August 8, 2014

5E Friday - Morningstar

Morningstar is the codename (stand-in name) of the software suite for 5E...because despite the fact that 5E has already released they still don't have a name for the software yet. Here are some of my questions/thoughts on Morningstar...

-Sounds like they will have all the books online. If you like running games with a computer at your side this should be useful. I prefer paper and dead trees but I know a lot of people like being able to use a pdf during play to look stuff up. Hopefully they will be bookmarked.

-The test beta is currently ongoing (I signed up but haven't gotten in yet). I know some, if not a lot, are in the beta, testing the product out. Maybe there is a strict NDA on this but other than a few people saying they are in the beta, I haven't heard any first hand info on the product yet. I suspect the product is not close to ready yet.

-Will a delay in the product hurt it? There really hasn't been a lot of info on it yet, not a lot of blogs/sites are talking about it. Is this because there is nothing to work with or that no one cares?

-There is not a lot of hype about Morningstar. Even the company producing it hasn't been real aggressive on hyping it. I suspect part of this is that the software promised for 4E (and 3E) were over-hyped and then never delivered on. Seems like this time they are holding the product close to the vest so that anticipation doesn't run amok. You can't be disappointed if you're never told what to expect.

-Custom magic items, monsters, treasure will be customizable. This will help bring 3rd party publishers into the fold more readily. However, character races/classes are not currently on the table for the software. They say they are working on it but there are "obstacles". I can see this from a programming side, but I really hope they can work it in. Allowing it to be fully customizable will be very important for 3PP buy-in.

-Seems to me from their FAQ they are still a long way from completion; a lot of "we hope to", "we're working on". This is a bad thing as they will miss the initial 5E hype.

-And they need a better name.


John Lewis said...

I think one of the reasons they are not introducing the software at launch is to avoid the appearance that 5E "requires" the software. WotC suffered a fair amount of backlash from some fans that perceived DDI was required for 4E play.

Callin said...

That's another good point I hadn't thought of, but is certainly relevant.