Argh! I fucking hate it when somebody proves me wrong! I have defended ye olde WotC and their Character Builder tools in the past. Even going so far as to say that I think it's one of the best deals in gaming today, and a wonderful and innovative way to distribute RPG as a software.
But they have, in their infinite wisdom, decided to take all the things I really liked about Character Builder and turf them. Bravo, Wizards. Bravo.
Offline access? Turfed.
Multiple updates for my gaming group? TURFED.
Ability to stay current without an ongoing subscription? TURFED.
Reasons to subscribe to DDi? TUR-Fucking-ERFED.
Wizards... I don't want to be this guy. I've stood up for you in bloody (blistered?) flamewars for several years. I like 4e. I love the tools. But, there comes a time when a man cannot be kicked in the nuts and smile about it any longer.
And the worst, the very worst part of this is... YOU HAD OTHER THINGS TO WORK ON.
This is like when I tell a programmer that he needs to fix a bunch of critical reporting tools, and after a week he tells me that he did some design work on the USER INTERFACE. Oh, and he figured out a way to make clients pay more for the software...
So now my clients can access their buggy reporting tools (which makes them upset), more easily, and for more money. Bravo, man. Way to fix the system.
Wizards, you could have been working on the Virtual Gamespace you promised me 3 years ago. Or the character visualizer. Or a Treasure Generator, or an Encounter Designer. Fuck's sake - on anything but the tool that was ALREADY the best selling feature. The thing that most 4e players agree is "indispensable", and which has basically killed the whole 3rd party 4e market (that last bit is not such a good thing).
But instead you reinvent the wheel - and proudly point out that it's now square, works on less carts, and has tolling stations available on all major roads.
Man... now I know why people seem to enjoy raging and ranting about WotC - it feels kinda good. I'll be playing TMNT and Rules Cyclopedia if anybody needs me... Maybe I can even find my old 2e stuff....