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D&D 4E Would you still play 4e?

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I don't see any need for WotC to discontinue 4e DDI support. It would be one thing if the tools were free, then you could make a financial argument that its acting as a barrier preventing players from upgrading to 5e.

It's called product cannibalism.

Free or not, continued support of 4Ed could eat into sales of 5th, just as continued sales of 3.X could have eroded 4Ed sales.
 

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Dragonblade

Adventurer
It's called product cannibalism.

Free or not, continued support of 4Ed could eat into sales of 5th, just as continued sales of 3.X could have eroded 4Ed sales.

In the TSR era when you had two different print products sitting on the retail shelf for two different campaign settings, sure. Consumers who only care about a certain product line, only buy that one, but TSR still had to bear the cost of producing, warehousing, and distributing two separate product lines.

That is why product cannibalism killed TSR.

In the internet age, this is no longer true, as long as a single DDI subscription gets you access to BOTH 4e and 5e.

Then you keep the 4e players who want a DDI sub for 4e, but don't care about 5e AND you get potential business from the 5e players who don't care about 4e but want 5e.

Since the 4e products are pretty much in archive mode, there is little additional cost simply to provide access to existing content, and a lot of potential revenue to be made. Plus the access to 5e content doubles as marketing for that content that may get those diehard 4e players to maybe dip their toe in the 5e waters.

Hell, I think you could extend this strategy to 1e, 2e, and 3e, as well. Granted this can be a little riskier, since DDI style content doesn't already exist for those editions, which means there is a now a cost with no guarantee of added revenue. But at the very least, I would offer the back catalog of prior edition products for sale.

Heck, if DDI offered even online only access to WotC's entire back catalog of D&D books and adventures, plus all the new 5e content as it comes out, I'll just give WotC access to my bank account and they can bill me for life. :)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
In the internet age, this is no longer true, as long as a single DDI subscription gets you access to BOTH 4e and 5e.

That is the core assumption that would make it work. Otherwise...

Because, in truth, I've been saying as much about the previous editions myself- include them in the DDI, and you'd get MY money, and I'm sure others' besides.

But let's not kid ourselves that such inclusion is nearly free. Even archived stuff needs maintenance & updating.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
Even if it isn't product cannibalism, any business lawyer will tell the decision makers at WotC that it is. And, bearing in mind that most of those working on the design of 5E will lose their jobs within a year or so of it being published, a year or two after the release of 5E there is likely to be nobody left at WotC who can remember saying that the 4E tools would remain.

I'm praying for a decent hack before then.
 

Drowbane

First Post
No. Regardless of the success of 5e, I will not be returning to 4e. The one guy in my group who wanted to return to 4e just removed himself for asshatery and DM-powerz abuse.
 

Assuming that 5e comes out and a version of DDI for 5e REPLACES the current DDI offerings, ie. no more 4e Compendium, no more 4e Character Builder, no more 4e Monster Builder, no more 4e VTT, etc., would you still play 4e?
I played 4e for two years without using the on-line tools, so yeah, if 5e sucks, or even just fails to improve upon 4e, I'll keep playing it until something better comes along.

At minimum, for another 17 levels of our current campaign. ;)
 

Jack99

Adventurer
Considering I just sold my complete 4e collection of books and boxes, No DDI would definitely mean no more running 4e, which would mean no more playing 4e.
 


fba827

Adventurer
DDI, or lack thereof, has NO bearing on if *I* play 4e -- never subscribed to it and yet still play (and DM) 4e just fine.

Having said that, others in my group are DDI dependent so I don't know if I'd have much of a group able to play if DDI wasn't an option.
 

zoroaster100

First Post
The OP hit on my biggest worry regarind D&D right now. I already decided looking at the playtest I have zero interest of changing to 5e and prefer to keep running campaigns with 4e. But if Wizards takes down the DDI tools for 4e once 5e comes out, I may have to quit DMing altogether. It's too much work to DM for me these days without those tools, but I have no interest in DMing 5e with or without DDI tools. Certainly I would have no interest in continuing to pay for DDI if Wizards no longer provides DDI support for the edition of the game I want to DM (4e).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'm reminded of how dependent I am on calculators to do things that my Dad used a slide-rule for...and even some things I used to be able to do in my head as a younger man...

This keeps me from mocking others' concerns about the prospects of running 4Ed games (possibly without the DDI) post-5th's release.
 


wedgeski

First Post
All else being equal, I'm not thinking about changing to 5E from what I've seen in these early play-tests. 4E is just too good.

Losing DDI would be a big black mark against my continued support, though. It's just gotten too good, too convenient. Like everyone else, I have limited prep time, and taking away my digital tools would mean the quality of my game would suffer (I'd likely have to switch exclusively back to pre-generated material whereas now I can just about run a home-brew with the time I have).

The only business case I can think of for hitting the OFF button on 4E subscription income is the damage "4E" might have on the next edition's brand, especially if they decide to just call it "D&D". Maintaining the database and the application servers is a real cost likely in region of thousands of dollars per month, but it wouldn't take many subscribers to offset that and I would imagine at least some of the fixed costs could be shared with the 5E digital offering when it arrives as well.

I suppose you'd also run the risk of ticking off those 5E fans who, if the DDI subscription also included access to the 4E tools, would start to complain (loudly) about the fact that they're "subsidising" an obsolete edition, and why isn't there a lower subscription for those who don't want 4E? Petty, yes, but as a community we've shown we can be very petty indeed.

Still, this problem is, what, 18 months away?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I suppose you'd also run the risk of ticking off those 5E fans who, if the DDI subscription also included access to the 4E tools, would start to complain (loudly) about the fact that they're "subsidising" an obsolete edition, and why isn't there a lower subscription for those who don't want 4E? Petty, yes, but as a community we've shown we can be very petty indeed.

My Mom complains about havimg to subsidize all the Spanish, shopping and Religious cable channels she gets; why should we be any different?
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
(snip)
I suppose you'd also run the risk of ticking off those 5E fans who, if the DDI subscription also included access to the 4E tools, would start to complain (loudly) about the fact that they're "subsidising" an obsolete edition, and why isn't there a lower subscription for those who don't want 4E? Petty, yes, but as a community we've shown we can be very petty indeed. (snip)

I hadn't thought of that.

I always assumed a corporate-type would insist that 4E support be switched off but, I think you're right, it will be the whingeing, bitching and moaning of fellow fans. It is pretty horrible when you think how petty we have collectively become.

(snip) Still, this problem is, what, 18 months away?

I think we have about a year after 5E's release. Added to the development time that will see at least four of the half-yearly scheduled lay-offs take place ensuring that, after 12 months or so from release, there is nobody left who remembers promising (?)/stating (?) that support for the 4E tools would continue.

Anyway, by then I am sure there will be replacement offline tools available.
 



Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I don't have DDI so I'm curious what it has that makes DM prep so much easier?

My guess is that it puts all of your options- in their most recent evised forms- in front of you in mere seconds. Looking for a feat for your Dragonborn fighter without the DDI? There's a stack of hardcover books, the Essentuals books, a Dragonborn-specific softcover and goodness knows what else, all unrevised.

Or you can look in the DDI's CB and have access to all of that data + Dragon mag material- all current- with a click of your mouse.

And then there's other similarly fast tools.

It's powerful, there is no denying it. I just think it's too expensive in the long run.
 

Vyvyan Basterd

First Post
Loss of the Compendium for a full list of magic items would be a major setback. I use published adventures and have noticed a trend to include random monster tables (which I like), but not to include stat blocks (somewhat understandable), which I also use the Compandium to copy/paste quickly. So I'd lose material that isn't complete with stat blocks. But the largest blow will be a diminishment in an already lacking pool of good published adventures. So the likelihood of continuing 4E for me is low.
 

Vyvyan Basterd

First Post
I don't have DDI so I'm curious what it has that makes DM prep so much easier?

I can search the Compemdium quickly for monster and magic items and then copy/paste them into Word, quick cleanup and done.

But for me it's not just the ease of searching there over my books. I don't own most of the books. I own the core three, AV1, and MV: Threats to the Nentir Vale. Without DDi I don't own the majority of 4E material.
 

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