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Author Topic: D&D Character Builder Closed Beta  (Read 5645 times)
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IceBear
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« on: November 11, 2008, 01:18:16 PM »

Hi all,

If you are a D&D subscriber, the closed beta for the Character Builder is now available and reviews are good.
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Destructor
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 05:38:10 PM »

And here I thought about subscribing just to see how things go. Maybe I still will, as I'm really curious.

Anybody have any new screenshots? biggrin
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IceBear
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2008, 06:44:26 PM »

I am a subscriber and I really like it.  I think there are some UI improvements that could be made, but from a tabletop gaming perspective - I think it's awesome.  I noticed, for example, it was displaying only the feats for which you were eligible and it was pulling them in from all the sources - PHB, Dragon magazine, and the few splatbooks that were released.  When it was done it had had a page that listed all the powers and personalized them based on equipment and feats.  There were a lot of little details that I think my players were missing that this builder was making note of for them.

From the front page of ENWorld:

Quote
Various reviews of the 4E Character Builder (see yesterday's news, below) are coming in:
Emerson's Bookshelf  "Overall, I'm really enjoying the Character Builder, as it does what it is expected to do and it does it quite well, almost seamlessly."
Dragon Avenue  "And let me go on record here: if the final version ships soon and the subscription price of $59/year for D&DI stays the same, it will be worth every single penny. "
RPGcentric  "All in all, this is a very, very nice product and it definitely makes my subscription worthwhile. It is very easy to use and beats the tar out of the 3E Character Generator."
Critical Hits  "It'll be a boon for those just starting out, but as someone involved in an ongoing campaign, it's not as useful as I was hoping right off the bat. Still, I already have high hopes for it, and I'm already more impressed with it than I was with e-tools."

I think the last one is refering to the fact that the closed beta only works up to level 3 so they may have passed that point already in their campaign.
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TiLT
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2008, 04:03:58 PM »

I got the 12-month subscription today so I could give the character builder a look. My impression so far is that it's an awesome tool that is going to help tremendously for many groups. I entered all the characters from my 4E group and noticed right away that some of my players had made mistakes on their sheets that this application easily discovered. One of them even plays an Artificer, a class that has only been released through an article in Dragon. The character builder had no problems at all with that, treating it as if it was one of the base classes in the PHB.

The full version will also allow you to select which sourcebooks and magazine articles will be allowed in your campaign, which is a nice way to customize things and reduce the risk of someone picking a feat or power they shouldn't have access to.

I also liked how it produces (in addition to the regular character sheet) a much smaller sheet with the character's most important stats, including passive perception, which is clearly made for the DM. That's going to make things simpler to keep track of during play.
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Arkon
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2008, 01:02:15 PM »

I would really like to get back in to playing D&D, and am hoping that this along with other tools will help me find a good group to game with on the net such as is being done currently here on GT.
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hentzau
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 02:48:17 PM »

I'm having some printing issues with the sheets, where the sheet is getting cut off in the margins.  I'm going to need to see if I can do a "shrink to fit" sort of thing and see if that helps out.  But I'll wait until after Monday, all of my players are close to leveling up.  icon_smile
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Arkon
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2008, 06:25:02 PM »

So I went ahead and subscribed to D&DI and I must say it is a rather impressive little service.  Lots of good information and tools, and the character builder is really slick.  If anyone here decides to run a campaign any time soon please keep me in mind.  My wife is getting me the 4e books for christmas.
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hentzau
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2008, 10:11:26 PM »

Quote from: hentzau on November 30, 2008, 02:48:17 PM

I'm having some printing issues with the sheets, where the sheet is getting cut off in the margins.  I'm going to need to see if I can do a "shrink to fit" sort of thing and see if that helps out.  But I'll wait until after Monday, all of my players are close to leveling up.  icon_smile

Shrink to fit didn't work.  It appears to be a flaw in the PDF generation where all of my skills are cut off after Streetwise or somesuch.  Annoying.
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IceBear
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 03:41:55 AM »

It's weird, I didn't have any issues on my old desktop (XP) PC, but on my new PC (Vista) I noticed that the skills were cut off.  On my XP laptop it is still fine, which makes me think it's a Vista issue that hopefully gets resolved when it comes out of Beta.  You might not be aware, but if you go into Options you can unlock the panels and move them around or even turn off some panels.  I had to move my skills into the middle and moved the Race and Class features to the left where the Skills were to get it to print properly - once you have setup your layout the way you like you can save it to use for later
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 03:47:59 AM by IceBear » Logged
hentzau
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 04:48:15 PM »

Quote from: IceBear on December 09, 2008, 03:41:55 AM

It's weird, I didn't have any issues on my old desktop (XP) PC, but on my new PC (Vista) I noticed that the skills were cut off.  On my XP laptop it is still fine, which makes me think it's a Vista issue that hopefully gets resolved when it comes out of Beta.  You might not be aware, but if you go into Options you can unlock the panels and move them around or even turn off some panels.  I had to move my skills into the middle and moved the Race and Class features to the left where the Skills were to get it to print properly - once you have setup your layout the way you like you can save it to use for later

Thats where I'm running it, in Vista.  And I did not know you could rearrange your panels.  I will have to give that a whirl too!  Thanks.
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IceBear
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 05:17:20 PM »

Just to confirm, I checked the offical forums and WotC is aware of this and it is a Vista issue.  They are supposed to be releasing an upgrade to the Builder this week (it's entering open Beta this week) so hopefully it's resolved in this version.
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IceBear
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 05:37:42 AM »

It's now in Open Beta so anyone can download and try it out.  It does have a formatting issue with Vista, but you can unlock the panels and move things around to get by that issue.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insider/characterbuilder
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 12:53:01 PM »

I gave it a whirl.

Better than I expected.  They did a pretty great job.

I'm half tempted to make my character I was playing here, just to see how much I screwed up when I did it on my own.
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IceBear
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 04:40:51 PM »

Yeah, when I entered all the characters we were using in my tabletop game I found a lot of little things we had missed - the biggest of which was the thiefling character noticing he was resistant to fire (not that he was ever hit by fire damage prior to that Tongue).

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fyedaddy
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 01:58:42 PM »

Nifty utility! They seem to have done a nice job with it so far. Any word on when the online gaming tables will be ready for prime time?
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IceBear
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2008, 05:38:32 PM »

Unfortunately no though I believe I heard in one of the podcasts that some of the internals have been using it for their games so hopefully it's far along.  I was waiting to reply to this question until today as it was the last D&D Insider Update column before the holidays and I was hoping for something concrete, but unfortunately no.  Here's what they had to say:

Quote
Not a whole lot of new stuff this week as the year winds down. Our D&D Character Builder beta, free for everyone to try, went off without a hitch on Thursday of last week. You can download it here.

The majority of the team right now is focused on getting everything ready for *all* levels (1-30) of content, which we want ready to go for early next year. We’re still targeting the end of January, although that date is not yet set in stone.

Until we get all 30 levels of the D&D Character Builder out, it’s too early to talk about any other applications or their release dates. We want to accomplish everything we’ve set out to do, but it has to happen at the right time and in the right way.

As mentioned last week, we have a D&D Compendium launch of new data and new functionality scheduled for Monday of next week, on December 22nd. See last week’s Digital Insider column for the details.
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TiLT
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2009, 07:30:28 AM »

According to the latest news at D&D Insider, the full version of the Character Builder will be released to DDI-subscribers by the end of this month. A demo version will be available to everyone else, which seems to be a bit more feature-packed than the current beta, but not by much.
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kadnod
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2009, 06:19:38 PM »

I believe the full version just went live for Insider subscribers.  Haven't had a chance to fool around with it myself. 
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