Why the change from 8 miniatures to 5 miniatures per booster?
When we set out to re-imagine the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures line, our goals included increasing the quality of the product, dealing with the rising costs associated with producing the line, and optimizing the product as a D&D Roleplaying Game accessory. To that end, we are providing fewer figures per Monster Manual-themed booster, but these figures are of a higher quality. In effect, each booster contains two rare-quality figures (the visible Large figure and the randomized rare figure). In general, we’re providing nearly a 50% increase in paint steps per figure, which makes even the common and uncommon figures in the set look better, adding more vibrancy and detail. We have also decreased the overall set sizes to make collecting all of the miniatures in a set easier to accomplish. With a visible Large figure in each box, you also get some choice as to the figures you are purchasing, and each miniature is a monster miniature—making each booster perfect for a Dungeon Master seeking monsters to fill encounters with. Finally, the stat cards included in each booster have been redesigned to use the friendlier Monster Manual-style RPG statistics layout so that Dungeon Masters can use the cards for in-game reference.
Though it's difficult to compare by rarity in non-randomizes heroes packs.
I actually wonder if it'll be a lot more about using the monsters packs than the heroes ones. Though the heroes ones would be great for commander, letting you guarantee a certain core of your band then using the monsters for the rest. Hmm.
Why is the price per miniature higher for the player character figures?
With the Player’s Handbook Heroes Series One figures, we’re providing miniatures of rare or better quality in visible, fixed packaging. In addition to the increased quality per figure—equivalent to three rare figures per pack!—you get to buy exactly the figures you need to match your player character concept (or villain concept, if you’re a DM). Add to that the brand new, unique, nonrandom character class power cards available in these packs, and you get an unparalleled value for players.
What does this mean for the skirmish game?
Wizards of the Coast has chosen to concentrate its D&D miniatures-creation efforts on an accessory line optimized for D&D Roleplaying Game use. November’s release of Demonweb will be the last new set that includes skirmish statistics. We will continue to update all miniatures stats from previous sets to the current D&D Miniatures ruleset as promised, with the conclusion of that process scheduled for mid-2009.
In addition, official sanctioning of D&D Miniatures skirmish events will cease right after D&D Experience in February. We hope to see skirmish play continue at the grassroots level, using the hundreds of miniatures produced for the game over the past six years and encouraged by the passionate fan sites that exist for the D&D Miniatures skirmish game.
The skirmish game has many dedicated fans, and we appreciate the years of enthusiastic support that these players have shown to the line. Unfortunately, despite this enthusiasm, the number of skirmish players has been dropping steadily over the past couple of years. We had hoped that improvements implemented during 2007 and 2008 would change that trend, but they have not accomplished enough toward that end. At this point, we can no longer justify the design, development, and production resources required to support the skirmish game.
What does this mean for the Feywild set?
The Feywild set will not be released. We needed to make room for this new approach, and early 2009 is the best time for that to begin. However, many of the sculpts that were in the process of being created for Feywild will find homes in the new D&D Miniatures products, as appropriate, and with the increased quality levels we’ve established for the new line. Each set will include Small, Medium, and Large figures, as has been the practice since the inception of D&D pre-painted plastic miniatures.
As for Huges, yes we have a set planned for the Summer of 2009. The Huges in that set will be the visible minis, including a Hive Mother Beholder and some Dragons. More details to come!
Will the unique power cards in the Player’s Handbook Heroes packs be available anywhere else?
As I mentioned above, the power cards in the packs will match to the minis in the pack so the distribution is not random. These brand-new character class powers will be added to the D&D Compendium and D&D Character Builder databases on D&D Insider. Eventually, they may see inclusion in a D&D game book.
We know that this is a bittersweet announcement and for many of you it downright stinks. All of us at Wizards are thankful for the great years of D&D miniatures play that we’ve had and we are excited about the possibility the future offers.
We hope this helped to answer your questions and we thank you for your continued support.
Senior Brand Manger