Saturday, 26 May 2012

D&D Next - The 5th age dawns...

Well, Wee Gamers have finally gotten into the D&D Next circle.  After some inital faffing around due to server problems. 

On Thrusday we got the all important email from Wizards of the Coast.
Dear Dungeons & Dragons® Fan,
You are receiving this email because you requested information about the start of the D&D Next Playtest and how to participate. We are pleased to inform you that playtesting for the next iteration of D&D® has begun! To thank you for your early interest and enthusiasm, we’re giving you a head start on downloading the playtest packet. Later today, we will be making the materials available to all playtesters. To download your official playtest packet, please click here and follow the instructions provided. You will need to log in with your Wizards account or create one if you do not already have one. Thank you for your interest in the D&D Next Playtest. We look forward to your participation and feedback. Happy Adventuring,
The D&D Team
But when we tried it the link would not work and we seemed to go round and round the mulberry bush.  Thankfully the link to D&DNext Community page worked and there at least of of trhe issue became obvious.  The very nice Community Manager, Trevor Kidd, kept the whole thing updated until it all got working again.
Packet Download Issues Update (11:15 AM PDT 5/25) - We’ve identified and fixed the problems that we believe were causing the system slowdowns and inability to download the D&D® Next Playtest packet. At this time, we believe that you should be able to clear your cache and go to to start the Playtest process again. We are also diligently working on back-up systems in case you experience further problems headed into the weekend. Thanks again for your patience! 
Update (8:11 AM PDT 5/25) - The team was up until the wee over the morning, implementing different fixes to our server issues, and while some of the fixes implemented last night did help some people get access to the packet, we're still experiencing some issues. We have some other solutions we're looking at this morning and I'll keep you updated with any news I get. 
Update (6:25 PM PDT) - Thank you for the overwhelming response to the D&D Next Playtest. We are implementing a solution to the address the slow system performance and will update you asap when the fix is in place. 
Update (5:33 PM PDT) - I don't have anything new to add right at this very minute. We are aware of the Error 400 stuff and the loop that can happen from filling out the playtest info, to clicking on the link to go to the download, and then being dropped back on the page to fill out the playtest info. There are others in between but those seem to be the most prevalent. I don't have a fix for you besides asking you to continue to wait patiently while we look into the issues and address them. I'm definitely sorry that you've had to deal with this frustration, and I hope we can get it fixed as soon as possible, but I don't have a timeline or a solution yet. As soon as we do, you'll know about. Thanks again to everyone for being so patient.
Update (11:54 AM PDT) - If you have already signed up on the D&D Next playtest page, provided your information, email address, agreed to the terms of the playtest, AND are logged into your Wizards account whihc has the same email that you provided for D&D Next signup, then this link should take you to the playteset download page. If it does not and you get an error about an incorrect link, then the server is having issues. We are working to get more servers added to address this.
We've identified two different issues.
  • The download llink in the original emails was corrupted. We've fixed that problem and for most who have gone through the process so that future emails have the correct link. For those who had the problem, we'll be sending out new emails with the correct link at some point, but for now you can click on this link to get to the playtest packet. Playtest Packet Download!
  • Some people signed up for the D&D Next notification with an different email address than the one they use for the wizards site login. In these cases, the permissions are apparently being granted to the email used to sign up but not the email you would normally use to login. Work Around: You can either sign up for the D&D Next notification and packet delivery again using the email address associated with your Wizards account (and wait for the download email again), or you can contact customer service to let them know about the issue so they can grant the right permissions.
  • Another possible fix: Some people who experienced issues earlier today have noted that if they cleared their temperary internet files and their cache and restarted their browser, they were able to download the packet. If none of these cover your issue, or if these solutions or workarounds don't work for, please contact customer service and they will fix things up so we can get you that playtest packet. I'll update this post with any information as I get it.
And then today we went back to try the links. And what do you know, as if by 7th Level magic, it worked.  And we are kind of excited.  Plenty of reading to do, and will give our impressions of it at a later date.  The introduction (which is all we are giving away - you have to sign up to this for yourself - we don't think you will be disappointed) really gives the vision behind what Wizards of the Coast are doing.

On behalf of the entire DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® R&D team, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to download our first public playtest documents for D&D® Next. Your feedback will help us to deliver a great game that matches what you want out of D&D. Before you dive into the materials, there are a few things to keep in mind. 
  • This is the first of many playtests packets. The final game will likely look different from what you see here, as we work to fine-­‐tune it. 
  • These rules will likely look more compact than the most recent editions of D&D. In many cases, we decided to excise a rule or element of the game to see if it really is a key component of playing D&D. 
  • This iteration of the playtest includes the four classic classes represented by a set of pre-­‐ generated characters. We’ve included two clerics to show you how we intend the domain system to work. 
  • Our goal at this stage is to fine-­‐tune the core rules. We’ll ask for your feedback on character creation, advancement, and adventure design rules in the coming months. 
  • The best way to give us feedback is through the playtest surveys that we will begin in the coming weeks. We want to listen to as many people as possible, and the surveys are the best way for us to cast a big net for feedback. 
  • Be sure to check back for updates to the test materials, playtest surveys, and other news at Thanks for helping us out, and good gaming!

 Now go find some Dungeons and kill some Dragons.
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