Players will no longer be able to run the DDI Character Builder from their own computer. As of November 16th, the CB may only be run through WotC’s website and then only by current subscribers. In addition, characters may no longer be saved locally. All DDI characters will reside on WotC’s servers. Presumably, these steps will soon be followed up by having all downloadable tools converted to web-based tools and safely secured behind a subscriberwall.

Rumor has it that WotC also plans to install electronic locks on all future physical books. Users will then need to purchase a cipher each time they want to open one of their own books. Of course this latest rumor may just be a rumor.

Sadly, the Character Builder changes have been confirmed. Here is the statement released by WotC:

On November 16, Wizards of the Coast will launch a brand new web-based version of the D&D Insider Character Builder. The current downloadable version will remain functional, but will no longer be available for download or updated with content after the new version goes live. Here are the highlights of the new Character Builder:
  • New Design: Completely redesigned from top to bottom in Microsoft Silverlight as a robust character creation wizard.
  • New DDI CB New DDI CB New DDI CB New DDI CB
  • No Download: The Character Builder is served from the D&D site.
  • PC and Mac Compatible: Requires an Internet connection and Silverlight plug-in.
  • Access is easy: Just enter the D&D site, login, and launch the Character Builder from the Tool Box or the Character Builder tools page.
  • Characters in the Cloud: All characters you create are saved on our database. No need to save Character Builder files on your hard drive anymore.
  • File Import: You can easily import your characters created in the previous version to the new Character Builder.
  • Previous Data: Includes all character-building data you enjoyed in the previous versions.
  • New Data Releases: Dark Sun and D&D Essentials data will debut with the new version.