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Vic Wertz

Vic Wertz's page

Chief Technical Officer. 20,916 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
IronGiant wrote:

1: I don't have time for this game right now, I'll wait a couple of months.

2: Ok, I'll just download the base game and check it out a little.
3: Fine, I'll spend the $24.99 but I won't stay up late.
4: Went to sleep at 2 am.... I am pathetic....

Who needs sleep?
Well, you're never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what's that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you're getting
There's a guy who's been awake
Since the Second World War

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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[Redacted]: The short answer is, "out of my butt."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Look, folks, it's not the right place. If it were, the Core Rulebook thread would be 10,000 pages long and nobody would be able to find anything. The authors are trying to be nice by answering the occasional question wherever it's asked, but if that encourages everyone to pile on, and we end up sliding down the slippery slope, then the authors will have to stop doing that. Please: don't make us make not answering a formal policy.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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One thing I'd like to say is that Nathan did such a great job capturing the characters that when I was reading the dialogue from Harsk, Ezren, and Valeros, I could hear the voice actors who play them in the Pathfinder Legends audio adventures speaking their lines in my head.

Also, everyone is going to love Lini. I might never not play Lini again.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Alayern wrote:
When possible, maybe post an image somewhere with the hardcover and the pocket editions on either side of a banana for scale?

Cavendish, plantain, Saba, Burro, Chuoi su, or Manzano?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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bdk86 wrote:
In the vein of the many restaurant recommendations: If you, like me, do not live on or near a coastline I'd highly recommend making the time to get seafood while in Seattle. The difference in quality is pretty clear and worth going a little bit out of your way. I always make a point of getting sushi while in town.

My recommendation for sushi is Mashiko in West Seattle. (My followup to that recommendation is that, awesome as the sushi is, if you're limiting yourself to just the sushi there, you're making a mistake.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Sharaya wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
We're meeting some friends on the Tuesday after PaizoCon to start our West Coast driving tour and they're only there for the one night. Is the Space Needle restaurant worth visiting?

I would generally say: yes. It is something worth doing at least once in your life, in my opinion. (And this is speaking as very frugal person who is very careful about how I spend my money. Granted, I went for lunch, instead of dinner, so saved some money that way.)

The food was really good and the view was gorgeous! Would do again.

I'd say that when I hear this question, half of the respondents say the food is really good, and half say it's really meh. I'd therefore mark it down as "inconsistent." So go to enjoy the view, and if the food is good, take that as a bonus.

(And if you want the really good seats, tell them you're with the band.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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OMG—Aric is the Red Raven?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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JoelF847 wrote:
You actually don't need to pounce on it right away. Normally they announce the lottery, and there's roughly a week to put in your preferences before the Paizo Automotons process everything. So, don't delay too long, but there's no need to rush to get your preferences in ASAP.

Yep. The whole point of the lottery is so that you *don't* have to be at your computer the moment event registration becomes available to have a shot at getting in to stuff.

We should be emailing everyone who has a PaizoCon ticket shortly before the lottery goes up.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Parody wrote:
Umm...am I missing something? Go to the FAQ for the appropriate source, hit Ctrl-F, type the character's name.

It really is that simple.

Parody wrote:
Anyone could compile just the character entries if they wanted to do so.

Any such compilation will go out-of-date exactly as frequently as new FAQs are added. So why bother? Just go to the source. That is, quite literally, what it's there for.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Liz Courts wrote:
Katina: PaizoCon events are being brought to you by a playlist called “Workout Twerkout.”

You, ma'am, are EVIL, and I am deeply concerned.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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"Dead" suggests that any plans have been completely abandoned, and that's not the case. We have other priorities, and so many of them that nobody is scheduled for active effort on it at the moment, but that doesn't mean it's never going to happen.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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First World Bard wrote:
As an aside, sounds like the team decided to go with a 5 element representation where Poison is elemental. Personally, I'd probably have gone with Mental, since we all know that the 5th element is emotion. (Take your pick on the source material; Captain Planet and The Fifth Element are equally valid).

I'm pretty sure the fifth element is boron.

(If you ask Mike, the sixth element is bludgeoning.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Cat-thulhu wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Well, getting to choose every single miniature in the set is a fair amount of control.
Sorry misinterpreted what you meant completely, I thought you were saying wizkids dictate what goes in the set with some input from you. I'd agree, choice of everything is indeed fair control.

Erik meant that he has no control over (or special insight into) what's in the D&D minis line, just as Wizards has no control over (or special insight into) what's in our line. WizKids has a legal and ethical obligation to keep their licensors' plans secret, so we don't know what Wizards is doing until they announce it, just as they don't know what we're doing until we announce it.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I'd just like to point out that Trapdoor's platform prioritization choices are not in any way driven by Paizo. If they had brought us the exact same app and said it would debut on Android with iOS coming later, we'd have licensed it just the same.

And if you're wondering why so many developers prioritize iOS over Android, try Googling "develop for Android or iOS first". I just did, and here's what I found in the first 10 results:

• 5 didn't make a clear recommendation. A few of these said "if you value X, choose Android; if you value Y, choose iOS." A couple of them want you to hire them as a consultant to answer the question for you.

• 4 suggested to me that they would recommend iOS first in most cases.

• 1 wouldn't load for me, but the excerpt Google displayed suggested they were probably in the above category.

• 0 suggested to me that they would recommend Android first in most cases.

If I were to sum up what I read across these 9 pages in one sentence, it would be this: Android might have the numbers, but most agree that development is more complicated, and iOS is where most of the money is.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Adam Daigle wrote:
Which I guess is me saying... Don't be upset if I forget your name....

No worries, Andy!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The watermark will identify the recipient of the gift.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Folks, please don't post links to spam that uses the events system *anywhere*—it makes it more likely that Google will index them, which gives them what they want. (I have removed all such posts in this thread. If you see other such posts—that is, posts that aren't themselves spam but that reference event spam—please flag them as "breaks other guidelines" so we can remove them.)

If you spot spam in event links, instead of flagging them, please instead drop them in an email to community@paizo.com.

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

10 people marked this as a favorite.

SFX: Fzzzzummmmmmnmmnmmnmmmmnmnmmnmm................
Cort: Okay, who has a lightsaber?
Lissa: Who doesn't have a lightsaber?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hawk's plan is probably mechanically sound—or at least, close enough to be workable—but it's far too complicated to explain, use, and remember. We don't need you pulling out a flowchart every time you summon a card.

Here's my challenge to the community: Can you summarize what he laid out—or even something that gets you 80% of the way there—in a short paragraph?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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PlatypusNinja wrote:
I imagine it would say things like: "Here's the list of things you do in your turn" and "here's what happens when you reveal a card, display a card, recharge a card, discard a card, bury a card, banish a card".

Have you looked at the back of the rulebook?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Mike Selinker wrote:
I walked into GAMA 2012 with a wine box containing a humble prototype called "Saints" under my arm.

I thought it was called "Snints."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What he said.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Kalindlara wrote:

If the invisible stalker isn't just a blank base, I'd be at least a little disappointed. ^_^

It wouldn't even be the first such miniature Wizkids has produced.

Ant-Man, anyone?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Sara Marie: Oh GOD!
[pause]
...It's ok! It's dead.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Things I have said before that are still true:

From 2009:

The number one problem with collected APs is that our cash flow relies on constant sales of the current AP volume, and anything that we do that potentially reduces sales of the current volume is harmful to us. Not only would collecting them train some people to wait for the compilations, but it would also be creating a product that competes with the current AP for the attention of new customers. Either one of those is bad enough; taken together, the whole issue becomes a non-starter.

From 2010:

I mentioned it in the Why We Don't Reprint Thread, but I may as well repeat it here:

"The 'no reprints' rule doesn't apply to everything... and 'reinvention' is also possible. So long as it's done in a way that is as appealing as a completely new product, and doesn't train people to always wait for the reinvention."

So an anniversary edition that updates the out-of-print Rise of the Runelords to PFRPG rules is interesting. The ruleset update satisfies the requirements of reinvention to at least some degree; then, so long as we made it clear that this was a one-time exception, and that waiting for, say, a complete Kingmaker compilation would probably be fruitless, that could satisfy the "not training people to wait" rule.

From 2011, after the announcement of the Runelords compilation:

We have *no* plans to compile additional adventure paths. Keeping up sales (and especially subscriptions) of the Pathfinder Adventure Path line is crucial to our business, and if we were to make a habit of regularly compiling APs, many customers would be tempted to opt out of the ongoing series, choosing instead to wait for the compilations.

That would be, frankly, one of the worst possible things that could happen to Paizo.

I won't say we'll never ever compile another Adventure Path, but I will say it would take very very unusual circumstances for us to consider doing another one, no matter how well this one sells.

From 2013:

Allow me to give you another data point. While we rarely talk about print run sizes or sales numbers, we do, every now and then, do blog posts where we tell you which items are getting low on stock—defined as under 1000 copies—in our warehouse. [I then linked to a recent such blog post, which I won't relink since it's terribly out of date.]

From that, you might deduce the following stock levels for each volume of the AP:

Rise of the Runelords:
Sold out: 1, 3, 5, 6
Between 25 and 100 copies: 4
Between 100 and 250 copies: 2
(Total remaining copies: 125-350)

Crimson Throne:
Between 25 and 100 copies: 2
Between 500 and 1000 copies: 1, 3
More than 1000 copies: 4, 5, 6
(Total remaining copies: 4025-?)

Second Darkness:
More than 1000 copies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
(Total remaining copies: 6000-?)

Legacy of Fire:
Between 500 and 1000 copies: 4
More than 1000 copies: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
(Total remaining copies: 5500-?)

It doesn't take a business degree to see Rise of the Runelords is in a class by itself. It made a standout candidate for a compilation; any other AP would require a lot more justification.

Note: "More copies in the warehouse" does not directly correlate to "fewer copies sold", as print runs vary from volume to volume. But it's safe to assume that a compilation of any of these would drastically reduce the rate of sales of the current printings, so these numbers are certainly one of many factors we'd take into consideration if we were looking to compile one of them—which we are currently not.

From 2014:

I would like to be clear that we do try to avoid saying *never*. When we did the Rise of the Runelords anniversary edition, we said that it was a special circumstance—an exception to the rule—but we haven't said that there will definitely never ever be another exception. But it took 5 years to do the first one, and it's been a few years since that came out, and we're not working on one now.

And some additional comments just for today:

Reprinting APs will continue to be extremely rare. Not never, but rare enough that you shouldn't plan on any given AP ever being compiled. It has been 4 years since the last compilation, and there's no reason to expect the next to come any sooner.

Just as Runelords was when we compiled it, Crimson Throne is now almost sold out in its original form (as of our last low inventory blog in November, the first three volumes were completely sold out, volumes 4 and 5 were under 1000 copies, and volume 6 was under 500), and it benefits from being updated to the current ruleset. While a couple other APs meet one or the other of those, there are no other APs that meet both. Nobody is working on another compilation beyond Curse, and nobody will be working on one anytime soon.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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"Invokes" is explained on the rules card:

A check invokes a trait if it has or is against a card that has that trait.
A bane invokes a trait if it has that trait or deals only damage of the type that matches that trait.

(This is not the first time that new mechanics have come into play before they were introduced in a new rulebook. Ranzak introduced plunder before the Skull & Shackles rulebook did, and the Iconic Heroes cards introduced the Owner mechanic before the Wrath of the Righteous rulebook did.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Sissyl wrote:
I thought it was Mt Dew too...

Mountain Doom?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Marco,

I have verified with WizKids that they have not announced a reprint of this set. (To give you an idea of how unlikely reprints are with them, in the last six years, they have only reprinted one thing: their Dice Masters launch, where the initial supply was vastly lower than the demand.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Parugo wrote:
From what I can recall, the d&d bundles sold well...

There has been a D&D comics bundle, but I'm pretty sure there's never been an RPG bundle. (Wizards hasn't sold PDFs of their current edition core RPG books in many years.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Skeld wrote:
Everyone knows JJ is on a special project for Paizo where he is attempting to prove the existence of Bigfoot.

That's just silly. All he has to do is go down the hallway and look in Jason's office.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
The various Paizo nerds have posted repeatedly that this scale of response to this bundle not only exceeded their wildest expectations, but it also exceeded the wildest expectations of HB itself. (The Paizo bundle's first day was the best first day in HB's history by more than three times, according to Vic.)

That's not quite accurate. It was the best first day for a Humble Books bundle by a factor of almost three. They've had bigger first days in other categories.

That said, when we were estimating load, both Humble Bundle and Paizo were anticipating Books numbers, not video game numbers. We had a number that would be considered "worst case" for the two-week campaign; we passed that while I was at lunch on day 1 (and the campaign started at 11 AM!). We had a number that we were all thinking would be "pretty good" for the two week run; we hit that before I went to bed. 50,000 bundles for the whole campaign would have been a wild fantasy before this started, yet we're there after just 1 week.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Anguish wrote:
Um. Hey. Does "I still use Office 2003 because I find menus more intuitive than ribbons" count? 'Cuz I totally do.

I think the last time Microsoft added a feature to Word that I actually wanted was about 1992.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Joseph Wilson wrote:
Norman Osborne wrote:


They seem to think that Paizo is involved in almost everything, as they're saying that Paizo is also behind the publication of an English-language edition of Ulisses Spiele's The Dark Eye (originally Das Schwarze Auge.) I wonder how long before they make an article where they claim that Paizo is responsible for the 5e books? :P
Based on the advertising card for The Dark Eye Kickstarter that came with my Paizo subscription, and which contains both the Ulisses Spiele Logo AND the Paizo golem, I'd say that particular item is true. Ulisses Spiele does the German translation of Pathfinder. Everything (admittedly little) I've found seems to indicate that Paizo is returning the favor by helping them with the publication of the Dark Eye's English translation.

We're just selling the English language version into distribution for them—we have no creative input. (We'll be doing the same with Ulisses' TORG game when it comes out, and the Polaris RPG from our French translation partner, Black Book Editions.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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CBDunkerson wrote:
On the new hardware, is this a temporary measure to handle the current surge or are you planning permanent upgrades? Paizo hasn't seen anything on this scale before, but I remember a few years ago a server blew and the downloads were down for the better part of a day... and when the second PFO kickstarter PDF fulfillment came through there was a somewhat similar bottleneck situation for several hours. Can we expect issues like those to be less likely (not that an average of a few hours per year was all that serious to begin with) going forward, or will you scale back to the original hardware once the Humble Bundle crush has passed?

There are a lot of things getting attention here, including faster processing power, more memory, more storage volume, faster storage speed, and more bandwidth. And some of these upgrades have the primary goal of temporarily increasing the load handling, so are short term, while others have the primary goal of improving performance, so are permanent.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Crystal Frasier wrote:

Crystal: Using a pastry bag is easy. You can pick it up in five minutes even without instruction.

Rob: Well, I've been trying to learn to use a pastry bag for forty years and still can't!
Crystal: Have you been using a pastry bag, or live weasels?
Rob: What's the difference?
Crystal: The live weasel is the one that bites.
Adam: Also, one is warmer.
Crystal: Yeah, usually the pastry bag will be warmer.
Rob: ...
Rob: I think I've been using weasels all this time.
Crystal: That makes sense. Weasels hate being squeezed.
Rob: This is why they should come with instructions!

One of Paizo's original employees previously had a job squeezing penguins in the Antarctic. Seriously.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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[Fixed link in Wayne's post.]

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Yep—that.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Wolfgang Baur wrote:
Thank you all for an awesome round of birthday wishes! Very much appreciated, and hey, someone gave me a Leap Day this year as well. :)

Happy birthday! Just think—if you'd been delivered just 1 day later, today would be your 12th birthday!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Sstavix wrote:
First of all, I'd like to apologize for contributing to the insanity.

No—thank you for doing that!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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MMCJawa wrote:
...I am not sure James is super interested in non Dreamlands/Abyss planes, so it doesn't feel like he would be the sole person working on that.

I heard he's got 99 projects, but the Abyss ain't one.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Chris Lambertz wrote:
The easiest way for me to describe what is happening to our downloads system is to compare it to ticketing systems used for large conventions (such as PAX Prime). The system puts you in a queue, which it works through as quickly as it can.

One thing I'd like to clarify is that while this description makes it sounds as if you're all in one big queue, there are in actuality many queues. And the new hardware let us open a whole bunch more.

Also, while Chris talked a bit about the relative scale of the downloads involved being so much higher than than anything we've done before, I think it's worth pointing out that we're tipping Humble Bundle's scales pretty hard too—I'm told that our first day exceeded their previous best first day for a book offer by almost threefold.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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It's something we've wanted to do for a long time, but other priorities have prevented. I'm sure it'll happen someday!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Duncan7291 wrote:
Not sure if best place to ask this question, but why does Paizo require free products to go through personalization/DMR? Seems this would free up the server load some if yall just made it not have to go through that process.

There's a difference between "free" and "freely redistributable." Generally, the non-watermarked items we offer are things that we allow others to redistribute of under our Community Use Policy. We don't want people redistributing Player's Guides—we want everyone to come to paizo.com for them. This helps us in that it gives us more accurate data about the number of people downloading them, and it helps downloaders in that it gives us the ability to notify them if we update the document for any reason.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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aceman67 wrote:
If you can't offer a product at a fair price, shipping included, don't offer it, especially if you want to ship internationally.

We're *offering* it to people, not *forcing* it on people. There are plenty of people that don't *have* better options—not offering it would make things far worse for these people. If you can get a better deal locally, by all means, go right ahead—we appreciate your business just as much whether you buy direct from us or not.

aceman67 wrote:
When converted to CAD, the shipping is $62, for something that I wound up getting at my local store today for $40. So if the cross-border shipping price is that bad, then how is my local store, a privately run business, able to sell it at MSRP?

Because your store isn't buying single copies one at a time from the US. They're buying copies that they have shipped along with other products that they're ordering from a distributor that is most likely also in Canada. Those distributors in turn are buying products by the case or even by the pallet from us. In volumes like that, we can ship a few hundred copies for a few hundred dollars, meaning the per-unit shipping cost is a lot closer to $1 than $45.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Rhenthyl,

Back in the earliest days of Paizo, when we were publishing magazines, we tried a couple of different UK partners for fulfilling European subscriptions, and it was frankly a terrible experience for all parties involved. Handling things ourselves increased shipping costs, but also markedly increased customer satisfaction. (And while we regularly reevaluate POD options, I have not seen a POD book printer yet that prints to our quality standard.)

That said, with respect to the specific subscriptions you're asking about, the situation is significantly better than you estimate.

The Adventure Path subscription is monthly. Standard AP volumes are $24.99, though subscribers get a 30% discount off cover price, making them $17.49, and shipping to the UK is approximately $7.84 these days, for a total of $25.33 each month.

The RPG subscription isn't monthly—we typically publish about 3 hardcover books each year. The page count varies by book, so the book's price and weight-based shipping costs also vary. To give you a common example, though, the most recent release is Bestiary 5, which costs $44.99; alone, that book would ship to the UK for $25.19; that's a total of $70.18.

We do release our products at the same time each month, which means things will ship together to save money. So if you have both subs, that Bestiary would ship along with that month's Adventure Path volume for a shipping cost of $31.09. Better still, the Adventure Path subscription gets you the Pathfinder Advantage: 15% off of suggested retail price of almost all products on paizo.com, with the exception of non-Paizo downloadable files. That means the Bestiary itself would be discounted to $38.24, so the total for the Bestiary and the AP volume, including shipping, would be $86.82.

So assuming an exchange rate of $1=£0.72, when there's just an AP volume (which is most of the time), you'd pay about £18.26; the months there's also an RPG product, you'd pay about £62.60 (assuming the RPG book has a similar page count to Bestiary 5).

(Please note that shipping costs are calculated for individual addresses at the appropriate time, and may vary slightly from the numbers I provided.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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It's appreciated, folks!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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MGX wrote:
Have you guys thought about making an alternate colored Reiko as a Paizo exclusive? Players might want to have a group of ninja in their adventures as adversaries.

Everybody needs a neon green ninja!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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skizzerz wrote:
It'd be nice if that page was adjusted to include Canada though.

We will provide Humble Bundle with the necessary information!

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