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Do you subscribe to the DDI?


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)


how many of you subscribe to the DDI?

my answer: No, I don't.

Would you subscribe to the 5e DDI if they had one?

My answer: I won't.

Why or why not?

My answer: It's not worth it to use the DDI. Although I will have subscriptions to Dragon and Dungeon magazine and get a lot of content every month -- it's not cost effective to do so. Sure, it's frustrating to be locked out of important content, but costs of subscribing to DDI compared to other important costs makes DDI an uneconomic decision.

I would rather subscribe to Paizo's AP subscription. I know I can receive new product every month that I can hold in my hands and I can access at any time without a password. Of the two companies competing for my D&D dollars right now, I have gotten more satisfaction from Paizo than I have from Wizards of the Coast.

I love 3P publishers, and of the two I would rather pay for PAIZO's service than for Wizards of the Coast hands down. Between the two, Paizo cares about me as a customer. Between subscribing for Paizo -- which maybe much more expensive in the long run -- and subscribing on Wizards DDI, I really get more for my buck. With PAIZO I don't have to remember the content. With DDI, it's a memorization exercise. Because, what if the Website goes down for some reason? I won't have access to a lot of D&D content. With Paizo, even though it's more expensive, it's cheeper in the long run because I'll have books I treasure and I can leave to my children one day.

----------------------------------------

What is your answer to the questions above?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I do. I dont generally face the 'what if the internet is down' problem, since I usually browse articles/adventures and download those I'm interested in.

It's a bummer that so much content is PDF only, but at $8 a month (?), it's a pretty insignificant cost.

Having said that, the biggest drawcard for me that WoTC's model offers which Paizo's doesnt is the Character Builder and Monster builder. I'd pay $8 a month just for those two, to be frank.


I do.

Having the character builder, book crunch, and the magazine articles in a easy to search format is worth the cost. If Paizo had something similar, I might pick up a sub for them.


I have a DDI subscription. I don't play 4E at the moment (and aside from some demo runs haven't) but I enjoy the online magazine content and the tools, although I certainly hope to see a much expanded and improved tool suite as they go forward to 5E. As long as the monthly subscription cost stays fairly reasonable I intend to keep mine.

I too download most of the PDFs from the magazine and read them offline or print them out so I don't feel like access during the game would generally be an issue. Most of the time, my connection would be up so it's not much of an issue in any case.

L


I do.

It's worth it for the Compendium alone.

The articles, Character Builder, Monster Builder, VTT, and everything else is just icing on the cake.

I don't play anywhere without an internet connection, and even if I did I could tether to my phone.

And for crying out loud it's like $6 a month.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I don't. I don't think the magazines alone are worth the current price, and since I'm not playing 4E the tools aren't useful for me. If I was in a 4E game, I'd probably sign up though.


I don't currently subscribe to the DDI because I don't play 4E.

If the DDI continues after 5E, I hope it will continue to support 4E, because that's where most 4E players go for rules these days (from what I understand). WotC has mentioned, vaguely, that they will provide support for 4E in some manner.

If the DDI is offered for 5E, I might subscribe, because it sounds pretty good, from the way 4E players describe it. But I greatly prefer hard copy for my rules - for playing at the table. I do own PDFs of my favorite rulebooks (searching through them for obscure things is much faster than searching through paper).

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I didn't

I won't

It's not worth it to me.

Use online services for online products (character builders and such). Don't make me rent information.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Chuck Wright wrote:
Use online services for online products (character builders and such). Don't make me rent information.

Can you explain this a bit more?

I ask because this is precisely how I see the DDI subscription. It's a set of online products (character builders and such) and it's not renting me information it's selling me PDFs (and renting me storage space).

The PDFs are mine to download, edit, print and use - they just won't store it for me beyond my subscription to the service.

(Obviously I'm not arguing that it should be worth it to you - we buy what we want. I just dont really understand what DDI doesnt do that you think it should as an 'online service').


For those who answered "no", do you use any of the errata documents that WOTC has for 4e? Or do you play the game as written in the rulebooks and ignore the (massive amount of) errata?


William Edmunds wrote:
For those who answered "no", do you use any of the errata documents that WOTC has for 4e? Or do you play the game as written in the rulebooks and ignore the (massive amount of) errata?

I do use DDI. I mean really, why wouldn't I? For the low price, it's really worth the Character Builder and Monster Builder (notice how no one calls it the "adventuring tools" anymore?) alone. Add in both subscriptions and the fact that one account can really be used by various people in the group and it's a no-brainer. But I do think that it's one of the reasons 4E didn't sell well. Lets face it, if I see a book at the store called Heroes of the Feywild and I'm really only interested in the mechanics of the book (feats, classes, races) and really don't care for the flavor information because I'm just going to change it to suit my needs.....then why would I buy the book? 4E has been the only edition I've played where more books came from presents at birthday and Christmas time than any other edition. And it's because I can circumvet the price due to the info already being in the 'Builders'.

As for the Errata, I more likley use the book first and then, if it feels weird, then I go to Compendium. For exmaple, I've seen Battlerager Fighters (Martial Power) used directly from the book and they didn't play overpowered. The lower AC and new monster damage expressions really limit how much Temporary Hit Points they had on them, espically at higher levels.

And I'll agree that the constant Errata was becoming a bit obnoxious. Really, a lot of the options they had could be more powerful, but I was OK with that because many of those options were One-Trick-Ponies.


Me and my friends used to share the cost. We'd sign up for a month, everyone would update the character builder on their computer and download as much PDF's as they wanted all for around two dollars each. If you play 4e it's well worth it. I've still got the character builder that's stored on the computer rather than the net. We would sign up about four times a year. 8 dollars a year each for a bunch of PDF's and the character builder is awesome value.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Renting information is a stinky concept. I don't do that. If they want my money, they need to release products I want, not expect me to keep paying every month for content they may add. And character builder, monster builder? If those processes are so complex I need computers to do them, count me out. If the books are so heavily errataed that they aren't usable in themselves anymore, count me out.

Yeah, I am conservative about these things. They had a big idea during design of 4th, namely that it should be financed through monthly fees. What should people pay (WoW style) every month for? Uhhhh, well, maybe we could make the magazines subscription only?

Blah.


I think one way the DDI could be a more valuable and desirable product even for people who don't play the current or previous versions of D&D would be if they focused heavily on edition/system-neutral products like map making, campaign organizing, character/monster visualizers, adventure flow charting, virtual table top play, etc. There are a number of good programs from third parties to do a number of these things but a great suite from WotC would make the DDI really attractive. It of course, still needs online access to all of the current rules (ideally multiple versions of the rules) and tools for creating characters and monsters (and lets not forget magic items and other treasure) to aid preparation and play. And the DDI needs to have a set of Apps for the various smart phones and tablets too.

L


No and no.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Elton wrote:

how many of you subscribe to the DDI?

Would you subscribe to the 5e DDI if they had one?

Why or why not?

In order...

No I don't subscibe to DDI...I don't play 4th ed and they have changed the FR(and other worlds) too much that I generally would have to ignore the lore articles anyway.

Maybe.

Here is why...it really all depends if I play 5th ed. Though I'll say this if I need a computer to creat a character or monsters in 5th edition....than I probably will be not playing 5th ed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sissyl wrote:

Renting information is a stinky concept. I don't do that. If they want my money, they need to release products I want, not expect me to keep paying every month for content they may add. And character builder, monster builder? If those processes are so complex I need computers to do them, count me out. If the books are so heavily errataed that they aren't usable in themselves anymore, count me out.

Yeah, I am conservative about these things. They had a big idea during design of 4th, namely that it should be financed through monthly fees. What should people pay (WoW style) every month for? Uhhhh, well, maybe we could make the magazines subscription only?

Blah.

I don't need a computer to write an essay, but the word count and spell check make it alot easier and the finished product looks neater as well.

Character building isn't hard and neither is monster building. Well no harder than other systems. I haven't subscribed for a while but when I did you could go back through the archives and download anything you wanted.


Yes, I do subscribe, and I'm happy with my subscription. I will most likely extend or renew my subscription for D&D Next.

I use the monster builder, the character builder, the compendium and the magazines. I really like that the release all the art used in the books and magazines as jpgs.

I feel that I'm getting much more out of DDI than I ever did with my PF AP subscription...


I do subscribe to DDI and have for most of the time it's been available.

I'll most likely continue to subscribe when D&D Next/5e is released. I like new editions and am excited to see what tools and content they release for this newest edition.

I can just buy the PDFs of Paizo's adventure path for $6 cheaper a month than their print magazine and use that money to pay for my DDI subscription. I get the best of both worlds.

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What all is included in the DDI? I hear over and over the character builder is great. I didnt play 4E so I never really looked into DDI. If 5E turns out to be one I want to play I would consider a DDI subscription. It has to be more than a character builder though cause I could not see paying for that. Despite all my friends buying Herolab I just don't need a character builder at this time so never bought it myself.


Currently, a subscription includes the following:


  • Character Builder
  • Monster Builder (great if you are running a game)
  • access to the Compendium (searchable rules database)
  • new content through Dragon and Dungeon magazine only for subscribers
  • and I think access to the Virtual Tabletop Beta

Personally, I've really been enjoying Dragon and Dungeon lately. There have been some great articles on Dark Sun and just this month a bunch of articles on Cormyr and the Forgotten Realms. We're starting a new FR campaign soon, so I've been enjoying reading these for inspiration.


I subscribe, have since the very beggining. I plan on continuing my subscription for ever and ever.

Also, they post all the art from all the books, and all the maps from dungeon articles. can never have too much art.

DJ


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Brian Carpenter wrote:


Personally, I've really been enjoying Dragon and Dungeon lately. There have been some great articles on Dark Sun and just this month a bunch of articles on Cormyr and the Forgotten Realms. We're starting a new FR campaign soon, so I've been enjoying reading these for inspiration.

Yeah me too. I think they really lifted their game last year. Both the articles and adventures have improved, IMO (though i still dont think theyre in paizo's league).


I've been a DDI subscriber since Spring 2009, and I'd say taken as a whole it was a very good value-for-cost decision. The article quality varies a bit, across editors & writers, and obviously not all the content will apply to all groups. But as a player & GM, there was a lot of good material, and the digital tools have really been invaluable.

I would say though that DDI pretty clearly encourages, or maybe reflects, a marked shift in the nature of player-player and player-GM communication. When working the kinks out of character creation, it's definitely handy to trade 4e character files back and forth so I can quickly assess whether my new-to-4e players are getting the hang of things, and make sure everything's copacetic as they level up.

Similarly, the Monster Builder has almost completely freed me from running monsters as-written - I can tool around with it and come up with an entire scenario's worth of different baddies for my PCs to face that are all customized and tweaked to my heart's content. You can do the same thing on paper, with the published books, but not as efficiently, and lacking some of the interesting ideas the magazine writers come up with.

I do prefer using the offline Builders though, which are more readily customized (especially the Classic Character Builder, which has been rejuvenated by the open-source & homebrew crowd). Someone coming into DDI fresh from this point wouldn't legally have access to those versions of the tools, so I'm not sure if the subscription would be quite as worth it right now.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Malaclypse wrote:
I feel that I'm getting much more out of DDI than I ever did with my PF AP subscription...

Yes, I subscribe. If you play, and certainly if you DM, 4e it is well worth it for the labour-saving tools. To be honest, the yearly cost of the DDI is about equal to a month's worth of Paizo subscription material - I have to question the implication that somehow DDI is a rip-off.

As for renting information, both Dungeon and Dragon are fully downloadable as pdfs to keep on your hard drive. My main concern is actually the online tools, as if I don't like 5e they probably won't keep them going all that long after changeover. But we'll see what happens. And I'm renting convenience, not information - all of the info in the tools is fully availabe in book or pdf format, just not as immediately usable, with the possible exception of the errata.


As a DM it is an outstanding tool.

I get both magazines, and every article with mechanics is automatically added into the CB. Not to mention you can get the maps from a dungeon adventure by itself if that is all you needed for a quick encounter.
I get the Monster builder, which lets me search by almost any factor I'm looking for (whether I want a level 7 Solo, or level 4 humanoids, or just any skirmisher)
I get the Character builder, which allows my players to e-mail me their builds, so I can skim their options and help those that are new to the game without eating up valuable table time
With compendium I can search any questions, rules lookups at the table without flipping pages. I have one player logged into the compendium at the table. Someone says how does grab work, quick search and it's there.

The best off all, I can use EVERY resource put out by the game by only carrying my laptop to the game, instead of a truckload of books. Just like at work, when I have time, without having to bring all my books with me I can lookup and answer any questions my players or I may have.

It is most definately paying about 6 bucks a month for so much more valuable convenience.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I continued with DDI as a subscriber and have no problem with the cost. I like having access to the articles and though I don't currently play 4E I use a lot of the material in my 3.5 and Pathfinder games. I download the pdfs and keep them on my computer to print when I want hardcopy. I've used maps, illustrations and articles/adventures from the site. I don't tend to use any of the tools because they aren't relevant to me, but if I do play/run 4E anytime then I could see their usefulness.

Silver Crusade

I've had a DDI subscription for a long time now (I think beginning of 2009). The main reason was the character builder - once it became more or less stable, it was a great boon to playing 4E.

When they decided to axe the offline builder for their online-only one, I almost cancelled my DDI account. I think the only reason I didn't was because of the Compendium and Dragon magazine; I again reconsidered when the quality of Dragon started to wain, but by then my gaming group more or less stopped playing and I forgot to, heh.

I still continue to use the offline builder since I had a copy of it from my subscription from before.

As to keeping my DDI into 5E, well it'll depend on what I get for my money. If it looks like Dragon and Dungeon magazine will have some quality stuff in it, I'll probably keep it. Hopefully, I won't need a character builder for 5E like I needed one for 4E, but time will tell on that.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
My main concern is actually the online tools, as if I don't like 5e they probably won't keep them going all that long after changeover. But we'll see what happens. And I'm renting convenience, not information - all of the info in the tools is fully availabe in book or pdf format, just not as immediately usable, with the possible exception of the errata.

I don't think the errata really becomes such a big issue in actual practice, unless you run a lot of creatures from the 1st MM, and don't have time to give them a once-over in the Builder or reprint them from the Compendium. I did pick up the Rules Compendium though, I still find it a bit faster to pre-flag pages for things that might come up rather than do a search. The ideal might be to go entirely to a tablet, and set up scanned excerpts of what you need, easily accessed at will, but that requires time & funds, and for Wizards to take that final plunge into releasing all the books on legal, search-/bookmark-/excerpt-friendly PDFs.

Entilzha wrote:
As to keeping my DDI into 5E, well it'll depend on what I get for my money. If it looks like Dragon and Dungeon magazine will have some quality stuff in it, I'll probably keep it. Hopefully, I won't need a character builder for 5E like I needed one for 4E, but time will tell on that.

This is pretty much where I'm at right now. As money gets ever-tighter at my house, I may have to take a hard look at whether DDI is providing enough new useful material to justify the costs. I imagine there'll be a touch-and-go transitional period later this year, where the 5e preview stuff exceeds the 4e material, but it's too early to tell how it'll shake out.

One thing that might keep me in it is the Virtual Table - I DM in-person, and prefer to play that way, but a digital Table might be useful as a supplement on bad-travel days. Got into the Beta, but last I checked, you can only play with other Beta/DDI subscribers, and I'd prefer to bring in my own players. I also love my Golarion homebrew setting, and the customization options were still TBD as of last Summer.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Steve Geddes wrote:
Chuck Wright wrote:
Use online services for online products (character builders and such). Don't make me rent information.

Can you explain this a bit more?

I ask because this is precisely how I see the DDI subscription. It's a set of online products (character builders and such) and it's not renting me information it's selling me PDFs (and renting me storage space).

The PDFs are mine to download, edit, print and use - they just won't store it for me beyond my subscription to the service.

(Obviously I'm not arguing that it should be worth it to you - we buy what we want. I just dont really understand what DDI doesnt do that you think it should as an 'online service').

DDI-exclusive content is what I'm referring to. It's only available to you while you have a subscription.

Yes, you can download it.

What happens if your copy becomes destroyed for whatever reason? You have to have DDI subscription to download it again (legally). It's not purchased information.

I know how to back-up stuff, and I do, but honestly, I would rather have that information in print or purchasable as a download accessible from my account. Not just as an on/off switch.

On a side note - was errata only part of the DDI? I hope that I'm reading that wrong because you most certainly shouldn't have to pay for errata.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I did while it was updates for the off-line version. Once they went to the on-line only version I let my subscription lapse. Their initial model of an update for an off-line program monthly suited me much better. I don't have internet access 24/7 and some places we play - making the DDI on-line useless to me.

Happy for Dungeon and Dragon mags to be downloaded PDF's as they currently are.

If 5th Ed. has an off-line option then maybe, else nope, no more DDI for me.

S.


Chuck Wright wrote:
On a side note - was errata only part of the DDI? I hope that I'm reading that wrong because you most certainly shouldn't have to pay for errata.

You don't have to pay for updates:

Updates Archive


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Chuck Wright wrote:

DDI-exclusive content is what I'm referring to. It's only available to you while you have a subscription.

Yes, you can download it.

What happens if your copy becomes destroyed for whatever reason? You have to have DDI subscription to download it again (legally). It's not purchased information.

I know how to back-up stuff, and I do, but honestly, I would rather have that information in print or purchasable as a download accessible from my account. Not just as an on/off switch.

Cheers. I'd also rather have it in print, FWIW, but such is life. No doubt digital product is going to become more prevalent rather than less. :(

.
I guess I dont really see the potential loss as an issue - if I buy a printed book and it's destroyed I dont get another copy from the publisher either. I suppose it's more likely that I'll lose a PDF, but it's also ridiculously cheap on a page-by-page count.

Quote:
On a side note - was errata only part of the DDI? I hope that I'm reading that wrong because you most certainly shouldn't have to pay for errata.

I dont think so. I think the advantage of the DDI subscription is all your characters and so forth are updated when errata comes out via the tools automatically - I think you can get any errata the old fashioned way, if you prefer (not that I ever have, obviously).

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Chuck Wright wrote:

DDI-exclusive content is what I'm referring to. It's only available to you while you have a subscription.

Yes, you can download it.

What happens if your copy becomes destroyed for whatever reason? You have to have DDI subscription to download it again (legally). It's not purchased information.

I know how to back-up stuff, and I do, but honestly, I would rather have that information in print or purchasable as a download accessible from my account. Not just as an on/off switch.

What if you buy a book or a magazine and your house burns down? It's the same thing. The "exclusive" stuff beyond the tools are the magazines. I have an extensive collection of the Paizo-era mags and I know I'll have a devil of a time replacing those if I lose them - and Paizo won't help me out either if they don't have a back copy, they certainly won't reprint it for me, and even if they did they wouldn't just give it to me.

Paizo might offer you something downloadable on your account but it ain't for free - you've already purchased it as an individual item (and probably its much more expensive than a single month of the DDI). Anyway, if you subscribe to DDI, and then unsubscribe, and then resubscribe - they are still all there for download. You can now go into DDI and download everything they have available for a single month's subscription - which is a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing a load of books and magazines. I'm still struggling to see how that is a rip-off. Yes, you have the files at Paizo on your account for the foreseeable future, but it is an expensive service and the issue with DDI is (currently) easily and cheaply addressed by resubscription.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I've considered that, but then I've had a nightmare of Mike Mearls eating a hamburger while wearing a t-shirt with "it's from your money, sucker".

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