Apr 9, 2009

Go on - Do it. Google "D&D torrent" I DARE you.

As a slight follow up to yesterday's spleen venitng, I have found that I have just a tiny bit more.

Now that we know that Wizards of the Coast has beaten the terrible PIRATES OF TEH INTARNETZ, we can all breathe safe knowing our hobby has been saved from having free copies distributed to people who either horde them obsessively or actually use them to play.

Wait a minute! I "accidentally" googled "D&D Torrents" and got 147,000 hits. Lessee here, a 20Gb torrent containing every single book in print, all 1E, 2E, 3E, and 4E....all the green ronin stuff...Kenzer & Co....Necromancer games...hell, they even have scans of the dungeon tiles and poster maps!

So what is stopping me. Notice it's not a question. What is stopping you? (that one was). I'll tell you what is stopping you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodwill_(accounting)

It is the knowledge that doing so would harm the company that makes the things that you support and like. It is the emotional investment, that as a FAN of the product, represents the sum total of all of your time spent and houserules made.

Piracy is a fact of commercial life. Having once been a design/QA department head that worked directly with a Shenzhen manufacturer, I can attest to the low prices for product. Problem is, your manufacturer lies. For every 1000 scaffolds they built for us, they also built 250 more (using our steel) to sell under their own brand name in direct competition. Their government loves it, so it was unproveable. It was a fact of life.

Wizards needs to suck it up. I bought books BECAUSE they were from their people. I bought books BECAUSE they were D&D specifically...And now? I don't know. Despite the "illegality" of downloading their books, the penalties are laughable. So now we are back to goodwill, how much do YOU have left?

IF you are feeling like me, you have noticed Paizo and White Wolf are both having sales...decent sales. If you are like me, you also noticed that they are also available as torrents. Oddly enough, there isn't even a temptation. Figure that one out Wizards, and you win.

Also, RIP Dave Arneson - You seemed like a cool guy, you get the benefit of the doubt. Where are the Fracking horny chinchillas when you need them? Steve Jackson is waiting.


greywulf said...

Quite so. Goodwill works both ways, and Wizards have used all theirs clean up.

Paizo, Green Ronin and the rest on the other hand have it in spades. They value their customers, so we value them.

WoTC don't get it, and (I suspect) under their current leadership, never will.

Zachary The First said...

What Greywulf said. There are too many good companies out there who have earned goodwill coming out of their ears to deal with WotC’s nonsense.

Jonathan said...

I think the best thing for WotC at this point would be to 1) either sell the D&D brand to some other independent company (not likely); or 2) peel off from Hasbro (buy themselves out from Hasbro), and become an independent company again. Seeing at both are very unlikely to happen; I predict that this is the last edition of D&D for 10 years or more. In 1 - 2 years, the D&D product line will be boxed up and put away in the safe at Hasbro Corp.; along with those awesome Adventure People action figures from the 1970's.

Mad Brew said...

@Jonathan: No way. Despite all the hubbub, this is just a blip on WotC's market radar. 4e will continue to sell, and so will the next 10 editions.

I secretly wish the same thing as you (there is something to be said about the warmness of small companies), but doubt this fiasco will have any major impact on WotC.

They will need many more major screw-ups before I could see something drastic happening.

Chgowiz said...

In 1 - 2 years, the D&D product line will be boxed up and put away in the safe at Hasbro Corp.; along with those awesome Adventure People action figures from the 1970's.

I know this will raise eyebrows... but so what?

Nature abhors a vacuum. The OGL ensured that D&D is going to be around for a long time, even if it's not explicitly named "Dungeons & Dragons". For that, I thank WotC, even though they didn't really understand what they were doing.

Donny said...

Damn Chgowitz, I am in admration of your link-fu :)

While I agree with all that has been said, I have to say that I am noticing a lot more of WotC's "fans" are starting to get sick of being their apologetics too.

I sure miss being a valued part of D&D, you know? The assumption now being that what I say/think is irrelevant to the bottom line.

You are right Jon, they need to sell the license oand concentrate on Cards.

Graham said...

Man, the nerd rage is killing me. I may have to drop your feed from my reader for a while, as I'm just getting sick of it.

Oh, hey, to follow up from your previous post, here's a conundrum:

If you have an ex-subscriber who WANTS to be a subscriber, but demands that you use your fucking brains before he is willing to continue a relationship you...what do you do?

Donny said...

Ouch Graham.

I apologize for being angry on a day you didn't feel like dealing with it.

You will be missed.

Graham said...

Note: I am still following this discussion for now.

My rage tolerance is admittedly low. This is why I don't read people like RPGPundit.

But I like how your answer to what you'd do if you lost a minority of your readership for a choice you made is "sorry, you'll be missed". You don't go back on what you said, or offer reparations, or anything.

And why should you?

So why should WotC give you back all the money you paid them for your pdfs, go back on their previous business decision, and hide in the corner, all because a minority complains and leaves? Why should their answer not be "sorry, you'll be missed"?

I just want to understand just what you're arguing here.

Donny said...

Welcome back.

I chose to respect your opinion.

I am not up for, nor looking a fight with anyone that cannot directly influence the events that have drawn my ire.

"asking" for my money back was Rhetorical. The PDF's were from Paizo, and they haven't decided to turn lead into gold for the masses yet. I would accept it, but that's not the point.

I didn't offer apology because I am correct. While that may seem an assholish response, it is still true. I AM pissed off that my bumbling and sometimes foolish hero has turned out to REALLY be a fallible douchebag. Unrealistic? Yes. Wrong? Not from here.

So how big does a Minority have to be before they are justified in their anger? 10%? 20%? 30%? where's the threshold where the board should commit seppuku?

Do we even know where we are now?

Personally, I don't care either way. I was angry, and wanted to talk about it. It helped, and now I am feeling more pragmatic again.

Being creative while pissed leads to pissed off gamers.

Donny said...

As to what I am arguing...I'm not arguing. I'm ranting, it's different.

Namely in that everything stays nice and non-specific.

However, I did offer up some options others have proposed, and some more I spun up on the quick.

Just about any of those would make me a happier panda.

Or maybe I'm just dissapointed that the fucking IP and Piracy bullshit has actually affected me, only to find out my "guardian" is making bad choices too.

Graham said...

No worries, man.

But that's the thing. We have no idea how many people this affects, or how many are angry about it. We have no idea how this affects their profits.

But more importantly, we have no idea (aside from the quick answer of "piracy, we're figuring it out") why this was decided.

In fact, the only thing I really CAN say I know about the situation is that the full removal of everything was (as stated by RPGNow) a misunderstanding, and not what WotC actually asked for.

For all we know, though, this could be a legal requirement of the lawsuits they're currently undergoing. Unlikely, but is it really much more unlikely than "They're doing because they actually think all pdf buyers are pirates"?

But be angry! Demand answers!

The utter deluge of uninformed bullshit and kneejerk rage that's been coming from so many sites and forums over the past couple days, though? It's just too much. It's not asking for answers, it's demanding blood!

People are demanding that WotC sell D&D or fold! Without knowing why WotC even made the decision they did, or what the repercussions will be!

People are demanding money back from a non-guaranteed transaction that WotC didn't even make!

I only brought it up here, man, because I respect you enough to actually let you know before I just leave.

If this is all you've got, though, then I'm sticking around. I wasn't planning on leaving for long, anyways, just until the rage died down and you got back to the normal stuff that I enjoy.

Jonathan said...

@graham : while I agree the nerd rage is untenable; I stand by my position that the best thing _for the game_ would be for Wizards to go back to a small company operation. I also am not so much of an asshat as to think this is a realistic possibility. Hasbro owns them. Period. My comment about their not being a 5th edition was _sarcasm_ (hint:adventure people? come on...) In anycase, there will no doubt be a 5th edition at some point - it's a matter of the business model: the core books are the biggest money makers and once the market is saturated the only way to refresh it is to push another edition out the window. The same model is used in the software industry (new versions; with not much new features - Photoshop for example).

btw - did you know that they just recently became an LLC? There was virtually zero talk on the blogosphere about that change (which I found kinda strange); but I presume it was so that they could boost their liability protection for legal issues.

Graham said...

Honestly, Jonathan, I agree with you. I'm 99% sure that whatever the cause for this, the order would have come from Hasbro corporate or legal.

Though whether it would be the best thing for the game or not is questionable. Without the financial backing of Hasbro, who know where we might end up.

I know you're exagerating, semi-serious, and sarcastic. You're not the only one saying shit, though. And people do latch on to things that come from places like yours and run with them to unimaginable lengths.

It's those people who push me to the point where I just want to retreat from the internet until it all blows over.


As for the LLC thing, I was not aware. And I'm not all that versed in corporate legalese (especially american corporate legalese), so I'm not too sure just what that gets them.

Donny said...

Fair enough :)

you had me worried there, I LIKE my fans, and it would be a real shame to lose ya.

With my spleen nice and empty, I should be able to get back to actual content again.

Your time and effort is appreciated.

Tom said...

[i]In 1 - 2 years, the D&D product line will be boxed up and put away in the safe at Hasbro Corp.; along with those awesome Adventure People action figures from the 1970's.[/i]

Wow, dude you're smoking the good stuff. Pass that sh*t!!

Sorry, but that's ludicrous. D&D is the strongest brand in the industry by a freakin' mile. If they can't make money with it, they'll sell it. No way in the 9 hells it would get shelved.

Jonathan said...

@TOM : please note my note to graham above. (sarcasm) D&D is not going anywhere; it's too entrenched.

Tom said...

*whoosh over head*

:) I type faster then I think sometimes

Anonymous said...

We pirates are here to stay and we don't care about gaming companies that have a vested interest in crapping on its customers so quit yer self-righteous bellyaching.

Donny_the_DM said...


huh? did you even read the post? guess not.