Petition that WotC Support All Editions of D&D
From NeuroGlyph Games:
Again, I cannot stress enough that I do not want to offend or disrespect the developers and designers at Wizards of the Coast – they do some amazing work on D&D products, and the hobby has benefitted from their efforts over the past several years. But although I am truly a lifelong fan of D&D, I cannot profess to being a fan of Hasbro/WotC enough to want to buy D&D Next just because it has a Dungeons & Dragons logo on it. I feel quite strongly that the best way to perpetuate Dungeons & Dragons into the future is to support all of the fan base, current and past, and to assure that they are not disenfranchised by removing corporate support and retiring their favorite editions.
So I urge readers here to consider my petition. And if you think it’s worthy, please go toCHANGE.ORG [Wizards of the Coast: Support all current and past editions of Dungeons & Dragons!] to sign and lend your support for a vision of D&D that includes all fans and all editions – past, present, and future!
I've made my point before. I've enjoyed every version of D&D that has been made. If no other editions had ever been made, I'd still be happily playing Cyclopedia (Basic edition) right now and loving it. What WotC needs is NOT another D&D edition. What they need is to build community by supporting what people love, which is not yet another new edition.
WotC needs to get their act together and realize that they have a gold mine in back catalog that they can be raking in by releasing it all electronically with little cost. What they need to realize is that they have two precious commodities. Their art (their words and pictureds) and their fans. Every new edition they come out with reduces the value of those two things.
There is a difference between evolution and forced extinction. I am sure that DNDNext will be a perfectly good game that will have its flaws and that I will probably love playing just like all of their previous versions. But honestly people! How many editions do we need? Stop the madness before you ceed the entire thing to Pathfinder. Clearly the sweet spot for DND is 3.5 at this point. I like 4E a lot. In many ways I even prefer it. Why should you make me choose? Let me play both. Release it all electronically.
Create digital access to everything, including your data and your art. Make it easy for those who have subscribed to access the data via API's so the community can create tools. Even better, create an eco system to allow people to sell their own creations, electronically in a market place that is open, easy to access, and can generate revenue for you and third party publishers.
Android, IOS, Windows, OS X, Linux... have you heard of these things? People use them to play your game in spite of you making near impossible to do legally. You throw away millions of dollars in revenue per year in electronic purchases. You silo'd the industry by not keeping the OGL going and losing yet more revenue to Paizo who picked up the mantle you casually tossed aside. Supporting your entire library is clearly the way to make your community happy and thriving. If Paizo's rise to prominance with Pathfinder isn't a sign of that I don't know what is. The fact that every hard core player that I know has a huge library of PDF's of all your back material and there are still thriving used book sales of prior editions should be another easy to read sign.
Stop the madness. Stop trying to make the edition to bring together all editions of D&D. We already have 5 or 6 of them. Sadly, perhaps the defining edition of D&D right now is one WotC doesn't even make. Why is that do you think? Because you made 3.5 the edition you can't take away from anyone. OGL is one huge reason why 3.5 is popular. We know that no matter what there will be support and content out there for that game.
Let's make this simple:
- Open everything with OGL so that everyone can easily and legally make awesome stuff for your game systems.
- Do everything digitally (with accessible digital API's) and a create digital marketplace so that everyone can give away or sell awesome stuff for your game systems. Sell your books in every digital store there is (DrivethruRPG, Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and your own market place.)
- Access from anywhere (support tons of OS's and especially mobile ones) so that everyone can easily consume your game systems. Ok let me rephrase that. Stop using Microsoft crap! No Flash! No .Net! Even Java is suspect! HTML 5 anyone?
- Community community community (Frankly just get out of our way, we love this stuff. Just let us use it they way we want too. We'll pay really!). Make stuff the community can't. High end stuff like huge campaign settings, with amazing art, and find ways that the community can really join in and expand.