but that's a utopian fantasy that will never happen. It'd also be great for someone's first book to be as long as War and Peace and they simply should make sure not to have any tpyos. ;)
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
My point is they should be.

And the fault in every one of those cases lies with the system design, not the user; yet it's the user who feels the pinch.
There's absolutely no way to test or prepare for the volume, which is why companies with larger budgets haven't done it
 

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