Feb 20, 2011

DDI has convinced me that the blue pill may be the better choice.

So there it is. 

Today, I let my DDI account lapse.

I could go into detail as to why, but have done so already.  I am tired of "my" game being beholden to a bunch of people that don't really seem to get how gamer's think or work.  The corporate overlords in Renton seem to only be capable of  (poorly) repackaging (Cough, essentials, cough) the same crap we have already paid for in yet another shiny color, making their supposedly core based system little more than a Magic game filled with players hitting the WIN! button with whatever new booster de- I mean splatb- I mean supplement happened to drop this week.  Don't even get me started on what is the final death of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, though in truth their suffering is over now.

I'm tired of the obfuscation and the marketing BS.  I'm tired of being sold the same product again and again.  I'm tired of the game changing halfway through due to piss-poor playtesting, and paradigm shifts following the now annual (and totally unneccesary) layoffs.  I'm done with Dungeons and Dragons. 

Here I thought my granite wall of writer's block was due to an internal failing, but it wasn't.  I'm just done with D&D.  I just wasn't ready to admit it, after nearly 17 years of living and breathing D&D.  Now I'm walking away and feel as if a great weight has lifted from my shoulders.  Not gaming, however, just D&D - big difference.

In fact, I am looking for a science fiction type game to play, some alpha-omega or Dragonstar might fit the bill...I've always wanted to play Traveller, among other things.

Should some nameless wage-slave from Renton happen over here, tell your overlords that they done fucked up.  This group is done with their bullshit and will be seeing if their competitors know how to handle a product + community any better.

DDI had so much potential - squandered by the hand-picked pets of Hasbro.  I hope you remove your heads from your arses, until then it's been a wonderful 15 years, and a not so wonderful 2 after that - here's to things getting better.

Anyway, to summarize - Screw WizBro, Screw subscription models that charge you more while removing features, and screw whatever mouthpiece of the quarter they drag up to try and put a smiley face on the utter failure of the 4E relese and followup. 

Bitter doesn't even begin to describe it, I am tired of apologizing to people for liking your game.  End of story.  

To any of my readers that may still remain, if I bumped into you in a FLGS, and we struck up a conversation, what game would you try and convince me to give a chance?  anyone who says pathfinder will be summarily executed using 3E grappling rules while being forced to watch me make a singing combat bard.


David said...

I think you should check out Traveller. I've been going through it and it's a very cool system.

Word verification: porked. Hmmmm...

Tom said...

Pathfinder. I want to live FOREVER!

Altenately the Hero System does Supers and Sci-fi really well (IMO). Fantasy only works well as low-magic fantasy OR Super-high-power-fantasy (which is virtually identical to Supers gaming). Typical AD&D level breaks down around 5th, about the point you'd put 'fireball' on the scene...

Arkhein said...

I hear ya buddy. I made way too many compromises following WotC around.

If you are looking for a game that can go sci-fi and feels pulpy, Savage Worlds is pretty damn fun.

- Ark

Snarls-at-Fleas said...

Funny. Having checked online CharBuilder (especially Essentials options) I decided to renew my sub. and go all-Essential on my next campaign :)

Carl said...

Your new digital overlords command you to download the free .pdf of Stars Without Number.

It has a simple but surprisingly in-depth character creation that borrows heavily from Traveller in the skills system, and lays it on top of a simple B/X D&D frame. It is amazingly well written and put together. I honestly think it puts everything WOTC has done recently to shame, and it is a freely available product!

(this transmission from the digital overlords was not in any way affiliated with or endorsed by Stars Without Number - I'm just a fan)


Paper and Plastic said...

Just a couple off suggestions
- Fate (Strands of fate)
- Savage World
- Dragon AGE
- Fiasco (meanwhile)

David M Jacobs said...

I'm a fan of Pelgrane Press' GUMSHOE system, myself.

Currently, they only do three horror games and one supers game, but they've got a post-apocalyptic, a vampire/spy thriller and a space opera game in the works. They're also working on a series of books on how to incorporate GUMSHOE's investigative mechanic into other games; Pathfinder is the first, I believe.

Scott said...

This doesn't strike you as a little silly?

I mean, Essentials has been extremely well-received, especially by those who understand that it doesn't really target established D&D players to begin with.

I'm also not sure what you could mean by players hitting the "WIN!" button. They've done a pretty solid job of making sure that your previous material remains relevant, releasing free updates for products you've bought. Kind of an odd thing to complain about.

And really, Dungeon and Dragon magazines? It's sort of ridiculous to hold it against a company for retiring a print magazine, given how terribly print subscription media is doing. I mean, this strikes me as an example of sentimental anger over something that, practically speaking, is hardly a big deal.

I'm also kind of mystified by your accusation that you're being sold the same product over and over. Why are you buying the same thing multiple times? And what, exactly, are you buying?

And then you call the WotC staff "nameless wage slaves". Really? I know the names of and have personally met a LOT of the WotC staff. I follow them on Twitter, I see them post to message boards, I am cogent of the fact that they are active, real people with their own opinions. They would DEFINITELY not consider themselves nameless wage slaves, and neither would anyone even remotely familiar with WotC or the tabletop publishing industry. Why do you, except to dehumanize something you dislike?

"Paradigm shifts"? Huh. I get the feeling you're talking about Essentials, as though it was concocted as the direct result of a layoff. Would it surprise you, then, to find out that the plan for 4e's product line was ALWAYS to roll out a set of products during the game's 3rd year focused on new players? Surprise! Hardly a paradigm shift when it's planned from the get-go. I'm sure you'll come up with some other less significant change and tell me that's what you meant all along, but really, it's okay.

Also, I didn't hear of any major layoffs this winter. Oh, and pretty much every employee laid off over the last few years from the D&D team understood why it happened, weren't all that surprised by it, don't really harbor any grudge at all towards WotC, and most consider it a blessing/dream come true to have been able to work on D&D to begin with. At least, from what I've heard them saying. Of course, you're apparently in some kind of position to be able to judge whether companies you are clearly not terribly familiar with are conducting unnecessary layoffs. Maybe you know something I don't.

DDI did have potential, still does, and has done a pretty fantastic job of making good use of that potential. The VTT is looking awesome (I've been using it myself), cross-app integration is being turned on as we speak, and the tools provided continue to make my job so easy that running any other game will feel like a return to the Dark Ages. DDI has changed tabletop gaming for better and for always. You're not going to find anything that comes close elsewhere (Hero Lab lol).

Also curious is the fact that you refer to 4e's release and follow-up as a failure, despite the fact that it seems to be doing just fine, and we keep getting new material, new apps, and new improvements to the game.

The fact that you felt like you had to apologize to people for liking D&D says it all, I think. Perhaps instead of ditching D&D, you might spend a few more moments examining where all this bitterness is coming from. From my perspective, it doesn't really seem warranted...at all. It just sounds like the voice of self-entitlement.

But, then again, I'm just a WotC fanboy here to defend my wage-slave WizBro mouthpiece masters from frothing nerdrage. :P

Anthony said...

Tastes change, and as your post indicates, this one has been building for quite some time, and for more reasons than just this last straw.

If you are not having fun, or if it is getting harder and harder to have fun with this game, by all means move on, and be glad of it.

If we were to meet and discuss suggestions, I would mention Desolation by Greymalkin Designs for a different take on Fantasy and a completely different approach to structure, but as you asked about Science Fiction I might mention the new Battletech RPG 'A Time of War' or Shadowrun... it's hard to dislike a game with the depth and breadth of these two.

Anyway ~ enjoy yourself. There are a lot of great games to explore. .

saintdave22 said...

I would suggest Dragon Age or maybe Savage Lands.

Aaron Thies said...

I suggest giving Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century a try - http://www.ssdc.com/battlelords

Louis Porter Jr. said...

Listen, stop acting silly!!! Pathfinder is what you want. Stop denying yourself the good gaming love of Pathfinder. You know you want to roll with it...

David said...

I wanted to drop D&D 4e right around Sept. 2010 when they decided to change a bunch of things including the character builder and producing essentials.

I've never tried Traveller, but I would recommend Eclipse Phase. Its a sci-fi horror system that is easy to learn and play. You can find the book for the game for free (legitimate even!), and if you like it you can buy it on Drive-Thru-RPG pretty cheaply.

Tourq said...

"anyone who says pathfinder will be summarily executed using 3E grappling rules while being forced to watch me make a singing combat bard."

Best threat e-v-e-r.

vgmaster831 said...

Pathfinder is so the way to go. Either that, or ditch 4e and stick with 3.5. I may be new to this whole scene, but I think that's what you should do.