Friday, 21 March 2014

D&D Insider Expiration

I received the following email this week.

The subscription detailed below will be expiring 6 days from today. Since you were one of the first subscribers, we wanted to invite you to renew your service before it runs out.

Product Name                        Subscription Date  Expiration Date  Amount
1 Year Dungeons and Dragon          03/25/2012           03/25/2014           $71.40

To renew your subscription, you'll want to wait 6 days until your subscription is completely finished. You'll have a few days grace period before your access to D&D Insider officially goes away. At that time, please place a new subscription order at

Please note -- if you want to use Manual Renewal again, you will need to notify Customer Service in order to turn off Auto-Renew on your new purchase. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working on streamlining this process.

We hope that you've enjoyed D&D Insider and we look forward to your continued participation!

Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

I have to admit - it was nice that they "remembered" me from the start of the subscription service.  Though, that fact didn't really seem to change much else.

I had already written to WotC, as well as expressed elsewhere (eg here), but felt that the email needed a response. So, I wrote:

Dear WotC Insider folk,
Thank you for your email alerting me to the ending of my (long term) subscription, and for remembering that I was amongst the first subscribers to the service. 
Unfortunately, I do not wish to continue the service at this point in time.  Sadly, as WotC has moved away from the 4th Edition of DnD, and towards the 5th Edition (currently referred to as "DnD Next"), there has been a significant drop in products and usefulness of the subscription service, including:
  • No new Dragon or Dungeon magazines
  • No new rulebooks introducing new content into the Compendium or Character Builder
  • No updates or fixes to the Character Builder
  • No updates of fixes to the Compendium
  • No updates or fixes to the Adventure Tools
  • A total lack of many other programs (virtual table, character visualiser/portrait, etc) that were promised back at the start of the service.
Plus, there has been no clear response from WotC about what will happen with the 4e online tools, once 5e is released in a few months time.  I don't think it wise to sign up for another year when I might only get a few months out of that subscription.
In short, the price-point of the subscription has been hard for some time now, but with these issues, it has become greatly undesirable.  I do not think it a fair, nor wise price point to commit the asked amount of money to a service that provides me with a slow and broken character builder, and a compendium of rules I already own in paper form, and that should be free anyway.   
If you were to offer a downloadable version of the compendium and character builder (preferably one that allowed us to fix what WotC does not seen to feel it necessary to fix), where we could work to include our own house rules, where we could fix links to use in such programs as, and where we could have as many characters as we want, instead of the very restraining 20 hard limit, then I'd be interested.  But for now, I have to say "no thanks", and leave my subscription expiring.
As I said before, it is sad that it has to go, but they have continuously given less than they promised up-front, and with the culling of all new mechanics, the price-point leaped into the absurd.  The asked-for price was harsh when it was for a number of articles, a few books of info, and the online tools.  For simply the tools, I have to say "no".

Now, let's see where that leaves me in a months time...!

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