Thoughts on the Masterplan/WoTC BS…..

So Masterplan, by far my favorite piece of DM’ing software ever, gave a statement today on their blog that development was halted due to WoTC issuing a cease and desist order on their program. The big reason being the way it ties in to the DDI compendium.

No offense, Wizards, but the only reason I even shelled out for an annual rate wasn’t so I can have all the same rules (plus errata I didn’t ask for) on a website to read. I did it for the promise of tools to help improve my game. Your character builder software was a huge step in the right direction….but so what!? Masterplan’s integration of your compendium listings was genius. Being able to tie in the stat blocks and items for my dungeon development improved my game infinitely. But now, you’re taking that away. Masterplan is continuing to develop, but it’s announced version 9 will remove the compendium updates.

What pisses me off is, since I’ve been trying to help people take the plunge from 3.5 into 4E, it was Masterplan’s software that sold them over. I even had one of my customers come into my game shop this week, and mention that he picked up the DDI subscription to use with the software. Why, WHY are you against a fan made product (he’s not even profiting off this!) that has done nothing but encourage people to shell out for your (otherwise mediocre) online service?

Oh, that’s right. I forgot what WoTC rhymes with…….

PS — Are you guys also going after HeroLabs? iPlay4e? Any of the other programs out there that improved the quality of your mediocre service? You shouldn’t have been sicking your lawyers on Masterplan, you should’ve been sending in job offers.

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Masterplan/WoTC BS…..”

  1. Wow, there’s some anger in this post.

    Bear in mind that Masterplan didn’t just access DDI, though. It downloaded the entirety of the DDI databases to your hard drive, creating files that could then be pirated.

    As great as Masterplan is, this is sketchy.

    I would be surprised if they went after iPlay4e or similar programs that just access and display the DDI compendium. And I’d be surprised if Masterplan 9 didn’t include a reworked system to do the same thing as it currently does, but less sketchy.

  2. By that logic, WoTC should yank their own Character Builder. I still say they should’ve offered this man a job instead of sicking their bloodhounds on him. And if the product is meant to be completely 100% online, then it’s absolutely useless to me since the places I play D&D are usually WiFi dead zones.

  3. @Graham

    …”creating files that could then be pirated”.

    The emphasis is on the word could. WoTC sell books which could be scanned and pirated too. Does that mean they should stop selling books?

  4. No argument there, though as a first-party product the CB falls into some different legal areas.

    They at minimum need to release a non-web compendium app so people can browse offline.

    They should also create an API to let Masterplan and similar programs access the Monster Builder files on your computer, rather than having to go to the online compendium.

    Regardless, though, I don’t think iPlay4e has anything to fear. It uses the API in the most basic way possible.

  5. Heh, wonder what’s going to happen to HeroLabs. I actually BOUGHT their software because I needed a character builder that would run on my small ASUS Tablet Netbook. It also downloads files from the Compendium (using your subscribed login, just like Masterplan.)

  6. That’s a good question. (Honestly, I’m just not familiar with HeroLabs, so I didn’t include them in my last statement.

    For all I know, it may depend on if they encrypt the files. They also may treat it differently for just downloading character info, rather than character, monster, and probably everything else like Masterplan does.

    I suppose we’ll see.

  7. fuck, that’s lame… wotc needs to wise up and start hiring 3rd party dev, to do the work for them. their software team is slower than a shitting slug.

Comments are closed.