My Downloads Page / Humble Bundle Downloads Issues


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Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Gadnief wrote:
Sorry if I've chosen the wrong words for it! I also managed to download some files. The problem is just the way of communication by the tech-team and the community after more than 24 hours.

Communication is always important, and I believe that the team knows and intends to keep the community aware. But I also know that we need to be aware of how we are communicating our frustrations and ensure that we aren't causing more problems for the team as we do so.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Simply put, this process is very broken and needs to be fixed by the Paizo tech team instead of "simply monitoring the situation with a large queue".

Community & Digital Content Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey, guys, do not point fingers at each other for who is a "real customer." We have a number of Pathfinder fans who purchase at retailers that make sense for them and people who are brand new to Paizo coming from this promotion. Please help us keep our community a friendly environment, even in hectic times like this. Thanks!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ckdragons wrote:

Simply put, this process is very broken and needs to be fixed by the Paizo tech team instead of "simply monitoring the situation with a large queue".

The problem seems to be, from an outsider's perspective, that everything is "working," things are processing, but the existing systems cannot provide reasonable latency at this unexpectedly high load and the system architecture wasn't built in a way that allows them to easily deploy additional servers to distribute the load. If you're not built for this sort of event, there's not a whole lot you can do in a day or two--legacy applications don't often translate to EC2 or Azure all that easily. They might be working on moving it to the Amazon cloud at this very moment as far as we know, but it might still take months or years before we'd see a difference. Netflix just now finished a many-year project to move their streaming delivery architecture to Amazon's infrastructure and they've got a lot more money and engineers (I feel safe in assuming!) than Paizo does.

At this point, getting worked up about it doesn't do anything but make us unhappy, so we might as well make the best of it, right? I'm sure Paizo is learning from the experience.


Well, I was using the term sardonically since other people used it, myself... but gotcha.

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Hey, guys, do not point fingers at each other for who is a "real customer." We have a number of Pathfinder fans who purchase at retailers that make sense for them and people who are brand new to Paizo coming from this promotion. Please help us keep our community a friendly environment, even in hectic times like this. Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Cthulhusquatch wrote:
Well, I was using the term sardonically since other people used it, myself... but gotcha.

Precisely what I meant. There are no 'fake' customers, we are ALL Paizo customers.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Just wanted to report that after about 20-30 minutes of clicking on the download link, I did manage to get a hold of PFS scenario 7-16.

How frequently are you clicking? I have yet to succeed at downloading a single file today, having the instance reset and needing to relog/start the process over no matter how often or infrequently I click.


The constantly having to log back in is what made makes me give up after periods of doing it. I just do something else for a while, then try again whenever I feel like checking it out.

WRoy wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Just wanted to report that after about 20-30 minutes of clicking on the download link, I did manage to get a hold of PFS scenario 7-16.
How frequently are you clicking? I have yet to succeed at downloading a single file today, having the instance reset and needing to relog/start the process over no matter how often or infrequently I click.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
WRoy wrote:
How frequently are you clicking? I have yet to succeed at downloading a single file today, having the instance reset and needing to relog/start the process over no matter how often or infrequently I click.

Fairly frequently. Once or twice a minute, probably more. I did have to log back in at one point, and got kicked back to the main page at another.

Community & Digital Content Director

27 people marked this as a favorite.

OK, I've gotten in touch with a few teams and have some words for y'all. Heads up, big post ahead!

The work that went behind the Humble RPG Books Bundle: Pathfinder has generated a wonderful result: as of posting, 26,660 people chipped in to support Extra Life and pick up Pathfinder RPG products. Roughly two-thirds of the redemptions so far are new paizo.com customers. That number is astounding! In fact, that number is projected to eclipse the amount of folks who participated in our Pathfinder RPG beta playtesting. In just over 24 hours. I can assure you that all of us in the office are just amazed to see that number tick continuously upward (the energy here is absolutely palpable).

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. If you've ever tried to buy passes for that particular show, you know the feeling of nail biting panic over whether you're going to get to a "Sold Out" page or a page full of badge purchasing options. And that result can take hours to process (and that's not even a service providing on average a ~50 MB PDF download). The systems in place that support the kind of numbers we're seeing are expensive, are maintained by large teams, and are built specifically to handle that kind of load.

Since paizo.com doesn't regularly run and anticipate events on that scale, this is why we're seeing the pileup. We are actively exploring possible solutions, and considering many of the ideas you have suggested in this thread. Paizo.com has had constant and diligent attention to remain stable over the last 24 hours, with our staff (particularly, System Administrator Lissa Guillet and Technical Manager Cort Odekirk) working long, tiring shifts to make it happen. The overall amount of people on our Tech Team available to perform this work is also pretty small (our team is comprised of 7 awesome people, including our Sys Admin and QA). We are examining and exhausting all options immediately available, and hope to have some news for people waiting for their downloads as soon as we can.

As a reminder to anyone under the impression that there's a timeline for redemption: you do not need to redeem your codes immediately for them to be effective, and they do not expire. Additionally, Paizo downloads under your account are updated automatically if a reprint occurs, and have no download limitation or expiration.

I can't say enough how humbled we are by the gaming community choosing to support this bundle benefitting Extra Life. It's also an amazing opportunity to grow our own community and introduce them to the gaming world we've created. Thank you for your continuing support through this fantastic and frenzied promotion!

My team will be posting updates to our site and our social media outlets as frequently as we can get them.


Glad to hear it has been a success.


Thank you Chris for the update and pass along to the Tech Team that we appreciate their hard work.


Thanks for such a positive post! :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chris Lambertz wrote:
As a reminder to anyone under the impression that there's a timeline for redemption: you do not need to redeem your codes immediately for them to be effective, and they do not expire. Additionally, Paizo downloads under your account are updated automatically if a reprint occurs, and have no download limitation or expiration.

Very glad to hear that things are starting to work.

And more glad to hear the paragraph I quoted. Folks, we know Paizo does the right thing. If there's no need for you to have the bundle today -- you're not running a PFS module tonight or something -- I suggest you just chill, maybe have a cup of tea or a refreshing adult beverage. Your PDFs will be just as awesome if you pick them up next week after we've added TWENTY THOUSAND NEW PLAYERS to the pathfinder community.

And your PFS experience at the convention will be improved by TWENTY THOUSAND NEW PLAYERS.

So, well done Paizo, and thank you Chris.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wonder if someone will set up one of the "Customer Snack Runs" that happen every now and then, for the tech team? I think they deserve it. I'll definitely chip in.

And as a customer of Paizo for several years, I'm utterly blown away by how this has been received. It's phenomenal.

Word to the wise for new people: When you first click on the link on your Downloads page (and it comes up with the "personalising..." message), the "last time downloaded" immediately updates to "Today", even though you've not actually downloaded the file yet. I've had experience trying to download a 70MB file on a 3G phone connection, and it does feel like it's taunting you (possible suggestion for improvement to Paizo: don't update the "last downloaded" time until the click after personalisation).

This is a fantastic thing to have happened, and even though I'm not likely to be able to download my new goodies for a while, I'm very happy.


It's great to hear the humble bundle adventure has been such a success. I was positively surprised when I saw the deal, and even with owning most rulebooks and all of season 6, picking up this bundle still was a no-brainer. I'm really looking forward to reading the Hell's Rebels AP.

The server issues are all too understandable, because the traffic must be orders of magnitude higher than the regular level. There is very little you could have done to prepare for this, save for incurring unreasonable (and in the long run unnecessary) hardware costs. You have my chuckling respect for the brave manner in which you have slashdotted your own servers.

Is there any insight on what the best tactic is for getting a download to work? For instance, if I click on a link and get the 'personalizing' message, can I just wait and get back to the download after three hours, or is the personalization somehow linked to my session. If the latter is the case, then every personalized download that does not make it before the session times out has been for nothing, and is dead weight on the server (maybe purging the cue will help? extending the timeout limit of the session?)

If I need to be active every two/three minutes in order to get a download to come through (as TOZ seems to suggest), then I'm just going to hold off DDossing the server for another two weeks or so. While enjoying an adult beverage.

I like how we have - as Orfamay put it - TWENTY THOUSAND NEW PLAYERS, to which I may add - THAT HAVE NO EXCUSE NOT TO BE DMing (>chuckle<)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

+1 for tech team relief cookie run fund.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
...Paizo.com has had constant and diligent attention to remain stable over the last 24 hours...

I think using the word "stable" here is a pretty big indicator of the difference between marketing and customer service spin and reality. The site hasn't been and is not stable even now. It's barely alive. If it were stable I'd be able to get my download that I requested yesterday by now.


Here are some questions for how we can get the best results. I've tried several different approaches and the only consistent result I get is .... no files.

1) What should I do once I click on the file and it goes to "Personalizing"?
a. simply wait? (i.e. don't do anything else on that tab/page)
b. occasionally refresh the page?
c. click on the file link periodically?

2) Is it OK to try several files in a short period of time?

3) 18,000+ new users? Are you sure you don't want a new web server?

Comments:

#1 Thank You!
#2 I like my PDF personalized. They're mine.

Liberty's Edge

What's the word on the status of the issue?

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dtreth wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
...Paizo.com has had constant and diligent attention to remain stable over the last 24 hours...
I think using the word "stable" here is a pretty big indicator of the difference between marketing and customer service spin and reality. The site hasn't been and is not stable even now. It's barely alive. If it were stable I'd be able to get my download that I requested yesterday by now.

Downloading's barely alive, but the site itself is stable enough for people in here to carry out a conversation :3


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CN_Minus wrote:
What's the word on the status of the issue?

This post.

I honestly don't think anyone was expecting this level of response, and it has unfortunately caught the store with its pants down. It's not anyone's fault, as such. It's probably something along the lines of (number completely made up) "well, previous Book Bundles have had throughput at X. And the Paizo servers can handle even 2 or 3 times X. Simples. And OMG WHY ARE SEVEN TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS OUR WORST-CASE SCENARIO SUDDENLY SPAMMING THE STORE?!!!!"

And then there's the Tech team, whimpering over their keyboards, crying at their code which is being asked to do things it was never designed to do.


Rysky wrote:
dtreth wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
...Paizo.com has had constant and diligent attention to remain stable over the last 24 hours...
I think using the word "stable" here is a pretty big indicator of the difference between marketing and customer service spin and reality. The site hasn't been and is not stable even now. It's barely alive. If it were stable I'd be able to get my download that I requested yesterday by now.
Downloading's barely alive, but the site itself is stable enough for people in here to carry out a conversation :3

Agreed; there's a difference between "stable" and "healthy". It's like if an avid runner had to undergo heart valve surgery; sure, they can be in stable condition, but they're not going to be back to their old habits anytime soon (if only because the doctors won't let them).


Rysky wrote:
dtreth wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
...Paizo.com has had constant and diligent attention to remain stable over the last 24 hours...
I think using the word "stable" here is a pretty big indicator of the difference between marketing and customer service spin and reality. The site hasn't been and is not stable even now. It's barely alive. If it were stable I'd be able to get my download that I requested yesterday by now.
Downloading's barely alive, but the site itself is stable enough for people in here to carry out a conversation :3

Is it irony that I got two 404's trying to respond to you? I guess ironic for you, not for me, since it's what I expected.


Chemlak wrote:
CN_Minus wrote:
What's the word on the status of the issue?

This post.

I honestly don't think anyone was expecting this level of response, and it has unfortunately caught the store with its pants down. It's not anyone's fault, as such. It's probably something along the lines of (number completely made up) "well, previous Book Bundles have had throughput at X. And the Paizo servers can handle even 2 or 3 times X. Simples. And OMG WHY ARE SEVEN TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS OUR WORST-CASE SCENARIO SUDDENLY SPAMMING THE STORE?!!!!"

And then there's the Tech team, whimpering over their keyboards, crying at their code which is being asked to do things it was never designed to do.

I have been reading other threads from previous download issues, and it seems like the PDF personalization software is either a service or SDK type thing they bought. What I'm learning from this is there is an opening in the PDF DRM industry for software that doesn't suck.


I just want to say that I find it somewhat funny that the same notice that warns people about the sudden MASSIVE expansion of traffic is also advertising the cause of the problem.

Liberty's Edge

dtreth, you have to understand the enormous response is going to generate technical issues. There's no getting around it, no matter how prepared you think you are.

It's best to just be patient and deal with it.

Liberty's Edge

Have patience, it is digital so can't really run out of stock. I will check again in a few days, we have until March 9th. Lets me think what I want to donate and if I want my kid to have his own also.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The best way to be patient is to, in fact, be patient. Find something to do that isn't downloading the items in question while the tech team works on the issue.

Side note: I'm always amazed at the tech experts that arrive to nod knowingly at the problem and how they could fix it better, cheaper, and with results that outstrip the industry. The internet never ceases to amaze.


I keep having to log back in before the personalization is done, which means I have to start it over. Is there even a point to trying now?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oops, deleted posts. Incoming Liz Courts in 3... 2... 1...

Edit: ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mr_Dionysus wrote:
I keep having to log back in before the personalization is done, which means I have to start it over. Is there even a point to trying now?

I managed to download my file after relogging in. You may be able to as well.

Community Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Removed some posts and their responses—this is not the thread to have discussions about unauthorized downloading. Let's keep this on-topic and specific to Humble Bundle download issues through our site.

Liberty's Edge

Fair enough. I wish you guys the best of luck in sorting this out!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
dtreth wrote:
And given what I know, I'm not sure what's the best way to be "patient".

Here's a list of things I'm doing:

* Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition
* Playing Sims 3
* Going to work
* Reading the news
* Playing Pathfinder on these messageboards with the PRD (which is still available)
* Talking to other people IRL
* Facebook
* Email
* Checking Steam and GOG for sales
* Working on my school paper

You may be able to come up with any number of things applicable to your situation.


knightnday wrote:

The best way to be patient is to, in fact, be patient. Find something to do that isn't downloading the items in question while the tech team works on the issue.

Side note: I'm always amazed at the tech experts that arrive to nod knowingly at the problem and how they could fix it better, cheaper, and with results that outstrip the industry. The internet never ceases to amaze.

What I meant was, how to best continue to try the download without hammering the server extra-hard.

And if you knew anything about the software industry it's mostly true, but that's also not what I said. I gave concrete examples that are actually what's happening.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

"I want my RPG..." {sung to the tune of 'I want my MTV'}

Shadow Lodge

11 people marked this as a favorite.

Look at them game designers, that's the way you do it.
You play the Pathfinder on the Twitch TV.
That ain't workin', that's the way you do it.
Money for charity and your PDFs for free.


Samy wrote:
dtreth wrote:
And given what I know, I'm not sure what's the best way to be "patient".

Here's a list of things I'm doing:

* Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition
* Playing Sims 3
* Going to work
* Reading the news
* Playing Pathfinder on these messageboards with the PRD (which is still available)
* Talking to other people IRL
* Facebook
* Email
* Checking Steam and GOG for sales
* Working on my school paper

You may be able to come up with any number of things applicable to your situation.

OK, thanks for being the second person to take "be patient" out of context.

Helpful answers would include, you know, answers to the actual questions asked, like "does re-logging in start the personalisation process over?" "does the page automatically refresh or do we really have to click on that link in 10 seconds?" (if you think this question is silly just go away, you know nothing about the internet) and "does clicking the link periodically keep you logged in, start the personalisation process over, or add significant overhead to the servers?"

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I do not believe the page has automatically refreshed before the current situation, so I don't think it will refresh now either, so yes, you will need to click on the link a second time after getting the personalization notification.

As for the other two, no idea.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
TOZ wrote:

Look at them game designers, that's the way you do it.

You play the Pathfinder on the Twitch TV.

Well played... well played. :)

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