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Wizards Of The Coast Learning That Pissing Off Geeks Isn't Such A Good Idea...

from the be-careful... dept

If there's one group online that it's useful to avoid pissing off, it's "the geeks." And one thing that plenty of geeks love is Dungeons and Dragons. Yet, D&D publisher, Wizards of the Coast, has fans of the game up in arms over the decision to stop a bunch of online retailers from selling PDF versions of its games and books, while also filing eight lawsuits claiming infringement for unauthorized distribution.... and I have to admit, I can't recall a story ever getting this many submissions from readers here (perhaps there's a bit of overlap in our audiences). In some cases, the demand to retailers to remove these PDFs has caused those who legitimately bought them (but hadn't downloaded them yet) to not be able to get the product they had purchased. On top of this, Wizards is apparently also looking at employing some sort of DRM for any future digital releases, which also has plenty of people angry.

What's amazing to watch is the pushback from the games' biggest fans. They're wondering why Wizards is limiting legitimate sales of its products, and looking to make the overall product worse by limiting it with annoying DRM. As people keep pointing out, piracy is going to happen one way or the other -- but rather than trying to lock stuff down (and, one other aspect of this is requiring all resellers to become "authorized internet resellers"), why not focus on ways to use that content to build bigger and better business models that don't require treating all your fans and customers as criminals?


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  1.  
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    Ima Fish, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Someone help me out, please!

    Let me get this straight, Wizards of the Coast put a stop to legitimate retailers legitimately selling legitimate copies of Wizards of the Coast's materials. Can someone explain this to me?!

     

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    Evil Mike, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

    The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Long before Gary Gygax died, D&D was bought by Wizards of the Coast--which was a REALLY cool company up until they were purchased by Mattel.

    Every since Mattel and the late Gary Gygax, it's become "D&D for Dummies" and 'Let's do some cheap corporate whoring for cash!' on all fronts.

    This was bound to happen. Most true geeks abhor that which our game has become.

     

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    Sure, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Violation

    The legitimate retailers failed to roll a fortitude save against the difficulty class, thus violating the item creation rules of D20 and rendering the PDFs unusable...

     

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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Someone help me out, please!

    Seems like yet another case of dead tree (or dead polymer) media hamstringing themselves and sticking to their best and most loyal customers.

    Nothing new here, except you would think WotC, of all people, should get it. It seems however, the **AAs don't have the monopoly on lack of common sense, or a monopoly on trying to pretend the revolution that happened over a decade ago still doesn't exist.

    And you're absolutely right. You don't want to tick off the geeks, they have the wherewithal and the obsessive personality types to exact payback from WotC. Those are practically a prerequisite to be a user of their products in the first place.

    Somehow, we've gone from "The Customer is always right." to "The Customer is our enemy." and it will be a long time, if ever, until things get back to something sane that actually serves customer and vendor alike.

     

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    Wayne Chung, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Didn't you get that memo?

    Somehow, we've gone from "The Customer is always right." to "The Customer is our enemy." and it will be a long time, if ever, until things get back to something sane that actually serves customer and vendor alike.

    CJ,
    Didn't you get that memo that was passed around the office last week? It was something to the tune of "The customer is always right, as long as they are dumb. Take their money."

    I can forward it to ya if you need it.

     

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    Matt, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    WOTC = greed

    WOTC got greedy right around magic the gathering ice age. After that, they changed management and went to greed mode, producing lots of filler to moneygrab. Been covered for years, the online game is no exception.

     

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    Matt, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Someone help me out, please!

    Uh what? "the customer is always right" is a horrible phrase, and so incorrect it goes beyond comparison. Ideally, everyone would love to please every customer. The proper phrase is "some customers are always right", really. We have so many idiots out there that if you bend over backwards to please them, they're just going to abuse it next time. There has to be discretion on when this comes in, and that's all part of good customer service.

    This has 0 to do with how the music business works, the other phrase you said, "the customer is our enemy" has indeed been occurring and that is a bad idea.

     

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    Paul Brinker, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    As a D&D player myself, I find it far faster to search a well indexed book (that I use quite often in the running of a single game) then having to search a website or PDF.

    If i could search on a kindle like ebook reader I might change my mind but as for right now the hard copy book is more usful then a PDF.

    A lot of geeks are with me on this fact as well and its just not D&D, most roll playing systems are included in this remark.

     

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    mudlock, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

    Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Suuuure.

    This is all because Wizards are a bunch of money-grubbing evil evil-doers; they bought D&D because they're evil, not because TSR FAILED AS A BUSINESS. Oh, by the way, they've been planing this conspiracy since 1997; maybe earlier!

    Or Hasbro; Wizards was sunshine and unicorns before Hasbro bought them in 1999. Oh, wait; you said Mattel. Whatever, they're all evil corporations.

    It's all part of a huge conspiracy to make the game dumber, obviously. Because making your game accessible to a larger audience is a STUPID way to ensure you won't go bankrupt like the last guys, who didn't do that but did go bankrupt. Marketing? Appealing to new audiences? Hell, they're probably even expecting some GIRLS will play their new wussed-out game!

    Oh, and anyone who disagrees with us just isn't as hard-core of a geek as we are. Because in MY day, every time a new 1st level mage or thief walked out of the tavern, there was a 1% chance Orcus would be waiting in the street, and we LIKED IT that way!

    Troll.

     

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    Stuart, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Its a disease with them.

    They are truly going to ruin this game. Like when they had a crap company like Turbine produce their online game DDO. Then made Atari the distributor. Then made very bad decisions on what genre of D&D they would include.

     

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    Evil Mike, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    I completely understand targeting a larger audience; and making money is what a corporation is for.

    That being said, the spirit of the original game is gone--having been slain by corporate greed.

    PS Ad hominem, so soon?

     

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    mudlock, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Continuing to drop the ball

    Wizards (and Hasbro in general) have continually dropped the ball whenever they try to move into the digital world.

    3rd edition D&D was suppose to get a series of digital tools; after a series of delays, the promise was quietly forgotten.

    4th edition D&D was suppose to ship with a series of digital tools, including access to an ebook version of every book you bought; current status? Delayed. And no ebook-with-purchase.

    And now this? I can't say I'm surprised. Just... disappointed.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an evil warlock's dungeon to finish planning by Friday.

     

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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

    "...treating all your fans and customers as criminals?"

    Reading between the lines, I suspect they're treating the retailers as criminals. My guess is that they've noticed that retailers were selling more copies of the PDFs than they were being paid for, so they're instituting a DRM that makes every copy unique and traceable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    i was going to point that out.

    ty Evil M

     

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    James Witte, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    I have played pen and paper RPGs for many years. Yes, I do like having the books so I can read a bit just before I go to sleep, but when I almost broke a shelf built into the wall because I had tooo many books on it, I realized that I'm going to need PDFs and a nice small linux tablet PC. Books are nice, yes, but they are going the way of cassette tapes and TRS-80s and maybe I'll just have to find a "smarter than the average" group and go back to playing a real game like Role Master. I mean, it's not like D&D has ever created a fighter-mage base class(goes from 1-20) that I have agreed with, but the 3.5 prestige classes Swiftblade(found on wizards.com web site) and Abjurant Champion did help out, A LOT to making a good fighter-mage.

     

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    IanK, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Someone help me out, please!

    Yeah, I don't get it either.

    If retailers are selling PDF versions of books created by Wizards Of The Coast, and WOTC didn't authorise PDF versions of the books, then I completely understand why WOTC is upset. I don't see the big deal if WOTC is still getting their cut of the revenue (i.e., perhaps the sale price of the PDF book is the same as the printed book, but some people wanted digital versions only), but this is not about my opinion of what's right or fair. It's about rather valid laws being broken, and overall, if the relevant laws actually help the creator of the content protect their work, then great.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Someone help me out, please!

    "You don't want to tick off the geeks, they have the wherewithal and the obsessive personality types to exact payback from WotC"

    There's an understatement. I work with a bunch of these guys and I can tell you they have declared war and there's no intention to play by any rules but their own. DUMB, STUPID, IDIOTIC, SHORT-SIGHTED MOVE WOTC. They will make you pay dearly for the few extra dollars you might have earned.

     

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    mudlock, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Perhaps a bit soon, yeah.

    Look, I've played every version of the game (very little of 1st though). 4th edition is, to my mind, the GREATEST edition of D&D ever. And I have fond memories of pouring over the differences between a glaive-guisarme and a bec-de-corbin, and twinking out my elven fighter/mage (a bladesinger, of course). 4th is a better game, in my opinion. And yeah, I take umbrage to being told I'm not a "true geek" for holding that opinion.

    The spirit is not gone. There was never a time when D&D books weren't made with an eye toward sleight-of-handing your hard earned gold pieces out of your belt pouch. But that's never stopped a group of friends from sitting around a table and rolling d20s at a dragon while making stupid Star Wars references.

     

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    Grog the Nard, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:08pm

    downloading pirated PDF's

    In my experience, downloading pirated PDF's only leads to MORE purchases for wizards/hasboro! As someone noted above, it is next to impossible to use a PDF when compared to a hard copy, and what I have always used my vast library of illegally downloaded PDF's for is to see whether or not I want to purchase an item. I have personally spent hundreds (if not in the thousands) of dollars that I would not have otherwise on D&D books after first perusing the illegal copy that I downloaded and deciding that it was indeed worth the ridiculous price to buy the hard copy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:12pm

    BOYCOTT WOTC!!!

    I've been playing since OD&D. I used to love TSR Hobbies and WotC. Now, WotC/Hasbro have turned into absolute Game Nazis I can't stand them anymore. They have indeed pissed off us geeks and I encourage everyone to boycott them.

    It seems obvious to me that the design philosophy behind D&D 4th Edition was to sell as many rulebooks, miniatures, and online subscriptions as possible -- NOT create a better game than 3rd Edition. For this reason alone I give WoC the middle finger and absolutely refuse to play 4E or purchase any of their products.

    I highly recommend supporting those companies with d20 variants that use Open Game Content.

     

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    Evil Mike, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    We're all entitled to our own opinions; and I would not begrudge yours.

    I've played 4th, my primary laments are that it's like World of Warcraft on paper. The economics are laughable, the crafting is nonexistent, and "magic" items now aren't.

    Though 3.5 has it's problems as well...
    Let's just agree to disagree; I believe it's not worth a holy war. :)

     

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    Geoffrey Kidd (profile), Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Mattel, eh?

    Well, there's greed, and there's stupidity. Anybody want to guess which side runs Mattel?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Someone help me out, please!

    "The proper phrase is "some customers are always right", really."

    "Some customers are sometimes right."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    There'd be nothing holy about it anyway...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    I thought Hasbro got them. Either way Wizards was GREAT until they got bought out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 4:14pm

    They have the worst programmers. MTGO is a pos they have not been able to fix it and make it worth using after years of development.

     

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    Sneeje, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 4:43pm

    Re: WOTC = greed

    Don't confuse greed with the pursuit of a successful business. The truth is that the old editions of the game had to be "refreshed" to continue growing interest in the game across generations. The product demand was so low towards the end of both 1st and 2nd editions that it the game itself almost died out. If you don't see that, then we might as well agree to disagree. There is a reason why old movies get remade, new editions of books are printed, etc--they have to be made relevant to new generations and the current economic/cultural environments.

    Where the issue should be is with what business models they've tried to apply with each new edition. 3rd edition was a success partially because of the creation of the OGL which allowed 3rd parties to create companion products--this grew the market and expanded demand for all market participants, as well as offered lots of innovation to the consumer.

    Now, they don't seem to understand that they need to continue the OGL (they just recently phoned in a new version which shows a lukewarm commitment on their part), AND tackle the online gaming community. They're trying... but right now they are mostly failing and other products (some freeware) are filling the gaps. The character generator is a great product but the other products are coming so slowly the whole strategy may fail.

     

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    HackDude, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    Forget WOTC 3rd, 3.5 and 4th. Get HackMaster. It reminds me of those days when Role Playing was actually fun.

     

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    Just Another Moron in a Hurry, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 6:00pm

    Competition

    Have any of you noticed the replies from Paizo and White Wolf? Both are offering discounts and free PDFs. They are putting out press releases advertising their digital offerings, and basically taking advantage of WotC's mishandling of the situation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 6:08pm

    WotC is becoming the new TSR, between the craptastic new 4th edition and copyright strongarming.

     

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    knifight, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    I haven't played D&D in maybe 20 years, but I loved it way back when and I'm not sure why legitimate PDF sales were stopped. Could this be because they are afraid of the art being digitally copy-able? Because I'm sure it's already too late to prevent that. Could it be because they need more revenue per copy? Then why not negotiate a legal arrangement with authorized digital resellers and get more silver pieces OR.. Maybe this is a case of wanting to drive traffic to their own site to be able to buy the PDF's. This might not be about downloads at all. I suspect this is about matching ads up to eyeballs and who owns the cyber-estate where that meeting takes place. I'm not saying it's right or optimal just putting an idea out there..Valid theory? or the ramblings of madman. What say you?

     

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    Sneeje, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 6:50pm

    Re:

    Ugh, could we please relegate the "change is bad the past was better" arguments to the forums at WotC?

     

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    Zaphod (profile), Apr 7th, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    Maybe what's needed is an FOS FRPG?

    How about the geeks mob a bulletin board somewhere and build a new Free and Open Source Fantasy Roll Playing Game?

    Who cares if SIWDCoCh is rolled on 1d20 (1 & 2 being handicaps, 19 Being extra stats with an achilles heel, and 20 being godlike stats.), or a 3d6 (oh, wait, probably copyrighted). And please, let's let the monk class be their original badass selves?

    Zap.

    P.S. You only get +2 initiative for a chain mail bikini, m'kay?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 8:50pm

    Re: "...treating all your fans and customers as criminals?"

    Reading between the lines...

    In other words, "Making up a bunch of stuff..."

     

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    Emilio, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 8:50pm

    So, is there an Open Source Community within the world of D&D? Will they be able to re-codify the elements of the game and steal the momentum away from the holders of the original copyrights and their decedents?

    Part of the appeal of boardgames to me is still the wonderful physical nature of their printed graphics. It's a large part of why they're worth the money in the first place.

    How much of the core concepts of role-playing are covered by the D&D copyrights, and will the habit of depending on a single source of authority last forever, or gradually be forgotten as its members age? Can an Open Source Community replace that traditional authority, as change of ownership and and the new owners' priorities gradually abandon the original intent of the activity?

     

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    James Hahn, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Ah, wow. Little heavy handed there. But, as a long time player and fan of the genre, I can say this. TSR did not fail as a business model, it failed because of a Board of Directors submiting to a greedy ex-wife who had a smart greedy lawyer. Hasbro, is looking to make a profit, companies do that. But, WOTC is seeing a huge decline in thier sales due to a general revolt of their current 4th edition offerings. WOTC is trying to force customers to move to the 4th edition when a large number of the players have rejected the new system. WOTC, is suffering an alignment shift here. Going from true neutral to perhaps lawful evil, in game terms. They need to assist their fan base not exile them. Their business model is for short term profit not long term survival. This is a corporate problem in America and around the world, not just withing the billion dollar a year industry of RPG's... Thanks for listening.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 9:15pm

    Hopefully they won't pull similar doodoo with Magic: The Gathering

     

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    Zaphod (profile), Apr 7th, 2009 @ 9:40pm

    Re: Emilio's take on a FOS FRPG...

    Actually, I have used AD&D modules with other systems (Rolemaster for instance) with great effect. The story is the same, even if the universe has different glitches.

    And as far as content creation, one need to only look as far as http://www.planeshift.it/ to know it exists in copious quantity!

     

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    Tuck, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 2:20am

    WotC

    D&D went from a bunch of pamphlets created on copy machines into an industry. There would be no RoleMaster, or World of Warcraft without it. There is nothing wrong with trying to make money from your work, how many people have bought multiple dungeons and accessories from multiple companies through the years. We have gotten used to the community feel of roleplay. If you are a geek and you play a game you are part of a brotherhood. Many of us were the ones that weren't social, weren't part of any groups but our own small one.
    Then it became popular to be a geek. It became popular to play the computer versions of roleplay games. It became profitable to sell games and accessories.
    WotC has gone through up times and down times. They want to get a share of the pie that they feel they baked. The recipe they created, then lost. They saw their games grow without their share. They don't want to lose their hold on it. They have taken the view that groups like the music and movie industry have.
    I don't play 4E D&D and though I bought a new players handbook, I doubt I ever will. I have a set of the core rules in hard cover. I also have the SRD in a drop down version on my browser making it easy to find a section I need. I have many files and programs I have downloaded from various D&D websites. New classes, weapons, dungeons, spells. All free for use. I doubt I will buy books for 4E or any later editions, but that is as much because I am satisfied with 3.5 as anything.
    I agree it is a stupid idea for WotC to do. It probably will hurt sales, and may even knock WotC down a notch or 2. But Hasbro may just let it die, if it does why do we care. Both E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the 2 who took a hobby and made it the foundation of an industry, created their own new games rules. There are D20 OGL rules out. (Anyone else notice how the 4E SRD needs more of the core books)
    The best way to protest is with your wallets. Don't open them for new products by WotC, do what we did in the first edition, get ideas from the magazines, and create your own product for your campaign.
    Roleplay is a hobby, a game, a pastime. It's what we did as kids with sticks as swords and guns. It will live on longer then TSR, WotC, or Hasbro ever will.

     

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    sycarion, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 5:41am

    OGL and other games

    When Wizards came out with d20 gaming engine and the Open Gaming License a few years ago, the effect was explosive. D&D was based on the d20 engine, so third-parties could make their own expansions compatible with the D&D game.

    Another thing also happened, games were created that went beyond the fantasy genre. Games were created to handle mecha, superheroes, horror, and a host of others. Now the base game, D&D, had rules and settings that were largely compatible with each other.

    Another development was that folks that loved older versions of D&D could create their own d20 compatible game that resembled those older versions. (There's at least five I can think of.) When 4th edition came out under a completely different license, Paizo created the game Pathfinder as a continuation of the 3.5 edition game.

    So to answer your question: There are quite a few OGL re-codified rulesets for the RPG community. Some bring back previous versions of the game, the d20 Core Engine hasn't changed, and Pathfinder is a commercial version largely based on the 3.5 version of the rules.

    There were some elements, called Product Identity, that are subject to Trademark and copyright issues. So creatures called Beholders cannot be availble in the d20 license. Settings like Ravenloft, SpellJammer, and others also have Product Identity that cannot be converted. (Still, if those elements of PI are ommitted, it is still possible to create similar rulesets to cover these. IANAL, so I don't know about the legality of it, just saying that folks have "filed the serial numbers off" these settings.)

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 8th, 2009 @ 5:55am

    Re: "...treating all your fans and customers as criminals?"

    You are obviously new to the DRM scene.
    I will give you a hint, DRM NEVER works. Never. Period.
    Just how it is.
    If that is their goal, they are simply throwing money away.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    People still play D&D? I thought that died out when Metallica went mainstream.

     

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    anon, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Top WoTC Execs:

    "Sir, people are STEALING our PDFs!"

    "Damnit Jensen, I knew we should have never put out PDFs, people can copy them! If only we had stuck with paper books! Take down all those PDFs now!"

    *time passes*

    "Sir, people are STEALING scans of our books!"

    "Damnit Jensen, I knew we should have never put out books, people can copy them! If only we had stuck with stone tablets! Burn all those books now!"

    *etc*

     

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    area_51_games, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 8:38am

    DnD Dynamic Market conversion

    WOTC I think biggest failing is in thier project managment and Tools, it seems that hasbro in its demands to be active in its market and product has lost sight of the semple fact, Role players do not have to buy thier product to play DnD! Its trying to legestrate the imaginations and the power that most geeks know from get go! Its my game and I well play the way I want too!
    to gain control of thier market they need to get people to want to paticapte in thier ideals or they need to learn to paticapte with thier customers to let them direct thier market. bad buisness ideals is not thier problem thier ability to manage thier projects and handle market and technology is the failing of many publishing entities who do not understand that just because you have a editor a writer and an artist, dose not mean you have a team Direction, with out a trained project manager who know that communications is a single goal of the team between marketing development and technology you have failed your project from get go.
    the failure of WOTC is not thier product but thier managment of the three elements of the project.
    nor the understanding that you can not reinvent your product when it is essentually an Ideal.
    you can not copy write an Ideal, just its presentation!

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    J.D., Apr 8th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Hasbro, not Mattel.

     

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  46.  
    icon
    Zaphod (profile), Apr 8th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Damn, feel like an idiot.

    You see, I still have my 1st Edition AD&D books... From the DMG to the Dieties and Demigods WITH the Cthulhu mythos, and lost favor with anything official AD&D at the release of 2nd edition. It sucked, and like Metallica, there is no way for the official line to get back in my good graces.

    I didn't even know that they started using the D20 for character generation, that I was allready using with 1st Edition. (Yes, I even have old Dragon Mags with "What's New? with Phil and Dixie" in the back.)

    So my D20 roll-up idea was ill informed.

    Guess nothing reeks like an old geek.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    angry young man, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    d&d

    A bunch of replies:

    1. While I bought the first three 4.0 books, I've torrented all the rest because there's about $3 worth of useful info within each of their $40 covers. The PDFs are incredibly useful. I've gone back an forth between a pure paper and pencil adventure, in which I just print out my adventure and the monster pages I need; and a pure computer adventure when I do everything on my laptop, including rolling dice (thank you, D&D 2.0 disk with dice roller!). Regarding the index, most of the torrents I've got come with chapters bookmarked, and with Foxmarks you can add additional ones that are adventure specific, making reference very easy.

    2. WOTC is getting those on-line tools ready. A character generator was on display at NY ComicCon, which will make creating NPCs as easy as using that D&D 2.0 disk I noted above. Right now, it's a bear in part because the DMG doesn't have pre-rolled examples of characters at various levels like the 3.5 DMG did.

    3. The alignments are entirely changed in 4.0. There's no more chaotic good, for instance, because that's what you'd use to describe a freedom fighter aka a terrorist. True neutral is now "unaligned."

     

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  48.  
    icon
    Peet McKimmie (profile), Apr 8th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: "...treating all your fans and customers as criminals?"

    If that is their goal, they are simply throwing money away.


    Yup. My point wasn't that the DRM was a magical solution, just that it was more likely aimed at crooked retailers than end users.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Stupid Anonymous Poster, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Someone help me out, please!

    "The proper phrase is "some customers are always right", really."

    "Some customers are sometimes right."

    Could it be?:
    "Customers are. Except when they're not buying."

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Raybone, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    1st edition

    Looooved those first ed. monks, druids, and assassins. We always had house rules in every group I've ever played with. Too busy with music these days, but still love DnD. I wish a decent movie could be made.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Another Gamer, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 8:53pm

    WotC

    It doesn't make ANY sense to organize a boycott of WotC products. If you don't like them, don't buy them. If WotC fails it will only demonstrate to other capable companies...and Hasbro (WotC's parent company)...that there is no viable business to be made in the core hobby market.

    Buying eurogames and RPGs from your local brick-and-mortar isn't cheap but it's the right thing to do if you love games and want to support the industry. Vote with your dollars.

    I've worked in the print gaming industry for more than 10 years...maybe even one of the big companies appearing in this thread (I'm not saying). I can tell you this; the people at Wizards don't have the sophistication to make products that intentionally rip people off. They're TRYING to make the best product they can given their budgets and profit expectations. I "suspect" that Hasbro bought WotC hoping for a regular rhythm of Pokemon-like profits. That was an anomaly...and odds are spectacular that it will NOT happen again. Not to WotC anyway.

    It's a bad time to be in consumer goods. WotC, like most companies in other sectors, are desperate not to have to fire any more of their fine employees...and if that means cracking down on pirates (or however they want to characterize it), that's their prerogative.

    As a life-long gamer, I'm as passionate about D&D as anyone. (Dave Arneson, RIP) I don't blame WotC for trying to act like a big company...that's what they are. The creative grunts behind D&D are doing their best to bring us what we love with the meager resources they're supplied.

    That's the way I see it.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    I have a hard time believing they would. Magic doesn't really suffer from the same IP issues, although I believe they have tried to stop some alternate online clients in the past? In any case, I used to follow the MTG website, and the people who actually design the game are insanely passionate about it. I imagine the D&D people are the same way. The problem isn't them, it's the higher ups.

    As always. Sigh.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    KEN, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:23pm

    WOTC

    The whole WOTC thing is just stupid on there part. Union Pacific railroad tried the same thing in the model RR. world and 8 jr. VP's got canned. I've gone back to the old 1st/2nd Ed. for our gaming group. I will never buy anything from WOTC, I'll buy other parties d20 game aids. I do hope they go under, or someone with any marketing brains takes over. A D&D gamer from the early 70's who once played with the late G.G. Long live the old days when +1 anything was something.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    ken, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    I've got one word to add "VISTA"! Ask Microsoft how they feel after angering there customer base.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

    Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Try Hasbro, Mattel is the rival.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Unbiased Information, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:40am

    Seriously, this is enough.

    While it is true that some people paid for the digital pdf files that were pirated, and did not recieve them, wizards of the coast has legitimate reasons for stopping online files as such. First of all, it wasnt the selling of the files, it was the fact that they were selling these 'digital files' on the internet before the release date of the books themselves, costing the wizards money by having competetition with their own product! Think about it logically, not the way you want to, if you were wizards of the coast, could you honestly say that you would be happy that somebody is selling didital copies of your merchandise? Wizards has agrred that digital files are useful, but are searching an alternate way to give the files online without any ability to pirate them.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Truth, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    It has nothing to with that you idiot! Just because things are not working out the way to please your fat ass doesn't mean wizards isnt working hard at trying to fix the problem! Welcome to LIFE asshole! Thing NEVER work out the way YOU want them too, so rather than hammer wizards of the coast, get off your fat, lazy ass and actually DO something about it!

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Truth, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Someone help me out, please!

    Wizards of the coast did nothing wrong. people who pirated their merchandise openly are to blaim. I have explained this to people multiple times, but i just get the baby-ish reaction that "oh life should work to please me, because i am to lazy to do anything but complain about it and hammer the company that makes said information" Think about it; mif wizards goes down due to your idiotic boycott, new merchandise will NEVER be available PERIOD! do you really want to kill your own game! use your brains!

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Truth, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Someone help me out, please!

    Well said! finally somebody here who can logically think without biasing their statements.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Truth, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:51am

    Re: "...treating all your fans and customers as criminals?"

    "Reading between the lines, I suspect they're treating the retailers as criminals. My guess is that they've noticed that retailers were selling more copies of the PDFs than they were being paid for, so they're instituting a DRM that makes every copy unique and traceable."
    No, they are treating CRIMINALS as criminals. they have been selling wizard's merchandise as their own, and you are all complaining because you do not want to pay around 30 simple dollars, for a book.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Truth, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:55am

    Re: BOYCOTT WOTC!!!

    Idiot! if you boycott them, they will not comply! they will stop making the product and then you will have nothing! Just buy the damn book, it isnt that hard dumbass!

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Truth, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:57am

    Re:

    Legitimate my ass. does the word copyrighted mean anything to you? it means that you cannot sell this product or a copy of this product to make a profit, and selling online pdfs is a violation of said word.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    d7, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:25pm

    Truth, you're missing a fact or two

    "Truth", you're missing a fact there. Selling online PDFs is perfectly legal. All those companies that WotC recently told to stop selling their PDFs had reseller agreements with WotC. WotC has cancelled the agreements, which is their prerogative, but there was nothing illegal about what those companies were doing before.

    WotC has complained about their customers sharing the PDFs ("piracy"), not the sellers legitimately selling PDFs that WotC said they could sell ("business').

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Punk Gamer, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 9:03am

    My two cents

    First off, Truth, those companies selling the online PDF's were legal resellers, as d7 pointed out. As for the books going on sale before being put into print, how do you think those resellers got the PDF files to sell? They're Wizards' PDF's that they distributed to those resellers for the purpose of selling them. If Wizards didn't want them to sell the PDF's before the print dates, they could easily make a stipulation in their contracts with the resellers, or, GASP!, not distribute the PDF's to the resellers until the print version is out.

    The thing I don't get is why did they force the discontination of the out of print earlier edition PDF's. Personally, I don't have the money to shell out getting a copy of the Kara-Tur boxed set, since the cheapest I could find it on e-bay was 60 bucks, and you know what, Wizards wouldn't have made a dime even if I did buy it, but if they still had the PDF's available, I could go get an electronic copy for probably $10 at the most, and Wizards WOULD make money off of that.

    I don't think this has anything to do, at least directly, with piracy, otherwise, why would they remove the old editions as well? I think it's because they aren't selling 4th edition very well, and they're trying to force people to switch to the new edition. I've looked through 4th edition, and in my opinion it is far too dumbed down for me, and the entire flavor of D&D, even the little bit that survived into 3rd edition, is essentially gone. They've gotten rid of classic base races and classes in favor of new classes and races that seem to me like they walked right out of Everquest or WOW. I don't like MMORPG's, why would I want to bring that to my table?

    Plus, in my 24 years of life, with my rabid addiction to D&D, I've spent at least $1000 dollars in gaming books and accessories, and I was just getting comfortable with 3.5, I refuse to switch, and I am pretty much done spending money on this hobby, and the money I do spend from now on isn't going to Wizards, not because I'm gonna boycott them, but because they don't make a game I want to play anymore. Honestly, because of their pulling of legitimate PDF's, it's only gonna make me turn to "piracy" all the more.

    Also, last but not least about PDF's, most of the books I've bought in my lifetime have been lost or destroyed due to my numerous times being homeless, and other things. I've spent the money on the books already, Wizards (or TSR before the buy out, and Hasbro after Wizards got bought out themselves) got their money from me, so honestly, at least for the ones that I have bought in the past, I feel I have a right to a PDF copy, much in the same way that you're legally allowed to have mp3 copies of CD's that you own. The purpose of electronic copies in that case is backup, so even if you lose or damage the original, you still have a good copy. I feel completely justified in getting "backup" copies of books that I've already bought, whether they're still in my possession or not.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re:

    Funny story; there actually is. There are a set of "retro-clones" published using the d20 OGL designed to play basically like various older versions of D&D. They are all compatible with material from their respective editions, mostly compatible with material from each other, and often a lot more clearly laid out than the original rules. They have growing communities, and a decent bit of third-party and fan support. Best of all, in most cases the core rules are free on PDF.

    Just run a google search for the flavor of your choice: "Swords and Wizardry" (Original D&D), "OSRIC" (1e AD&D), or "Labyrinth Lord" (Basic/Expert D&D).

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, the retailers were licensed by wizards to sell *officially-sanctioned* pdfs. I got lucky and bought a whole bunch scant days before the licenses were revoked. What Wizards did was to pull *all* the licenses from *every* legal retailer for those pdf products.

    The reason they announced was piracy, but there is some speculation that the real reason is so that wizards can do all their pdf distribution in-house (Of course, given their track record with internet applications, I'd estimate that application will arrive sometime between D&D Insider and Duke Nukem Forever). A more tin-foil hat theory is that they don't intend to republish older books because they'd rather not split their market accross editions any more than they already have.

    The works in question were copyrighted, yes, but the companies that got the shaft were licensed distributors who paid Wizards their royalties. The real tragedy is that short of turning one up on ebay or at a garage sale, buying pdfs from those distributors was the ONLY legal way to find copies of some of certain books - specifically, the various D&D sets from the 70's and 80's.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    moo, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Yeah, just bend over and take it and stop crying. Companies should fuck you over, duh... that is what is great about our country, we have no right to complain about things we see wrong. Our country was founded on people just taking what the British empire did and shutting up. Eventually we were loyal enough that they LET us become our own country. Have fun with that bullshit, you will learn in a few additions, as for me and my gaming group... we will go with Paizo.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2009 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    How much do they pay you to write this crap up?

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    JesusSavesTheRestofYouRollvsDeath, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    tl;dr

    ...and people wonder why 11m + prefer to play WoW. Less hassle and don't need to buy $500 worth of stuff between a few players to get started. Just remember, Megacorp buyouts helped things to get to where they are now. The creed is greed. Get used to it.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Nadrakas, Dec 25th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    An Olde Fart's Thoughts

    While it may be WotC’s right to pull all of the PDFs, whether 4th or earlier editions, it was rather rude & crude to do it with minimal notice (1-day I believe).

    Piracy being the cause of pulling ALL of the PDFs is just an excuse, as books can be (and were in the past) easily copied & distributed. As several here have already mentioned, I believe this a move to shore up the poor reception of the 4th Edition. I bought the first three books (Players, DMs, Monster) & found them…wanting. It reminded me too much of MMORGs (as has been mentioned), the system was “clunky” in it’s explanation , and while the art-work was well done the layout was not (sections and subsections were run together, making it difficult to find things). So, to me, the pulling of 4th Edition PDFs by WotC has no impact…I’ve already switched to Pathfinder for my “D&D” fix. As for the impact to WotC…well, only their sales figures and bottom line will tell if they did the right thing.

    Oh…and if I want any other types of RPGs besides D&D, then I have somewhere in the range of $200,000 in game books to choose from (Been gaming since Chain Mail & one 7′x4′ foot book case is just D&D related). And if none of those fit the bill, then I’ve created two or three systems in the past for play with various groups, and I’ll do the same if I have to. So, no Game company, whether WotC or some other RPG Company, “end all, to be all” of gaming.

    If you don’t what a company is doing, then don’t buy their products. If nobody is making something you like, then do it yourself (or get with others and make your own game). In short, step outside of the “Corporate created box” and do it yourself. I think you’ll find it’s a whole lot funner that way.

    I’ll get off my soap box now.

    Nadrakas…

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Dominick Bluesteel, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Its a disease with them.

    I disagree. The "game" will not be at all ruined. D&D old version and D&D new version are just two diffirent products, Mattel simply bought the name "Dungeon and Dragons".

    If the new products today continue with their poor quality, new roleplaying games and new authors will enevitably take their place. As consumers we can demand a better game by not buying the shitty products. And as roleplayers we can create and distrubute our own material on the internet.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Dominick Bluesteel, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Someone help me out, please!

    i disagree with Truth. It may not have a household name like Dungeons and Dragons stamped on it, but roleplaying games will always continue to be played so long as there is an audience who wishes to play it.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Dominick Bluesteel, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re: BOYCOTT WOTC!!!

    I also think the quality of 4th editon D&D is terrible. It didn't improve the game for me and my gaming group. It didn't spark creativity and imagination like 3rd edition.

    However I dont think WOTC is evil. I think they made a mistake. Their goal was to make money, to do that they need to provide a product which we the consumers want to buy. 4th edition isn't it.

    I support your boycott, I want them to stop making 4th edtion and make a better book. If they don't learn fast enough then yes, they will go out of business. that's fine, a new roleplaying game will take its place.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Dru Eubanks, Feb 27th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    Play Something Else

    Have you looked into the new products coming from http://catalystgamelabs.com/. They have embraced digital sales with a lot of their products and have been winning new awards each year. Not only do they have most of their product available digitally but some such as Eclipse Phase use the creative commons license and allow completely open not for profit publishing of original content.

     

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  75.  
    icon
    phoenixm66 (profile), Mar 10th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    WOTC, 4E - Nerd by Birth, Geek by Marriage

    Unfortunately, corporations tend to sour the mix on things. It is what it is, and like one guy said earlier - vote with your wallet. As to 4E, mine and my husband's opinion (who's a DM) is rather favorable. I was not a gamer when I met my husband, only dated them. He sucked me into 2E...oh the horrors of THACO - may that NEVER rear it's ugly head again, nor the backwards ass way of doing HPs. I breathed a sigh of relief when 3.0, then 3.5 came along. We were a little trepidatious about 4th edition with all the negative feedback we kept hearing, but we decided to give it a go anyway and we liked it! Me more so because I'm fond of playing sorcerers and the occasional fighter. Now I don't have to spend precious minutes figuring out what bloody level spell to use (and can't get the cool ones until u reach epic lvl) or do calculus just to figure out all the different die/HPs/dmg my fighter does once he gets past lvl 9 (that's if our gaming group doesn't implode by that lvl as per the norm). 4E takes a little getting used to, but it cuts through the dross. It is nicely streamlined and any DM worth his salt running a game will be able to run as good a game as any in 3.5. Stay away from the modules though - use as a guideline if you must, but they are dry as dust! Create your own.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    DangerousFat, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    They were bought by Hasbro, by the way.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Dan, Nov 7th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    Re: The late, great, Gary Gygax

    Hasbro,not mattel,which a majority is pretty much owned by George lucas.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    SamSHnne, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    fraud ripoff scam

    Wizards of The Coast is the worst company ever.

    Their Customer Support is terrible, rude and belligerent. I was told to speak to manager, "John". However their Kate and Justin would usually over talk me, refuse to get me John or any manager, and eventually disconnect the call.

    "I'm not getting you any manager." Justin
    "I am not going to let you speak to a manager." Kate

    Their emails are copy and paste generic answers that do NOT apply to your actual question 90% of the time. I asked for a refund, they sent me an email talking about personal conduct. They then terminated my account after I sent 4 screenshots of their staff allowing abusive language in the general lobby where hundreds of players are abused at a time.

    If you talk anything but english, they mute you. There is no international room or section. This is not polite, encouraging or accepted.

    The ORCs, Online Responce Crew, are also players. Players make friends and enemies. They will tolerate some, or bend the rules, all while finding reasons to harass others. Complete bias child drama from unpaid volunteers.

    The customer support is non existent. They only copy and paste off topic spam letters and never give an answer to your questions. more than 75% of the time my tech support tickets were closed out with no reply at all.

    In game swearing can not be muted. I have been told to "concede" bought in tournaments and drafts because of their lack of support and software safety. I find this against their own Code of Conduct by not providing me with a safe environment. When I asked for a refund on my account, they then terminated my account as well as my wife's and son's.

    I am out over $1, 000 of card value due to their lack of features, customer support, and terminated without reason. I can NOT get a reply and filed a complaint on the BBB.

    Worst company and scam ever.

    Wizards of The Coast and Hasbro

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Nunyadambidnus, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

    You suck ass

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Crowley, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    The first clue WotC was greedy came when they put copyright claims on the content of it monster manuals. You know? The ones filled with creatures from ancient mythologies and taken directly form other peoples' work?

    The worst for me was Dagon, this god-like demon, older than all around it, lived underwater... in other words, the same Dagon written up by Lovecraft at least 60 years before Dagon was added to the MM, even boasting a similar description and picture

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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