August 8, 2008

DDI Incoming!

Much attention and anticipation have been centered around the Dungeons and Dragons Insider recently.

Since Gencon 2007, we've been introduced to the idea of an online expansion that will add to the experience of playing D&D. Online Dungeon and Dragon, a searchable database, a character generator and a virtual tabletop!

We even got a sneak peek demonstration or two of some of the features at Gencon 2007 and later on during D&D XP 2008.

D&D XP 2008 Demo
Dork Dungeon Previews
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Gamer Zer0 Previews
D&D Insider Overview
D&D Insider Toolset Demo Part 1
D&D Insider Toolset Demo Part 2
D&D Insider Toolset Demo Part 3

Now after nearly 2 months since the release of the new edition, and the further encouragements found in every corebook that we should check out the cool features of DDI, it is presently in a state that I should say...... under optimal levels.

Randy Buehler, the evangelist inside Wizards of the Coast who sold the corporation on a wide-reaching digital initiative and is now in charge of making sure it happens has written a letter to inform us of their latest plans with DDI.

Critical Hits and The Gamer Dome has the gist of that annoucement.

There's the good news and there's the bad news.

The good news is, now that Gleemax is out of the way, they've been doing some efficient use of resources in developing DDI. So far, they've added some Bonus Tools; the Encounter Builder and the Ability Generator.

We're expecting to see the Character Builder and Visualiser coming up next which is currently under their top priority for now.

The bad news is that they're finally charging us to use DDI! However, there is a revised price list since so far we're only using the online magazines, D&D compendium and the bonus tools.

Web-Content Only Subscription Package:
12 Months = $59.40(RM196.12)/$4.95 (RM16.34) per month
3 Months = $19.95 (RM65.87)/$6.65 (RM21.96) per month
1 Month = $7.95 (RM26.25)

(emphasis added)

The fees are expected to start charging by next month and all I have to say, as a Malaysian who is subjected to foreign exchange rates, THIS IS EXPENSIVE!

RM30 is enough to pay for my mobile phone bills every month and not having a credit card is going to make payment difficult for us. While I know WoTC has development problems to address to for now but I hope they would also address the payment model for international users of the DDI as well.

Is anyone else affected by this new pricing as well?

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