It has been a little over a month that I have been the VCL for the DDi forums. The DDi forums are centered around the digital initiative of WotC. Their digital initiatives consist of, among other things, digital (.pdf) versions of Dungeon Magazine, Dragon magazine, a Rules Compendium (that, despipte the name, contains only the Rules Elements), a Character Builder, Character Visualizer, a Dungeon Builder and a Digital Gaming Table that, when released, will allow people in different physical locations to play D&D online (not the MMO Dungeons and Dragons Online, the pen and paper RPG) togather.

Dragon and Dungeon Magazines are out and get a couple of articles a week. The articles are released, and a discussion is held on the articles in either the Dragon Article Discussion forum or the Dungeon Adventures Discussion forum. So far, there have been errors found in the articles, which then get corrected by the staff at WotC for the final release of the magazine(s) as a pdf file containing all of the articles for that month. There have been some hiccups, that is to be certain. Currentlym, there are some people that are having problems viewing the pdfs as pdfs. Their computer, for whatever reason, identifies the articles as text files. It seems to be limited to IE. Previewing the files in Firefox (I use 3.0.1 with the PDF download add-on and it works) seems to work for me. The exact cause is uncertain, however there is a workaround that involves saving the file to your desktop then choosing “Open With” and forcing the file to be opened in Adobe Acrobat.

The Compendium is up and has some data in it, but I am not sure if it has been updated. It is still very much in a beta stage, so not too much should be expected from it. According to some posts in the DDi forums, it has not yet been decided just how much will be included. Currently, it is limited to PHB stuff, however there are a lot of people pushing to have the MM and DMG stuff included as well. I am not sure how it will turn out in the end. I think that WotC is probably worried that people might use only the Compendium to play and not actually buy the core books. i am not so sure how realistic that is though. I figure that most people will find it much more convenient to have the books in front of them when they play.

The other components haven’t been released into the wild yet. According to some posts in the DDi forums, the game table has been being put through some small-scale internal tests inside WotC. I expect to see an announcement of some sort at GenCon indicating when the beta-tests will start. I would be surprised if there *wasn’t* some sort of interactive demo stations available at the WotC booth(s) at GenCon.

I am down to two News Minions…errr…Guides. One of them resigned due to a disappointment in the direction that WotC went with 4E and a desire to prevent his losing his enjoyment of D&D. The two that I have remaining (Cart_Sprinter and

) are doing a pretty good job, although wolfstar seems to be slacking off lately. He gave me some excuse about a friend being in town on vacation, but I am not sure if I believe him. 😀

Apparantly, the fact that I have News Guides also means that I am no longer simply a VCL, but am now considered worthy of the title “Senior VCL”. I am not sure what it means, but I must be one step closer to the groupies that they promised us way back when the VCL program was first being discussed.

Edit to add: Wow – Two fairly substantial posts in one day!!