I have advocated the idea of an official 'Turbine' character planner for a while. With the advent of a new enhancement system on the horizon, I think it would be an opportune time for the devs to give us, at long last, an 'official' planner to go with it, preferably with an updated, enhanced character sheet.
I say this with all due respect and appreciation for Ron's planner which I have used for every character, and 'almost' character, I have ever made. I think it is time for the devs either make a planner or take Ron's and incorporate it into the game and give it the resources to allow players to delve into creation with 'official' information. Whether it is to pay Ron or create their own, Turbine is in a better position to keep a planner going, accurate, and up-to-date without relying on the goodwill and volunteer time of a player - which could end at any time. I think the planner would not only provide useful information in a clear and concise manner, it would also give DDO the chance to make some enhancements, some long requested. Some of the benefits I can think of:
* brings a planner to all players - not just those that visit the forums and find resources, like Ron's, which an even smaller percentage download and use
* gives new players a process to understand the concepts behind building a character
* demystifies much conflicting and occassionally incorrect information in the advice channel, on the forums (here and elsewhere) and in-game from fellow players
* could give a better character sheet with greater details of character statistics and breakdowns -things like 'stacking' bonuses (what do we have now, 9-10+ different bonus types?)
* give accurate, up-to-date, definitions of feats
* could link to equipment, current and contemplated, especially as it is added to the game after each update
* could allow players to print or export their files to review while off-line; I know for many players, reviewing and reading your character sheet was one of the great joys of D&D of old through the present
* allow for an app to be used on ipads, androids etc which would give you data access on the go - Turbine has better resources to develop these (and charge for them as an add-on)
* could be used on current characters to plan future progression
* give information as to currrent feats or enhancements which are not WAI
I think there are many, many other benefits. If done right, a character planner, with an enhanced character sheet, would add a cool 'old school' pnp feel to the game, imo, which would add an immerisve enjoyment to the game.
Lastly, while I think the feature of a character planner and enhanced character sheet should be implemented free of charge - in the reality of paying the bills - I would even be willing to spend TPs on a planner of high quality being implemented in the game if that is the commitment it takes to get it done.
My 2 cps.