Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 26, 2014
 
D&D Insider support for 4th edition

4th edition Dungeons & Dragons is a complicated game: The rules are distributed over dozen of books plus errata, and building a character or monster takes some time. 4E is greatly helped by the online tools that Wizards of the Coast make available to D&D Insider subscribers: The compendium of all the rules, the character builder, and the monster builder. Plus you get access to Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine online. So I've been paying those $5.95 per month (12 month subscription price) for some time, because I consider it well worth it.

Now even if I wanted to, I can't switch to 5th edition when it comes out. Half of my group isn't speaking English, and while 4E exists in French, WotC hasn't sorted out translations for 5E yet. So I will need those 4E online tools still for a while. And I'm obviously worried that WotC just switches them off in a "let's get everybody to move to 5E" sort of marketing push.

Having not found any clear statement of WotC on the issue, I made use of modern social media: I sent a tweet to Mike Mearls, D&D Lead Designer. I asked: "Can you rename 4E to "D&D Tactics" and keep up support for the online tools? Or do you need to push people into 5E?". And to my surprise, I got an answer: "online tools will remain functional as long as we have enough people subbed". I find that a very reasonable answer. They don't promise support for forever, but as long as enough people subscribe to D&D Insider for 4th edition to pay for the tools, they'll keep them up. That might get complicated some day if D&D Insider gets 5E online tools as well, as they would need two separate subscriptions to know which version people are paying for. But at least 4E will have some online legacy support for the moment.

Comments:
Great News. I also started to fear that they would turn that off. I'm still enjoying 4E and I plan on continue it for quite some time because I took my a considerable effort persuade my groups to switch from 3.5 to 4E.
 
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