Saturday, August 9, 2008

D&D Insider Bonus Tools

While the primary parts of the D&D insider are not up and running, such as the Virtual Table Top, there are some bonus tools online now.

Bonus Tools

The Encounter Builder looks to be a potentially useful tool.

"It helps you build a list of creatures for an encounter, balanced against the party's level and based on the difficulty you choose. It includes entries for all the monsters in the Monster Manual, plus placeholder entries for traps, hazards, and new monsters, so you can include them, too. It generates a summary of the encounter list, including total XP, difficulty, etc."

I only played around with it for a moment and encountered a few glitches, but nothing major. I think I'm going to be using this for my next game.

For me the other bonus tool is all but useless. The Ability Generator simply comes up with ability scores using the point buy system in the PHB. I and my group prefer to roll them ourselves. Just our personal preference, others might find this tool incredibly useful.

While these bonus tools are a sign that WotC is at least working on their online content, this pretty much amounts to closing the stable door after the warhorse has gotten out. I like many others are losing interest in the online content quickly and unless WotC gets the ball rolling soon D&D insider could turn into an epic fail for the company.

To make matters worse it has been announced that the free preview they have been offering us is only going to last another month or so. I can't say for sure that I won't be suckered into paying for at least a short subscription, to see if they can save this project. However, I am leaning towards no. I just don't think that they can or will have enough material up to make it worth paying for some time. Dragon & Dungeon Magazines just aren't enough. I paid for the print subscriptions for those mags, but I have never been a big supporter for the online versions. I still don't see why we should pay for content we've been getting free on the WotC site for years. While many of us will likely jump on board when the pay site becomes active, I am doubting I will be one of them. At least not until they actually have something to offer.


Jonathan said...

Totally useless crap, IMHO. What, i'm going to pay $5/month so someone else can do my arithmetic? Come on! Show me something COOL WotC! Stop trying to show me something trivial. Sheesh... wtf are they thinking? I'm going to put something up on the FAIL BLOG about this...

Geek Gazette said...

I could not agree with you more. some have stated that the subscription to the available content, including the magazines, is still cheaper than the print versions of the mags. They are correct, but I had a print copy of my mags to carry with me and read. Now I have to add the cost of printer ink and paper to the total. Even then I don't have a great printer so I won't have high quality copies.
To me it is still a load of crap.