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Wizards of the Coast - All News

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Tuesday - May 20, 2008
Tuesday - February 19, 2008
Wednesday - February 06, 2008
Thursday - December 06, 2007
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Tuesday - May 20, 2008

Wizards of the Coast - D&D 4th Edition Launches June 7th

by Magerette, 17:12

Gamebanshee posts a press release  from WotC on the Fourth Edition ruleset soon to make its appearence. Here's an except listing some of the features: 

 June 7th sees the global launch of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition with the addition of a new online, interactive element, allowing traditional play formats to be enhanced with unique web tools and content. DDI (D&D Interactive) is a suite of tools being rolled out with the launch of 4E, designed to make managing the game a bit easier, and allowing fans to play with one another remotely. The service includes some free elements, as well as some elements available as part of a paid subscription. Among the elements are:

* Two online magazines (Dragon and Dungeon), which have been published as paper magazines for 30 years but are now moving online. Dragon has traditionally been focused on the game and the players, while Dungeon is focused on dungeons, adventures, and being a Dungeon Master (DM).

* A rules database that allows you to look up rules, powers, classes, creatures, and so on, to be updated with the release of each new supplement.

* A character generator that allows you to build, advance, manage, and maintain your character. It autofills character features from the rules database, and you can print out your character as a conventional character sheet.

* A digital tabletop that allows the DM to build a dungeon or other environment and then control the movement of virtual miniatures on it. Along with voice chat and other features, it allows players to play the game over the internet, as well as share their dungeons and adventures with other gamers.

* A very sophisticated character visualizer that allows you to create 3D models of your characters. These can then be used as illustrations on your character sheet, exported if you just want a cool picture, or converted into a custom virtual mini of your character for use on the digital tabletop.

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - February 19, 2008

Wizards of the Coast - 4th Edition Developers Q & A @ Slashdot

by Magerette, 17:44

Slashdot seems to be closely following the progress of the 4th Edition D & D ruleset, and here posts a series of questions from their community members about the forthcoming release, with answers from the WotC development team. Here are a few examples:

How long will this edition last? by Erwos:
It upset quite a few folks when D&D 3.0E transitioned to 3.5E relatively soon after release, and made some people's investments in D&D become basically worthless overnight. While I appreciate that it's sometimes time to spawn a new edition that's incompatible with the old, it felt like 3.5E should have been an errata to 3.0E, rather than a totally new set of books. I understand that WotC can't commit itself to any firm "we will not release another edition for X years" guarantee, but it would be nice to hear some sort of assurance that we won't see a repeat of the 3.0E->3.5E debacle. What's the plan? What lessons have you learned?

WotC:
I don't think it would be unreasonable to argue that the transition from 3.0 to 3.5 happened a little too soon. Would Wizards of the Coast have released 3.5 if we knew at the time that 4th Edition was coming? My guess is probably not. We would like to have 4th Edition last 8 to 10 years just like previous editions.

 

Magic Item Requirement by Blackeagle_Falcon:
One of the things I dislike about 3rd edition is that at medium and high levels magic items are such a big part of a character's power. A PC has to be decorated like a Christmas tree with various magical doodads in order to be effective. Running a campaign in a world where magic items are rare or nonexistant required a lot of house rules and adjustment on the part of the DM. Will it be easier to run a low or no magic item campaign in 4e?

WotC:
We're definitely reducing the number of magic items that a typical character will carry around. Magic items aren't going away--they're a great way for characters to specialize their tactics, shore up weaknesses, and otherwise differentiate themselves from other characters--but they'll be a smaller overall portion of a character's array of special abilities. In addition, we're being clearer to the players and DM what mechanical benefits we expect all characters to derive from their array of items, which makes it easier for a DM running a "low-magic" campaign to know what his characters are missing (so that he can either take that into account by reducing monster stats, or provide the missing benefits via other methods).

 

Complexity vs. other gaming systems by Mechagodzilla:
Has there been any thoughts or discussions on reducing the amount of books needed to play? Donating a bookshelf to every new edition is getting a little ridiculous for the casual gamer. I have 40+ books from first and second edition. I bought the Player's Handbook from the third edition, read the first thirty pages and went "bleh". I know it goes against the business model, but can you actually make a game that can be played with less than four books?

WotC:
The only book any player needs to play the game is the Player's Handbook. In addition, the DM will want a copy of the Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual (to help him craft encounters, build adventures, and run an entertaining game). Players won't need the Dungeon Master's Guide to equip their higher-level characters, because the PH will have plenty of magic items for all levels. Players won't need the Monster Manual to adjudicate shapechanging or summoning effects, because those effects will be self-contained within the classes or powers that grant them. That said, a large number of D&D players want more options than the core rulebooks provide--so we publish additional supplements and sourcebooks to meet that desire--but the game's fully functional without them...

Source: Atomic Gamer

Wednesday - February 06, 2008

Wizards of the Coast - Fourth Edition Preview Books @ Slashdot

by Magerette, 19:56

Slashdot has posted a look at the preview books that WotC is making available prior to the upcoming release of the Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons ruleset:

In just a few months the first books for the Fourth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) will be released by publisher Wizards of the Coast (WotC)....To attempt to answer some of the biggest questions about this newest edition, WotC has learned from mistakes made in 99', and is previewing their game updates with a pair of softcover books. Called "Races and Classes" and "Worlds and Monsters", the two titles cover everything from character creation to the new default world's pantheon. More importantly, it includes a large amount of commentary from the designers ...Read on for my impressions of these highly entertaining (and vastly overpriced) chapbooks.

You can read the entire summary here.

Here's just a quick snip:

The process of making and growing a character seems to be the element they examine most closely in the commentary sections of the book [Races & Classes]. One subheading says it all: "Expanding the Sweet Spot". 3.0/3.5, it has often been noted, follows a power curve that starts somewhat underpowered and eventually reaches a point where players are too powerful to be seriously challenged. Though there's a lot of debate on this point, personal experience suggests the sweet spot for D&D 3.5 is about 5th level to 14th. Though many campaigns will never make it that far, it's frustrating to deal with mechanical weaknesses like that over the lifespan of a game. Fourth edition is a valiant attempt to rectify that by making all levels viable for play.

Source: Atomic Gamer

Thursday - December 06, 2007

Wizards of the Coast - Announces Online Partnership with Stainless Games

by Magerette, 17:46

Gamebanshee has posted a press release from Wizards of the Coast, announcing a team up with Stainless Games. The press release is brief, vague and scanty on details but mentions that the UK developer of Carmeggedon will be working with WotC on a downloadable online game involving "one of the most treasured IPs in the games field":

    Wizards Of The Coast Announces Partnership With Stainless Games

    December 3, 2007 (RENTON, Wash.) – Wizards of the Coast, the world leader in hobby gaming, and a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), today announced an agreement with leading UK video game developer Stainless Games to produce an exciting new online downloadable game.

    “Wizards of the Coast has created many of the most popular brands in roleplaying, trading card and tabletop strategy games” said Patrick Buckland, CEO for Stainless Games. “We’re proud to be working with one of the most treasured IP’s in the games field in a true partnership which will produce a real gaming revolution later next year.”

    Details about the game will start to become available in early 2008.

    Wizards of the Coast is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, MAGIC: THE GATHERING®, among many other trading card games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of roleplaying games, such as DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at www.wizards.com.

    Stainless Games is a privately owned company based on the South Coast of the UK. Although best known for the creation of the multi-million selling Carmageddon franchise, the company has most recently become recognized as one of the world’s leading companies in the burgeoning Console Download market. For more information visit the Stainless Games website at www.stainlessgames.com.

Source: GameBanshee

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