Friday, March 4, 2011

News and Links

This is GM Weekend (Friday, March 4 though Monday, March 7). Online game stores are offering most of their PDF formatted products at 25% off. I have purchased from and in the past, but I know there are others. If there was something out there you ever wanted that was obscure, hard to find, out-of-date, out-of-print, or just long forgotten then this is a way to fill out your library with a little savings included.

Wizards has made a couple of announcements this week as well. There is to be an update to the character builder tool this coming Tuesday (March 8). This link gives more details. It looks like they are still squashing a lot of bugs, but it also looks like they are going to start including some enhancements and new features as well.

Wizards also posted some information on the upcoming DnD releases on the schedule for the first half of 2011 here. Earlier in the year Wizards announced some items that were scheduled to be released this year had been canceled, but there are still some interesting items upcoming.

I like Essentials and I like the Core 4E line, but I often wonder if Wizards has somehow simply muddied the waters by releasing two separate DnD lines even though they both use the same game mechanic. Separating the product line has also forced the Character Builder tool to change platforms, and while I think the browser platform is the better choice, it still means that considerable time and effort must be placed into getting the new tools tightened up. There is also considerable work that is going into the Virtual Table Top (VTT) tool, currently undergoing beta testing.

I guess what I am saying is that Wizards seems to be going through a lot of churn and most of the output seems to be in the form of sidesteps, not really steps that take the game forward. Mike Mearls, one of the RnD managers for Wizards, recently posted an article (here) that gave a little history of product release schedules through the years and the different versions of the game. The article then segues into a discussion of how much is too much too fast and then ends with a survey for what would of most interest to the reader. I suppose that if Wizards is in the middle of some necessary retooling then this would be a good time to feel out the customer base to find out where they might go next.

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