Wizards of the Coast‘s all around nice guy and everyman, Randy Buehler, has posted another update on D&D Insider:

When we do flip the switch at some point in October (exact date to be announced) here’s what we will be charging for a subscription to D&D Insider:

12 Months = $59.40 ($4.95 per month)
3 Months = $19.95 ($6.65 per month)
1 Month = $7.95 ($7.95 per month)

And here’s what you get if you are a subscriber:

  • Access to the pages where PDFs of Dragon and Dungeon can be downloaded (including new articles three times per week and monthly full issue compilations).
  • Access to the pages where Bonus Tools are launched (currently the Ability Generator and the Encounter Builder, soon to include a Monster Builder as well).
  • Access to the D&D Compendium detail pages.
  • Non-subscribers will be able to launch the Compendium, search for things, and see what results are returned. However, non-subscribers will not be able to click on the name of the rules element in order to see what it actually does. In other words, non-subscribers can see what things exist and what book they should go buy if they want to read more but don’t want a D&DI subscription.
  • By the time we launch our subscription service, the Compendium will include content from all 4E books and magazines published through the end of September (including Adventurer’s Vault and FR Player’s Guide

But then it gets a bit weird:

After we launch our D&DI subscription service, the Character Builder will become our #1 priority. First up will be a public Beta test, then a commercial release, and then our development efforts will move onto the Character Visualizer.

So, you guys haven’t really been focusing on the stuff that you made a big deal about last year and then gave direct links to in your big launch???  And then…

The Beta version of the Character Builder will have full functionality, but it will only have rules content that covers level 1-3 characters. The same thing will be true of the free demo version of the Character Builder which will be available for folks to sample after the full version goes on sale: it will have everything you need to build a level 1, 2, or 3 character. We have not yet announced a release date for the full version of the Character Builder.

So, long story short, we still don’t have the character builder, we don’t know when we’ll get it, we aren’t sure how close we are and you’ll need to subscribe to D&D Insider to use it.  Am I the only one who’s a bit underwhelmed?

UPDATE: Stargazer in the comments has pointed out that I’m assuming you’ll need to be a D&D Insider subscriber to get Character Builder – Randy only indicates that it will be a closed product, but doesn’t say what will be required to gain access after launch.  Sigh.