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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    So, now that the character builder has been online for a bit and groups have had a chance to adapt to the new status quo, I wanted to bring up something that happened in my groups, and see (A) how common it is, and (B) if there are substantial problems with it that I should be watching for.

    I have 3 social groups that play DnD and the following has happened in all 3: A plurality of players, feeling that DDI is no longer a good value (basically because the cost is "actually 15/mo" now instead of "15 every time you want to update the character builder (IE once or twice a year)") have abandoned their subscriptions.

    They still use the old character builder, though, which has an interesting effect: Unwilling to pay for new material through DDI, but too spoiled by the character builder to revert to books, the DnD I can play through any of my normal groups has essentially crystallized at fourth edition circa October 2010, or roughly everything up to but not including essentials.

    Since I am often the DM of one of these groups (indeed I have a game running currently) and want to run a good system for my players, the lack of continuing errata has been nagging me at the back of my mind.

    So, to return to the beginning of the post: Have other experienced this "Eternal October" effect in their games? Are you in favor/opposed to playing like this? Are there any rules loopholes that are especially egregious that I should be watching for when I DM an eternal october game?

    Thanks for you time and consideration.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    The easiest solution is for everone to be aware what books you are using. If Your using books that are not in the DDI offline builder that is their problem.

    that said the builder is a Nice tool but i noticed it can be a bit of a crutch especially when dealing with newer players because hey often did not understand where their bonuses were coming from.

    Freezing where your game is at because of the change to the DDI is a bit silly though.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Does your group still own + use the books as a primary reference though? All of my groups only have the basic rulebooks and rely on the character builder for all the classes/races/powers/items etc.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    To be quite honest, the problem won't be quite as pronounced as you might imagine, given how little has actually been released in the subsequent months.

    You're really not missing much other than the Essentials stuff, which is basically re-treading old ground anyway.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo_Rat View Post
    because hey often did not understand where their bonuses were coming from.
    The builder tells you where your attack bonuses come from, though. Your defense breakdown is a bit more esoteric, but since there are fewer ways to boost your defenses than there are to boost your attacks, it's pretty easy to figure it out at a glance...

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Right

    But say between our Group we own books ABCDE. Ie as DM these are all the books ive had a chance to Examine and Read and I am comfortable with how they work.

    But the Builder Includes these plus FGHIJ.

    I shoudnt have a player coming to me with a character he couldnt have Built without the Builder.

    perhaps its a personal pet peve or my Age as a player.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gralamin's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Erom View Post
    They still use the old character builder, though, which has an interesting effect: Unwilling to pay for new material through DDI, but too spoiled by the character builder to revert to books, the DnD I can play through any of my normal groups has essentially crystallized at fourth edition circa October 2010, or roughly everything up to but not including essentials.
    Sadly, this loses Dark Sun. Happily, there are some 3rd party tools that allow you to inject data into the old character builder. Obviously the files that would include all Dark Sun content probably wouldn't be legal to give to others, but injecting content manually is completely fine.

    Also, at about this time, 4e D&D is pretty decent, so if you aren't interested in Essentials, you lose pretty much nothing for a while.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Erom View Post
    A plurality of players, feeling that DDI is no longer a good value (basically because the cost is "actually 15/mo" now instead of "15 every time you want to update the character builder (IE once or twice a year)") have abandoned their subscriptions.
    I have noticed the same. Pretty much everyone I know has canceled their DDI subscription. The reasons I've heard are (1) complaints about the new character builder; (2) the lack of new material printed in the last few months, and lack of plans for new material for the foreseeable future; and (3) dissatisfaction with the "new design philosophy" of WOTC.

    Mind you, I'm not saying (here) whether or not people are justified in these complaints; point is, people have them, and are cancelling DDI.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gralamin's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I have noticed the same. Pretty much everyone I know has canceled their DDI subscription. The reasons I've heard are (1) complaints about the new character builder; (2) the lack of new material printed in the last few months, and lack of plans for new material for the foreseeable future; and (3) dissatisfaction with the "new design philosophy" of WOTC.
    I haven't cancelled yet, but I can definitely sympathize with these concerns. WOTC definitely isn't making a very good sell too many subscribers, and I definitely dislike not having any idea what I'm getting out of my subscription this month either. (Well not quite, I know I can go look at the Dragon magazine page and see what articles, but WotC has changed this before and they have not provided any tentative dates for the articles.)

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Oracle_Hunter's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    It is an interesting phenomenon, and my group provides another interesting anecdote.
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    When I moved in to my current place I told my three roommates that I'd be running a 4E campaign. They all wanted to play, so we pooled our money to get a year's subscription to DDI - $20 per person, BTW.

    As the campaign was getting together, we picked up a couple more Players who were Mac-Only; they couldn't use Classic CB. I was even in a game where the DM and all the other Players were Mac-Only so I used my subscription to create and level-up their characters.

    By the time Cloud CB came out, they were all excited because they had seen how useful Classic CB was and wanted to be able to use it themselves. Several of them signed up for DDI accounts as well.

    And then, Cloud CB sucked. It sucked really badly. I'm still using the Classic CB just because I'm already comfortable with it and I keep noticing errors popping up on my Players' character sheets; errors they (who have been playing for the better part of a year now) don't notice on their own.

    Now, they still use Cloud CB - even those who had Classic CB - because they want access to all the updated stuff. However, my house-rule on material doesn't really allow it: I never used Dragon; Dark Sun isn't really appropriate to my homebrew campaign; I don't believe Essentials is really compatable so I don't allow it.

    TL;DR : I've stuck to using Classic CB mostly out of habit but my Players - most (but not all!) of whom got Cloud CB to get CB for their Macs - have switched over entirely to Cloud CB. And even though they're frustrated by the errors and they can't use most of the post-Classic stuff in my campaign, they still use it.

    I don't know if we'll renew DDI when the year is up. Probably not, if WotC doesn't get back to work on D&D4
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    Elflad

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    I will forever use books, I feel like that is the point to D&D.

    That said, it makes it a lot harder to get errata because it's long and tedious and doesn't have an official printed version. A nice hardcover errata book containing all the up to date errata (sorted and categorised so it's easy to find what you need) would be interesting.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Oracle_Hunter's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    That said, it makes it a lot harder to get errata because it's long and tedious and doesn't have an official printed version. A nice hardcover errata book containing all the up to date errata (sorted and categorised so it's easy to find what you need) would be interesting.
    I've always wondered why WotC didn't do that at the end of their 3.X run... seems like it would have been a nice bit of cash and they didn't need to worry about keeping the secondary market happy.

    I'd like to see a Rules Cyclopedia for D&D4 if they're going to switch over to DDE a la 3.0 to 3.5. Heck, if they sold an updated version of their PHB which combined all three versions and all the Errata I'd probably pay $50 for it.

    Oh, I'm not expecting to see it, but it would be nice
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    Elflad

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    gourdcaptain's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    We had a bit of an Eternal October effect... until someone found the aformentioned means of inserting info into Character Builder Classic.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Christopher K.'s Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    My current group doesn't even buy the books. Heck, I don't even think they've read the most basic 4e rules. They don't even KNOW about the character builder except from the few times I've mentioned it to them.

    It's almost to the point where I start yelling and find a new group.
    Last edited by Christopher K.; 2011-01-07 at 02:04 PM.
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by gourdcaptain View Post
    We had a bit of an Eternal October effect... until someone found the aformentioned means of inserting info into Character Builder Classic.
    Please enlighten. How do insert material into the Classic Character Builder? Or where should I start looking?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Oracle_Hunter's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vampyre View Post
    Please enlighten. How do insert material into the Classic Character Builder? Or where should I start looking?
    You should look on your own - and not link. I'm pretty sure that hacking CB violates some law

    Also: Please don't discuss the legality either. I know that'll get this thread locked hard.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    This debate has come up in our group too. The main issue is that we're playing with a different system of buying attributes and the online CB only supports point buy/matrix/pure roll right now (or the option is very well hidden).

    Complicating this is the fact that two of us have had errors downloading the last update to the offline CB and hence don't have access to the Psionic Power feats/powers/paths (one of whom plays a Monk).
    Last edited by TheEmerged; 2011-01-07 at 03:29 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    dsmiles's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] The Eternal October: "freezing" 4e evolution

    TBH, I think this is more of a "finally" situation for my group. My group has always used the books. If we don't have the information for it at the table, it can't exist. We feel like the CB takes away more than it gives. Especially since it would be very inconvenient for us, what with the "no computers at the table" rule, and all.

    And so, without further adieu...
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    FINALLY!!! The books...have come back...to roleplaying!

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