This is, in a way, a review. Earlier I reviewed D&D Insider and pronounced it worthwhile, at least for me; after a couple of years, I no longer feel that way, and will not be renewing my subscription when it lapses in June.
The things that were valuable to me are no longer worth the money. Let’s take a look at why.
Character Builder: There is no longer an offline version. If I want to use it, I must be logged in via broadband. This makes it unusable for me, as I want to use it away from my internet connection; in the lounge, when at friends’ houses, or on holiday. There’s also my growing disillusionment with the continually-changing character classes and options, but mostly it’s the move to online-only use that is the killer.
Dungeon and Dragon Magazines: I was happy enough with this stuff going online and out of the newsagent, but in the last couple of months there’s been a change here too. I preferred to snag the whole issue and browse offline at my leisure, but now articles are split out as individual downloads. That means I have to decide what I’m interested in before I download rather than afterwards.
In short, then, WotC has decided that serious D&D players and DMs have an always-on broadband connection, wherever and whenever they need content; and that players and DMs are happy with constantly-changing rules. None of those things apply to me, nor do I wish them to; and so D&D Insider and I must part company.