Major Changes Coming Soon – The New Days of Wonder Online

Next week you will see some major changes in how you interact with the Days of Wonder website and our online games – we have changed a lot of what happens under the hood to make our online games simpler, better and more scalable, as well as easier to learn and more straightforward to purchase.

With these upcoming changes you will be given a grace period to convert your existing account to the new model – a simple process that will allow you to setup your new Days of Wonder Online account based on your past purchases and usage. If you have ever registered with us and created an online account, you will receive an email that spells out the conversion process and explains the new benefits to you in detail.

But we wanted to give you a preview of the important changes, so you would know what to expect next week and not be totally surprised when you next visit Days of Wonder Online.

Doing away with Time Credits

Until now your player status was based on time credits, earned from purchasing our board games or buying a web card. This time credit system was confusing, difficult to understand for some and frustrating for many: it forced you to regularly upgrade your account to continue playing online, and made you pay for access to all of our online games, regardless of your own preferences.

The new Days of Wonder Online does away with time credits. Instead you choose which specific games you want to play, purchase them once and never worry about it again. All current players – those of you who have registered web cards in the past (even if these had expired), as well as those with unregistered web cards, will be given credits for those cards that can be used to purchase the online games they want. “Guests”, who have not purchased any of our games in the past will no longer get the “free ride” to play online and will instead be asked to purchase the games they want to play after a limited number of game trials.

Why are we now selling online games on a pay-once basis, rather than giving a time-limited access to everyone who bought one of our board games? The reasons are: simplicity, fairness and support. Players will be able purchase precisely what they want for significantly less than a yearly subscription and get access to it permanently. Doing away with time credits and switching to a downloadable model will also allow us to expand our distribution, giving us the financial flexibility to sustain our services and develop more and better online games. This will become apparent from day 1 when we unveil the new versions of Ticket to Ride Online, Gang of Four Online and the Memoir ’44 Editor.

New Community Tools and User Defined Content.

In the past, we managed to confuse even ourselves at times regarding which features required a Time Credit and which didn’t: Could I update my avatar? Reply to my Private Messages? Did I need to enter or buy a new web code? So we are now removing this artificial barrier between “guests” and “players”. Instead all Days of Wonder Online Members (i.e. anyone who creates an account with us by entering his or her e-mail address on our web site) will now have access to a wide range of community resources and tools. These include avatars, User Pages to publish your own DOW related content, buddy and ignore lists, access to special content, etc…

New Versions of our Online Games

The new version of Ticket to Ride Online will finally give you many of the features you have been clamoring for, including better game and player management tools, and at least one feature no one expects!

The new version of Gang of Four Online piggy-backs on these same developments to bring you many of the same new game and player management tools.

And last not least, a brand new, downloadable Memoir ’44 Editor will let you take the art of scenario creation to a whole new level.

What will it all look like? How will it work? You’ll see next week when we rollout the new Days of Wonder Online. So visit us again next week!

The Days of Wonder Online Crew

This post is also available in: French, German

26 Responses to “Major Changes Coming Soon – The New Days of Wonder Online”

  1. rasmussen81 says:

    I’m looking forward to it! Keep up the good work everyone; my hat’s off to you for another exciting development.

  2. Tinkerbell_19 says:

    I noticed Queen’s necklace is not in the new versions….is it getting tossed off the site?

  3. Eric Hautemont says:

    No it isn’t. Its access will be free to all.

  4. mennonite827 says:

    wow thats good- maybe now we can get more players playing that then if its free :-D. also are you saying that ever game is available to be played online if you “buy it”? thanks a lot for all of this that you have done and i think that it will be a lot better now.

  5. Eric Hautemont says:

    huh, no I think you’re reading too much into this ;-). We are not announcing any new Online game at this stage, only revisions to the major ones (T2R Online and Gang of Four Online) and a brand new M44 Scenario Editor.

  6. Jesse says:

    I really like the new “online” logo that’s in all these pictures! The pictures look so sleek and ‘clean’. Now my mind is spinning with the possibilities of how the web site is going to look!

  7. mennonite827 says:

    ahhhh ok that makes a lot more sense now 🙂 thanks

  8. khamm says:

    What about Queen’s Necklace, I sure hope you keep that its the best game of all!

    Will you be keeping it?

  9. rasmussen81 says:

    Khamm,

    It looks like all of the current games (whether or not they were mentioned specifically in the news article) will be released with this new online system. Like Eric said, no new games will be released but the old ones will be re-vamped.

  10. Scott Shafer says:

    Well…I have to say that I liked the old system. We’ve bought a ton of games, and have a bunch of time credit. Now it feels like that is being taken away from us. It is a benefit…nahh, a bonus in addition to the purchase of the game that is no longer there. I am a bit skeptical about this.

  11. rasmussen81 says:

    That’s fair, Scott, but I do have to point out that the web codes don’t just disappear; they will give you credits. The news report says, “All current players – those of you who have registered web cards in the past (even if these had expired), as well as those with unregistered web cards, will be given credits for those cards that can be used to purchase the online games they want.”

    So all those codes you have from your games (which hopefully you purchased for more than their web code 🙂 might give you so many credits that you’ll be able to start playing your favorite online game for ‘free’!

  12. Sagrilarus says:

    No new games. This revision without the announcement of new games in the works appears to be the final nail in the coffin of that possibility. It’s been years, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

    So presumably one T2R title is sufficient for the entire T2R suite.

    I don’t think I’ve used my T2RE code yet — My Shadows and QN codes were how I’ve gotten access in the past. I’ll be curious to see what’s available to me when all is said and done.

    Sag.

  13. Bethany says:

    A correction to rasmussen81’s post a few times up…

    Eric said that only the large games and the new campaign editor are being released, not all of the current online games. So it looks to me like Ticket to Ride and Gang Of Four will be new on the web site but who knows about the other games. I’ll bet they’ll still be playable but without the new look. Maybe the other games will slowly be reworked over time.

    I would also guess that this is the first step toward other online games being available. Maybe even an online version of Small World!! That would be fun.

  14. rasmussen81 says:

    My mistake. Thank you for pointing that out, Bethany. It does look like only the major online games are being released with the new Memoir editor.

  15. Eric Hautemont says:

    Both Queen’s Necklace and Fist of Dragonstones will appear in a “attic” section, where they will remain free to play (but the challenge will remain to find opponents to play with, though having them completely free to access might help a bit).

    Note that these two games have not been updated however (ie no new features) and we have no plans to do so: the games upon which they are based have been long out of print, and it would make little sense to develop these further, no matter how much we may personally like them (QN remains one of my personal favorites).

  16. oskari says:

    Downloadable? What does this mean in terms of hardware requirements?

    Since the TtR CD-ROM already demands a much newer computer (as in, I can’t run it) than what is currently needed for TtR online, I have a bad feeling about this…

  17. Oskari,
    You will still be able to play Ticket to Ride directly off your browser (in addition to the new downloadable version). So you should be ok (though the CD-Rom version requirements weren’t that crazy to start with ;-)).

  18. rasmussen81 says:

    Sounds like it might be time to upgrade the old ‘electronic typewriter’! 🙂

  19. Michael says:

    I sure hope I can find my old web cards! I don’t know if I kept the info around.

  20. Keith says:

    So, if I have a copy of the Ticket to Ride CD-ROM that I haven’t opened yet, can I still install it and get online play? Will that now be unlimited, or is an additional purchase required?

  21. iwillfearnoevil says:

    the ttr feature no one expects is the inclusion of the dice expansion!!!

  22. Keith, the answer is yes, you can go ahead, install it, play online now and you will indeed gain unlimited access once the conversion occurs. All this will become clearer once the new software goes live in a few days.

  23. Iwillfearnoeveil,

    Actually the feature that no one expects is that if you shake your monitor, the dice expansion will appear (now please don’t try this at home ;-))

  24. Tibor says:

    When can we play M44 online?

  25. lisa says:

    It sure would be nice if you could get us bots for QN and correct the Queen problem. It does have a couple of bugs in it. SO many of us love this game and it would be great if you brought it back to print! I would buy several for gifts and to save for my kids when they get older.

  26. Dave D says:

    Eric Hautemont Says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Keith, the answer is yes, you can go ahead, install it, play online now and you will indeed gain unlimited access once the conversion occurs.
    —————————–
    Keith,
    I too have a TTR code unused. I am sitting on it until the one I have expires (it was for Pirate’s Cove). So you are saying I should hold on to that code, and that it will contain a full subscription to the NEW online game?

    If this is the case – I would be happy to give that one to a friend then, and take the discount from my current in-use code to get a full TTR subscription.

    Am I barking up the right tree?

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