Huh, what? Oh, we’re blogging again? Yeah, I can do that.
First thing’s first: Jason’s graphic should be getting a lot more attention than its getting. It should be the response to any BS Dragon articles that say “it’ll get worse before it gets better… just keep waiting as things get worse and we charge you the same amount”. It should be the comment section when you’re directed to the comment card when subscriptions are canceled. It should be spammed to Rule of Three, demanding an explanation.
Subscribers should be pissed off about their DDI subscriptions, and should be protesting and fighting like they did back when “New Coke” came out. But that’s just not happening. Apologists take whatever WotC gives them because it gets them a mention on a web article or a podcast. Most others either quietly unsubscribe and play with pencil and paper – or move on to another game.
Full disclosure: I’m a DDI month-to-month subscriber. I just don’t see me keeping it another year. Honestly, I don’t expect me to keep it after Comicpalooza in May. I’d cancel it now, but … you know how cons are, you’d like to have every possible contingency covered.
A lot of talk on the twitters about the DDI content. Some’ll say the free articles are good because they help the game grow. Good point. Others will say that subscribers are getting screwed because “exclusive content” is a selling point, and part of what they’re paying for. They’re right too. My question is this…
Why is this the sticking point for DDI subscribers?
We had the character builder not updated (or at least not fully updated) for months – and when the update finally comes, its with a slower, buggier product. Did you get a discount? Get comped? Nope, me neither. Then the monster builder broke. If you applied the last update to the offline monster builder, the damned thing broke. We go even longer without an update there – and again, we get a slower, buggier product that does less! Did you get a discount? A comp?
Oh wait, it was beta. Really? Was it advertised? Then it wasn’t really beta. “Beta” isn’t a word that excuses a bad product.
Anyway, this new monster builder won’t let you do anything but level up or down a monster. That’s just inexcusable.
The online table took forever to get here, and when it did you couldn’t import anything. It still doesn’t have the one feature that’ll make it useful to me – a lobby.
Now, to be fair – I don’t think anyone at WotC was sitting around a smoke-filled room and planned how to screw subscribers out of their money. But I do think a general shrug of the shoulders, along with a “oh well” happened. While I don’t think DDI is a con, I will say this:
WotC’s been acting in bad faith.
The customer should be able to trust the company to at least attempt to give value-for-dollar. That’s not letter of law, but that’s how business should be done. A company should endeavor to keep its customers happy.
I don’t want to hear “it’ll get worse before it gets better – just you wait!”. You shouldn’t put up with that, either. What if your cable only worked sporadically – would you tolerate it if the service rep said “it’ll get worse before it gets better”?
Let’s address this waiting game here for a moment. Essentials, with all its good points (and they are there) updated the 4th edition ruleset. We were told Class Compendium was coming to update all our old classes so they’ll work with Essentials – which implies that the older classes/builds are broken and need to be fixed. Okay, we’ll buy another book to fix the problem, fine.
Then the book doesn’t come. It’ll happen online. Okay, whatevs.
…and we’ve had a sum total of one class update. The majority of 4th edition classes and builds are broken (or, to be more precise – incompatible with the latest rules updates) and we’re still waiting to get them fixed. The classes in the books we already paid for are obsolete and we’ve been told to wait.
Just how patiently are we supposed to wait to play the game? Oh, I know – use the old stuff, and we do – but didn’t WotC, by saying they needed to update the classes, tell us that the pre-Essentials stuff we’re using doesn’t work with the updated D&D game?
So if I can’t trust WotC to update the game (not the video game, not the board game, not the novels, not a card game, but actual D&D roleplaying game – the one which all the extraneous stuff is built upon), why would I trust to fix DDI after a couple of months worth of waiting?
I’d ask Rule of Three, but somehow I don’t think I’d get an answer.