PDA

View Full Version : More 4.4 news: Heroes of Shadow



Kurald Galain
2011-01-11, 04:56 AM
The bad news for this month is that several upcoming sourcebooks have been quietly removed from both WOTC's product page, and from Amazon. The books Mordenkainen's Emporium (basically Adventurer's Vault 3), Champions of the Heroic Tier (purportedly about craft skills and character themes) and Heroes Of Sword And Spell (which would let you combine PHB1 classes with 4.4 classes) have, apparently, been cancelled.

The good news is that Heroes Of Shadow is still coming up, and is expected for release in March. It contains two new builds for the HOFL Mage: the Necromancer and the Nethermancer. Furthermore, there are new options for the paladin, warlock, cleric, and assassin, all of which involve the Shadow power source. Also, the book contains a complete new class, the Vampire.

Finally, the book has three races: the revenant (an undead race, formerly DDI-exclusive), a race of humans who sold their soul for dark power, and a race of humans whose ancestry was cursed with vampirism.

More news will be posted as it comes in :smallsmile:

JBento
2011-01-11, 07:10 AM
Is Heroes of Shadow really 4.4? I was under the impression it would be a return to the format of early 4E.

Kurald Galain
2011-01-11, 07:20 AM
Is Heroes of Shadow really 4.4?
Yes. All previews show the same format as HOFL/HOFK, it is a paperback rather than a hardcover, and the two n'mancers are explicitly mage builds, not a PHB wizard or new class.

Loren
2011-01-11, 08:07 AM
That's disappointing, Heroes Of Sword And Spell was for what kept 4.4 from being a 4.5, the possiblity that the two would be merged.
Hopefully it's just a glitch and they'll deliver the content at another point.
Champions of the Heroic Tier sounds like stuff that could/should be in a PHB4, as does Heroes of S+S.
I still find it odd that Heroes of shadow isn't in a PHB.
As for Mordenkainen's Emporium, meh! I never got the name change.

Over all, though, I have to say I've been finding Wizards' actions rather erratic as of late.

Kurald Galain
2011-01-13, 04:49 AM
And for today's news flash,


Heroes of Shadow is going to be out in april instead, and will be hardcover.
The cancellation of Sword & Spell, Mordenkainen's Emporium, and Champions of Heroic Tier is now official.
The D&D Miniatures line has also been cancelled.
Dragon and Dungeon magazine will no longer have monthly compilations, just individual articles.
Fortune Cards are coming out soon, and will be used in the next season of Encounters.


So my speculation is that HOFL/HOFK is nowhere near the success WOTC would have hoped, with three out of four books cancelled and the fourth changing formats.

Incidentally, Fortune Cards are a new option by WOTC. You can buy booster packs with common, uncommon and rare cards; then every turn you can draw and play one of those cards for your character, and they give you a random bonus. Usage will be mandatory for certain official WOTC events.

true_shinken
2011-01-13, 09:05 AM
The D&D Miniatures line has also been cancelled.



NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigNo)! It... cannot end like this! I shall not allow it!

Loren
2011-01-13, 09:06 AM
The cards sound like a desperate bit to sell something.
Is is just me, or does Hasbro not realize that D&D should produce a different style of revenue stream than Magic or Transformers.
It's one thing to sell rehashes of cards or action figures, but reharshes of book aren't going to fly well. Did they expect setellar sales from the Essentials? Really, the only that offered much to an (semi-)established gamer was the Monster Vault.

I wonder if the no new compliations is a piracy fighting measure. I seems easy enough for people to put monthly issues up as torrents, but to do every article individually would be a pain.
My perdiction is that the magazines will basically die fairly soon. Frankly, they don't make much sense business wise, if they can lock in peoples' subscriptions for the cloud cb. Basically, the magazines give away content that they could otherwise sell. Actually, the CB also makes little sense as it too gives away the cruch from most of the player books, in an easy to ues format.....Alternatively, they could keep the magazines going and drop player books. It would save the cost of printing and encourage people to subscribe. In this case all they really need to manufacture would be game aids (minis, tokens, cards, maps, etc). They might (should) put out the occational box set with adventures and game aids, but really, most of their trade could become digital.

Kurald Galain
2011-01-13, 09:12 AM
Did they expect setellar sales from the Essentials?
I'm pretty sure that yes, they did.


I wonder if the no new compliations is a piracy fighting measure.
Well, I can't think of a better reason for that particular decision, but frankly I fail to see how twelve short PDFs would be any harder or easier to pirate than one longer PDF.



My perdiction is that the magazines will basically die fairly soon.
Well, the amount of content per month has been steadily declining for the past half year or so.


Actually, the CB also makes little sense as it too gives away the cruch from most of the player books, in an easy to ues format.....
That's probably why they dropped the downloadable CB, and instead created a cloud CB. Problem is that the new CB is not exactly popular.

Zaq
2011-01-13, 09:12 AM
Yeah, I'm really not regretting canceling my DDI subscription right now.

Loren
2011-01-13, 09:35 AM
yah, the digital wave doesn't seem to be working out as expected. Perhasp they should go back to focusing on books. However, the problem with that is where should they go from here. How many new power sources can they come up with? How many more expansions to these power sources is there room in the market for?

If I was them I'd look at the old box set as a product line to emulate. They can put in a player book with rehashes of old stuff and a few new tweaks to fit the flavour, a setting guide, a monster guide and tokens, and maybe a few adventures. They could then sell expansions onto these as seems appropriate.

As for the Character Builder I think they've been going about it the wrong way all along. They should have gone with modual downloads that people go with their purchases. By putting a sticker with a unique code in every book the purchaser could enter the code and download the content from the book they bought into their character builder. People with DDI subscriptions would only get DDI content. Maybe they could sell an annual download package, for theose who don't want the other matterials. The previous system didn't do well at controlling information and the new cloud system... isn't receiving rave reviews (admittedly the internet is not the best poll sample).

Sipex
2011-01-13, 10:28 AM
Hrm, this may result in the end of D&D at this rate, I can't see Hasbro holding on much longer to a product which seems to be producing less than satisfactory revenue.

Also, +1 to the big no on the minis for me as well.

ShaggyMarco
2011-01-13, 10:35 AM
As for the Character Builder I think they've been going about it the wrong way all along. They should have gone with modual downloads that people go with their purchases. By putting a sticker with a unique code in every book the purchaser could enter the code and download the content from the book they bought into their character builder. People with DDI subscriptions would only get DDI content. Maybe they could sell an annual download package, for theose who don't want the other matterials. The previous system didn't do well at controlling information and the new cloud system... isn't receiving rave reviews (admittedly the internet is not the best poll sample).

This was, if I recall, the original plan. Unfortunately, the practical implication of this method of digital distribution was problematic, at best. They would have had to either 1. seal all books, destroying the ability to browse in-store before you purchased, possibly hurting sales, 2. given the digital download codes to the retailer, only to be distributed to customers upon purchase, creating a workload for retailers that may or may not have been followed with any consistency, creating a customer service nightmare, 3. only sell their books through on-line, direct-to customer retailers, or 4. accepted that there will be pirating, and allow as many people to download the CB files as wanted, per book.

They hated all of these options, so they went with what they went with.

true_shinken
2011-01-13, 10:40 AM
Hasbro is killing D&D. They really are killing D&D.
At least we have Pathfinder.

Maho-Tsukai
2011-01-13, 10:44 AM
It won't be the end of D&D. It may be the end of WIZARD'S control of the game but if Wizards dose in fact discontinue D&D but dose not sell the game to some other company then 3rd parties will carry on where Wizard's left off since even if they discontinue the game the OGL will still be alive and kicking. All Wizards no longer producing D&D is not the end of the game forever, it just means that 3rd party publishers will be the primary producers of content for D&D and some company may in fact replace Wizards as the big time RPG guys. If Wizards no longer produces D&D I can see Pathfinder and Pazio being the "replacement wizards" since they are one of the few 3rd party publishers who actually have their content for sale in non-online stores in quality, print format.

Likewise, for all we know some well-off 3rd party publisher may end up buying D&D from Wizards and Hasbro. However, no matter what the game won't die if wizards gives it up and it won't mean all of us will have to stop playing D&D. It will be much like the end of 3.5e, in my mind. There will more mainstream/big corporate support for the game but 3rd party publishers will still be around, still doing their thing and it may actually provide an interesting time in the RPG world since with wizards out of the picture third party publishers will have their chance to compete to take over the position wizards once possessed.

So, no, this is not the end of D&D. It may be the end of Wizard's control of the game, but the game itself won't cease to exist if and when Wizards gives up on it. 3rd party companies and players like us will keep the game alive if Wizards decided they don't want to and for all we know some 3rd party publisher, if they are successful enough, may just end up buying the license from Wizards.

ShaggyMarco
2011-01-13, 10:46 AM
My fear is that they will stop developing DnD as a traditional RPG, but hold on to the licence and use it to market things like card games, board games, and other RPGesque properties.

I can't see Hasbro ever just dropping the Dungeons and Dragons licence, as there are still opportunities to use it's name recognition for profit (video games, movies, etc.(

Sipex
2011-01-13, 10:48 AM
Sorry, right, when I say "End of D&D" I basically mean what Shaggy said.

Erom
2011-01-13, 10:54 AM
It would basically come down to which is more profitable for Hasbro:

1) Keep the DnD license, use it to make spin-off products (I mean, even the license fees from DDO must be worth something)
or
2) Sell the license

I fear the amount of money to make 2>1 might be beyond the pocket depth of the third party publishers. Too bad, because wouldn't that be something if pathfinder or paizo ended up with the DnD license in the end anyway.

Loren
2011-01-13, 11:02 AM
From the looks of things they are moving towards the RPG-esque direction with their recent Ravenloft and Gamma World releases. These new cards also sound like a drive toward a more collector version of the game (oddly, dropping a minis line sounds counter intuitive as the minis game was a good way to make a collectors' game).
From my perspective, this is fine, as I don't need to purchase these products if I don't want them. As an nonfan boy, I'd only be inclined to purchase the occational product that will help my game (like box sets, the occational book). If Hasbro can be satisfied with the return on investment this system will produce I can see things continuing nicely. In fact, with less involvement from Wizards 3rd parties may be more inclined to publish suppliments like settings, adventures, and even campaigns.
The D&D name is too valuable for Wizards/Hasbro to drop it any time soon, I think.

Maho-Tsukai
2011-01-13, 11:05 AM
True, but I don't think TCGs and board games based on D&D will do all that much better sales wise then what they are producing now has to make a big difference profit wise to the company. I mean, most of the dedicated D&D players will want an RPG, not some board game or TCG products for novelty's sake.. Thus the RPGers are not an ideal market for such things.

So if they are not marketing to the RPG crowd then who are they trying to market to? Little kids? If so the D&D name makes no difference since the majority of tikes today have not grown up with D&D(Heck, I only learned of it in middle school.) and thus the name means nothing to them. If an average little kid could choose between say Pokemon cards or D&D cards, chances are they will go for the pokemon cards because it's more likely that they watch the pokemon cartoon and play the videogames then it is that they have played D&D.

Maybe they will make videogames and market to videogamers? This may have some merit, but the D&D name, again, means little to videogamers who have never played or heard of D&D. I mean, with competition like Bioware, JRPGs, WoW and pretty much every other super-popular MMO out their Wizards is going to be hard pressed to inch it's way into that market though this angle would have more potential profit then others.

So, PPGers will want a true RPG. Little Kids don't care about the D&D name and either do many videogamers, who already have a plethora of more famous/popular options to chose from. What market dose that leave them with? I mean, yeah, SOME major RPGers will buy that stuff but certainly not the majority, so I don't see how such products will actually be all that more spectacular profit wise then what they are already producing. These products won't be a big seller like say MTG or transformers and while they may make them for a brief period of time eventually they will find out that these kinds of things are not worth it and thus either stop making D&D products and keep the license for a possible future revival, which allows 3rd party publishers to replace wizards as the market leaders for a while or if they get a lucrative enough offer, sell the license.

true_shinken
2011-01-13, 11:19 AM
I mean, most of the dedicated D&D players will want an RPG, not some board game
But 4e sold pretty well when it came out!:smallamused:
(that's just a joke, I don't want to start an edition war or something)



Maybe they will make videogames and market to videogamers? This may have some merit, but the D&D name, again, means little to videogamers who have never played or heard of D&D.
Dunno, D&D has lots of good games. The D&D arcade game (Shadows Over Mystara? something like that?) is very well known here in Brazil and loved even by people who hate RPGs. The D&D cartoon is also very popular and nostalgic here. It's funny, because both this game and this cartoon are not known as D&D here. The game is usually referenced as Mystara and the cartoon was released as 'Caverna do Drag„o' (Cave of the Dragon, in a loose translation). Curiously, the Dungeon Master was called 'Mestre dos Magos' (Master of Wizards).
Also, Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights are well known games everywhere and got many people into D&D.

Psyren
2011-01-13, 11:42 AM
Dunno, D&D has lots of good games. The D&D arcade game (Shadows Over Mystara? something like that?) is very well known here in Brazil and loved even by people who hate RPGs. The D&D cartoon is also very popular and nostalgic here. It's funny, because both this game and this cartoon are not known as D&D here. The game is usually referenced as Mystara and the cartoon was released as 'Caverna do Drag„o' (Cave of the Dragon, in a loose translation). Curiously, the Dungeon Master was called 'Mestre dos Magos' (Master of Wizards).
Also, Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights are well known games everywhere and got many people into D&D.

And moving into this century (:smalltongue:) DDO has tripled in revenues since becoming free-to-play. It's still not Turbine's flagship (LOTRO takes that award) but it's paying the bills. And I'm looking forward to Neverwinter, the upcoming CRPG that will use 4e rules. (Though I wish they'd make a game in Dark Sun or a single-player game in Eberron - anything but more bloody FR.)

Erom
2011-01-13, 12:02 PM
anything but more bloody FR.)
Amen to that.

Also, if you haven't tried DDO and you like RPG's, try it. The content is pretty soloable, it's not as grindy as most MMO (still a bit grindy obviously) and the combat system is one of the most dynamic I've tried (moving around while attacking actually has a lot of point to it).

true_shinken
2011-01-13, 12:33 PM
Though I wish they'd make a game in Dark Sun or a single-player game in Eberron - anything but more bloody FR.

I'd love a single-player game in Eberron as well, but I heard of a very well received Dark Sun game. It's very old, but I believe it's also abandonware, you might like it. Just google it.
The best D&D game possible, though, would be an action RPG following the plot of Year of Rogue Dragons. That would be awesome beyond measure.

Telok
2011-01-13, 01:23 PM
What, you mean WotC can't make money by selling great adventures, high quality maps, or engaging and interesting settings?

I mean, is it just me or has most of the past year for publications been lists of powers, feats, items, and races? That's what turned me off to 4th, the feeling that most of the stuff was just lists with a few rules to tie them together.

I bought the CoC Dreamlands book as a setting (with nice maps!) to run DnD in. I've bought Rolemaster and Bloodshadow books for monsters and items to make the players go WTF? I've bought Twilight 2000 and Star Trek books for the adventures. I've combed used book stores for Spelljammer modules. Why won't WotC make anything but rules that I'm willing to pay money for?

Sipex
2011-01-13, 01:26 PM
There's quite a bit in the adventures department, usually they're not seen as major releases though.

The most recent 'major' release adventure/settiing was Dark Sun last year.

I will lament that they don't release enough maps though.

Asbestos
2011-01-13, 02:21 PM
I'm happy to hear that Heroes of Shadow is hardcover now.

Sad about the DDM line, but lets be honest, those things stopped selling around when WotC ended the Skirmish game. My FLGS had a pretty active DDM gaming group going, and some of us continued with the fan created guild for about a year, but there's still a massive amount of unsold DDM stuff in the shop. I'm shocked that they continued for as many sets after as they did.

AtlanteanTroll
2011-01-13, 02:33 PM
Good Stuff.

Anybody up for Paizo buying D&D?

Sipex
2011-01-13, 03:31 PM
I'm happy to hear that Heroes of Shadow is hardcover now.

Sad about the DDM line, but lets be honest, those things stopped selling around when WotC ended the Skirmish game. My FLGS had a pretty active DDM gaming group going, and some of us continued with the fan created guild for about a year, but there's still a massive amount of unsold DDM stuff in the shop. I'm shocked that they continued for as many sets after as they did.

There was a skirmish game?

I just bought them for D&D.

Reluctance
2011-01-13, 03:34 PM
Between the essentials builds trying to entice grognards, and the online tools being shuffled around to dissuade pirates, what is WotC doing to engage the people who like 4e exactly?

Don't get me wrong. You don't want to discourage new blood. (The pre-3e attitude of "in order to use this book, you need every book ever published before" being a prime example.) But when has taking your core audience for granted ever been a wise business move?

OracleofWuffing
2011-01-13, 03:56 PM
Incidentally, Fortune Cards are a new option by WOTC. You can buy booster packs with common, uncommon and rare cards; then every turn you can draw and play one of those cards for your character, and they give you a random bonus. Usage will be mandatory for certain official WOTC events.
:smallconfused: Something... Doesn't... Look... Right... Here...

So, basically, they're just using a roundabout method of charging an extra fee at the door?

I also have this comical image of someone getting a guillotine to the neck because they showed up to an official event with cards in hand but forgot to actually play them until the event was over. :smalltongue:


Well, I can't think of a better reason for that particular decision, but frankly I fail to see how twelve short PDFs would be any harder or easier to pirate than one longer PDF.
Having twelve short PDFs allows them to create a gravity slingshot śffect, which directs criminals to the police office more quickly by covering more ground faster as opposed to less ground slower. I just hope they don't put a satellite bounce in there, or we're all doomed.

JediSoth
2011-01-13, 04:55 PM
Anybody up for Paizo buying D&D?

I seriously doubt that will happen. I don't see Hasbro selling the D&D brand anytime soon, even if the RPG tanks in some doomsday scenario. They'll just hang on to it for licensing purposes if nothing else.

Mando Knight
2011-01-13, 05:38 PM
Anybody up for Paizo buying D&D?
And how would they do better at it than Hasbro? Currently, I don't think they've got the infrastructure to turn the brand around, since there hasn't been a whole lot of Pathfinder material released at all as far as I know. If Hasbro actually cared about keeping the D&D name alive, it has a much larger resource base than basically anyone who would be interested in the license.

Now, if Bioware showed interest in buying D&D, I'd consider it an odd but appropriate move.

WitchSlayer
2011-01-13, 07:16 PM
I shall wait and see as to what happens. I highly doubt this is going to be a complete stopping of the line, as, from what I've seen, 4th edition has been doing fairly well in sales according to charts.

Shatteredtower
2011-01-14, 11:44 PM
I doubt the Company can do much to force trading cards on events, official or otherwise. If players thought they'd need the edge to keep their characters alive, maybe, but official events seldom offer that level of challenge. What, will players be required to draw cards too?

I'll take a look when I run the next season of Encounters, but these feel even more pointless than the Reknown Point rules and the rewards those earn.

Akal Saris
2011-01-15, 01:47 AM
And moving into this century (:smalltongue:) DDO has tripled in revenues since becoming free-to-play. It's still not Turbine's flagship (LOTRO takes that award) but it's paying the bills. And I'm looking forward to Neverwinter, the upcoming CRPG that will use 4e rules. (Though I wish they'd make a game in Dark Sun or a single-player game in Eberron - anything but more bloody FR.)

And someday, Asheron's Call will be free to play as well. At least, a man can dream...

Also, speaking of fun D&D games, I loved that mystara arcade game - my friend and I spent an entire afternoon at the nickel arcade to beat it once.

true_shinken
2011-01-15, 10:39 AM
Also, speaking of fun D&D games, I loved that mystara arcade game - my friend and I spent an entire afternoon at the nickel arcade to beat it once.
Man, I love that game. It's so awesome. The elf is so graceful. The goblins are so funny.
...Damn, I wanna play it now.

Megawizard
2011-01-15, 02:12 PM
Incidentally, Fortune Cards are a new option by WOTC. You can buy booster packs with common, uncommon and rare cards; then every turn you can draw and play one of those cards for your character, and they give you a random bonus. Usage will be mandatory for certain official WOTC events.

Ahahaha nice joke there... It's a joke right?:smalleek:

Because Hasbro wouldn't be trying to turn D&D in a money machine where you have to buy loads of boosters just to make a decent deck, like in MTG right? Right?:smallannoyed:

NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:smallfur ious:

I predict that soon enough those fortune cards shall be mandatory for all events, unless the players rise as one in an angry protest.

Shatteredtower
2011-01-15, 02:31 PM
Hey, remember the last time D&D introduced cards? What did they call that again? Spellfart?

Reverent-One
2011-01-15, 08:42 PM
I predict that soon enough those fortune cards shall be mandatory for all events, unless the players rise as one in an angry protest.

Not likely.