Friday, July 30, 2010

Is This The Final Purge?

I've noticed that for the past few weeks, the link to the Old Edition Downloads section of the Wizard of the Coast website has been a dead link. While it is still possible to find your way to some of the PDF versions of older showcased modules like The Palace of the Silver Princess or Ravenloft II, you have to know what you're looking for because the main page is no longer valid.

While it's possible that this might simply be a matter of a change to the informational architecture of the site, I have an uneasy feeling that it's truly the death knell for getting legal PDFs of older products. That's a shame, because I was really looking forward to browsing some of the classic Realmslore products that were once hosted there.

12 comments:

Al said...

I don't expect we'll see any WotC interest in making .pdfs available of the old stuff any time soon. As cool as it would be to have that stuff, especially at a print-on-demand ready vendor, I think its so far off their radar they old stuff may as well not even exist other than as inspiration for new 4E stuff.

Who knows though, eventually someone at Hasbro might buy a Kindle or something and realize they're wasting an opportunity to make money...

Jeff Rients said...

I just tried re-downloading Palace of the Silver Princess and it didn't work.

grodog said...

For those looking for the old Greyhawk-related downloads, check out Canonfire! at http://www.canonfire.com/cfhtml/modules.php?name=Downloads.

That won't help with the oodles of old FR downloads, but does cover some of the others, at least.

Allan.

JB said...

Are these guys still in Renton? Sometimes I feel like driving down there to burn down their offices. Unfortunately, the commute from Seattle to Renton can be a real bitch.

Kind of like WotC.

Allandaros said...

Ooof. I'm glad I got as many of the old PDF downloads from there as I could, way back when.

I hope that they keep them up - it's minimal work to keep them there, I would think...

@Grodog: Thank you for the Greyhawk link!

ghostofmarx said...

I just noticed this today. I think it is the final purge. I would love to see them print their own Old School stuff but that's competing with 4e and I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

David Macauley said...

And yet then there is WotC saying this:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Feature.aspx?x=dnd/feature/gencon

...which sounds like an all editions love-in.

5stonegames said...

My theory is that Hasbro wants to channel players into the new edition and that supporting old editions interferes with this in some way.

That fact that it isn't going to work is irrelevant. They see "using Old D&D" as losing brand share

Herb said...

The sad reality is Hasbro tossed money on this. For those who know where/how to look everything TSR published is available, illegally online.

I wouldn't be surprised that what has driven lots of music sharing offline: readily available laptops, portable drives, and burners will do the same for TSR pdfs.

It also just adds to the sales of LL, S&W, etc.

*shrugs*

It's their money to not make. I remember when BECMI and the Gazetteers first hit online for about $5/pop. I bought everything out (not all the Gazetteers were at first) and haven't regretted it. Now that JG stuff is on DTRPG/RPGNow I'm very happy.

Jim said...

Found this: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/oa/20030530b

David Macauley said...

@Jim - interesting that they're calling them "Generic D&D" and yet they all seem to be 3.5e.

mark.argent said...

it takes some poking around on archive.org and a little URL tweaking, but the downloads are definitely still on WOTC's server, for the time being.