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Community Manager

Samy wrote:
* Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition

Mages or Templars?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Not once in the entire series have I ever wanted to side with the Templars...not even after Anders' stupid stunt.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
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!

I think the reference to "real customers" was referring to those who actually buy the product, as opposed to people who pirate it. So, those who buy at other retailers or are now buying through this promotion would still be real customers. I don't necessarily agree with the implicit point that Paizo should step down its copy protection, as this is an unforeseen event that is relatively unprecedented for the website. I suspect the problem will be solvable without a complete change from Paizo's current practices (which normally present relatively painless copy protection).


Not sure how that's funny. It's a charity, it should be advertised. That's how you get more donations for your charity.

Nohwear wrote:
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.

Community Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:
Not once in the entire series have I ever wanted to side with the Templars...not even after Anders' stupid stunt.

You can stay.

Silver Crusade

Jack Mann wrote:
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!
I think the reference to "real customers" was referring to those who actually buy the product, as opposed to people who pirate it...

Yes, that was my intent when I had said "real" customers earlier. I didn't mean to imply that people who are new/buying from other retailers weren't real customers, and I apologize if that's how it came across.


Just thought I'd share my experience... I've been getting the "click again 10 seconds" message consistently, but clicking again always reloads the page and no download occurs. I've tried a dozen or so different files from the Humble Bundle to see if I could get any to work, and so far, no luck on any. I've tried for hours between last night & tonight and no PDFs have downloaded *at all*. Hopefully it gets sorted out soon.

By the way, I own most of the Humble Bundle content in paper books, bought for full price at retail! So I just wanted the digital copies while I could get them for a great deal, but for me they aren't really essential. Most of the adventures I didn't have in paper, but all the core guides I have on my bookshelf :)

Liberty's Edge

I haven't been able to download ANYTHING over the past 24 hours. The files won't get get the personalized status.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I bought the bundle yesterday and am having the same sorts of issues as everybody else. I'm really excited to get into the material and start learning it as soon as possible; this will be my first time GMing, as well as my first time in Pathfinder, since I upgraded from 1E. It's hard to try and be patient as the server stress reduces, but I'm trying my best.

I know we're all eager to download our materials, and I just want to thank the staff for putting on the promotion and for being courteous during this network stress. It's no fun for any of us, but we're all here because we love tabletop gaming and I absolutely love that. It helps that I bought the beginner box as well as the downloads, so I already have to wait for my physical copy. What's a few days wait for the download too? Just imagine that your downloads are "shipping" right now, as silly as it seems.

Dark Archive

Yeah this really sucks, but I understand. While I have hardcopies of pretty much every book and PDFs of a few of them already (like UM and UC), this deal for the majority I don't is amazing! Plus, the charity angle... Extra Life is one of my favorite charities so the fact that you chose them as your charity for this bundle is great! :)

Community & Digital Content Director

20 people marked this as a favorite.

Likely the last update of the day, but it's good news!

The Tech Team has ordered some new hardware for our personalizing service, which should help alleviate the issues people are encountering. Our System Administrator Lissa Guillet will be working on getting this set up overnight, and we hope to be in better shape this weekend. We also have our Technical Manager Cort Odekirk in tonight monitoring the site's status.

Our Community Manager Liz Courts and Customer Service team are out for the night, and will resume on the emails and social media queries tomorrow.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I refuse to "understand."

These are electronic goods. The issue is the DRM which is now between customers and their purchase.

Massive fail and it makes quite an impression on many curious and potentially new players such as myself.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
chris krumlauf wrote:
The issue is the DRM which is now between customers and their purchase.

That seems overly simplistic. I won't say the DRM isn't part of it, but to place it entirely on it is equally wrong.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chris Lambertz wrote:

Likely the last update of the day, but it's good news!

The Tech Team has ordered some new hardware for our personalizing service, which should help alleviate the issues people are encountering. Our System Administrator Lissa Guillet will be working on getting this set up overnight, and we hope to be in better shape this weekend. We also have our Technical Manager Cort Odekirk in tonight monitoring the site's status.

Our Community Manager and Customer Service are out for the night, and will resume on the emails and social media queries tomorrow.

That's good news. Thanks, Chris, Lissa, Cort, and everyone else at Paizo who are working so hard on this!

As for those being jerks on here ... they're trying to fix it. Can't we all just calm down a bit?


14 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I've got no problem "understanding."

Any company that gets 20,000 new customers, literally overnight, is going to run into support issues. I'm happy for Paizo, and I'll be even happier when I get my new books.

And, I'm happier still for the money going to a good cause.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Chris, this has not been an issue up until this bundle. Yes, it's a major inconvenience now that it is an issue, but for the rest of the time it is an almost painless thing, taking only a short ten seconds the FIRST time you download it. I understand that this is your first impression, and admittedly not a good one, but this is far from the norm with the Piazo site and their downloads, seeing how they suddenly acquired 20,00+ new customers. I might add that they are ALL trying to access the servers simultaneously, putting significantly more strain on them than ever expected (obviously). Perhaps taking a step back and coming back in a couple days would be good, because by that time the load should be lessened and you may get an experience closer to what the norm is.


Sinistrad wrote:

I've been unable to download my PDFs for at least three days now.

I've tried in both Chrome and Firefox and I have tried from two different computers and networks, one running Windows 10 and the other running Windows 7. I've never had problems on either machine or network before.

I am unable to find any outage notifications, and I do not get any error messages. What the heck is going on?

(Yes, I have cleared my cache and restarted my browser in both Firefox and Chrome.)

I too am having the same problem that everyone else is reported. Tried waiting several minutes, but the website logs me out. Returning later has the same problem.

Thanks!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey! One of my downloads got through! Have faith and keep rolling for a 20 and you just might get a divine intervention if your luck stat is high enough.

....okay I'll stop now. I'm seriously happy though. The core rulebook is enough to keep me off the site for a few hours and let other people get the traffic. Thanks Paizo!


Chris Lambertz wrote:

Likely the last update of the day, but it's good news!

The Tech Team has ordered some new hardware for our personalizing service, which should help alleviate the issues people are encountering. Our System Administrator Lissa Guillet will be working on getting this set up overnight, and we hope to be in better shape this weekend. We also have our Technical Manager Cort Odekirk in tonight monitoring the site's status.

Our Community Manager Liz Courts and Customer Service team are out for the night, and will resume on the emails and social media queries tomorrow.

Seems like you are doing everything possible. Extra efforts by everyone are appreciated. I managed to get the Starter Box downloaded today. I played through the Skeleton Crypt adventure and it made me excited about what is to come!

Hope to see you all around after the rush is past!

Community & Digital Content Director

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post. Do not encourage piracy of our own products on our own website.


Well I managed to get one book downloaded so far! Unfortunately it wasn't the Core rules, so I can't do much with it yet. Here's hoping that's the next one I can get to work.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for setting up the charity sale, and for all the frantically hard work you've been doing dealing with the huge rush of traffic.

Though I've told myself I only want to download one thing and read it while I'm waiting for the traffic to die down, I'll continue to do my part and not add to the backlog by clicking every few seconds.

Plus, since I want to be a player for Hell's Rebels, I have an incentive to keep my hands off that first half of the AP.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Keep up the good work and the updates!

-

I work QA... I have spent entire shifts just pinging download servers because of load issues...

This is a minor annoyance, and a good sign... lots of load means lots of donations.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Same here. Thanks for the updates. And for those new to the site, this is definitely NOT normal. I'm antsy to get my books too, but willing to wait given the overwhelming response and the good cause(s) we are supporting.


Has your team looked into where the bottleneck will be shifted after the personalization service has been improved? My concern is the Humble Bundle seems so popular you may find there are still problems.


It would make sense to just this once "personalize" all the PDFs in the bundle with a single humblebundle specific watermark and just serve them up to us statically for a few days until the load lessens a little. I get that you want to stamp every single PDF individually, but come on, you obviously can't do it when you sell a massive number of copies within a few days like this.

It's nice that a few people are fine waiting and have posted here to say so, but it's completely unreasonable to expect everyone to.

Making a special exception for this exceptional circumstance so that people can get their downloads is just good customer service. Stubbornly sticking to your unworkable policy and giving us nothing? Not so much.


I echo the thank you for the charity sale for the great cause.


Tempest_Knight wrote:

Keep up the good work and the updates!

-

I work QA... I have spent entire shifts just pinging download servers because of load issues...

This is a minor annoyance, and a good sign... lots of load means lots of donations.

Same here, you have to love the QA grind.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
chris krumlauf wrote:
The issue is the DRM which is now between customers and their purchase.
That seems overly simplistic. I won't say the DRM isn't part of it, but to place it entirely on it is equally wrong.

No, and this isn't a matter of opinion, the fact is that it's the DRM that's standing between the customers and their product.

Now, you can make the argument that this is the only way something like this can be sold online (and I'd agree; and I am an anti-DRM guy) but you can't deny reality.

Lantern Lodge

And on the plus side... more players (though really, I suspect the majority of the 30k odd folk who have done this are already players).

And... more hardware so in the future the downloads will scale better.

Of course this is the reason that a lot of firms base their online offerings in the cloud, so you can just scale up when there are unusual bulges of activity like this.

My small worry is that I don't think Paizo keep the watermarked PDFs for ever. Certainly when I have gone back to re-download material a few months after I first got it, it has gone through the process a second time. I hope they have enough storage for watermarked PDFs that we don't get into a thrashing situation with so many PDFs being requested that they can't store them for a reasonable amount of time.

Devolis wrote:


It would make sense to just this once "personalize" all the PDFs in the bundle with a single humblebundle specific watermark and just serve them up to us statically for a few days until the load lessens a little. I get that you want to stamp every single PDF individually, but come on, you obviously can't do it when you sell a massive number of copies within a few days like this.

It's nice that a few people are fine waiting and have posted here to say so, but it's completely unreasonable to expect everyone to.

Making a special exception for this exceptional circumstance so that people can get their downloads is just good customer service. Stubbornly sticking to your unworkable policy and giving us nothing? Not so much

That won't help PFS folk. Part of the rules of the campaign is that PDFs need to be watermarked with your name on it. So letting folk download something that they potentially can't use would also be poor customer service.


Oh hey! Just managed to get my core rules book downloaded! Looks like you just gotta leave the download page open for about 10 minutes or so.


Sinistrad wrote:

I've been unable to download my PDFs for at least three days now.

I've tried in both Chrome and Firefox and I have tried from two different computers and networks, one running Windows 10 and the other running Windows 7. I've never had problems on either machine or network before.

I am unable to find any outage notifications, and I do not get any error messages. What the heck is going on?

(Yes, I have cleared my cache and restarted my browser in both Firefox and Chrome.)

I'm having a similar. I can't download anything


GM Aerondor wrote:

And on the plus side... more players (though really, I suspect the majority of the 30k odd folk who have done this are already players).

And... more hardware so in the future the downloads will scale better.

Of course this is the reason that a lot of firms base their online offerings in the cloud, so you can just scale up when there are unusual bulges of activity like this.

My small worry is that I don't think Paizo keep the watermarked PDFs for ever. Certainly when I have gone back to re-download material a few months after I first got it, it has gone through the process a second time. I hope they have enough storage for watermarked PDFs that we don't get into a thrashing situation with so many PDFs being requested that they can't store them for a reasonable amount of time.

It's pretty clear that their concurrent requests have eclipsed their entire personalization storage. One of the big problems they're having right now (and why I would stop short of praising them the way the first "IT Guy" did) is that the personalizations are starting over after timing out.


Even waiting a little over the 10 seconds the link requests, I've still not been able to download a single thing. Not only does it not download but the website just kicks me out. Its immensely frustrating. You shouldn't regret making people regret charity; and that's exactly what's happened.

I don't feel like the 'valued customer' like is smeared all over the apologies/notices; i feel like i got scammed, and because of the price of the bundle was so good, I don't even feel wholly justified in complaining--which just makes the matter worse.

All i have is a wish that i hadn't wasted the money on thinking I got a great deal while helping a charity and instead had just donated 10 bucks the old fashioned way.

I know it'll be there 'eventually' but with the humble response, who knows when that'll be, I'm just voicing my frustration. Somebody dropped the ball on logistics and the only ones not being punished as a consequence by it are the ones responsible. If people get refunds, the charity/humble suffers; if people just give up or even have to wait days/weeks/months before gathering the patience to go try to manually download and wait 30 seconds for "personalization", they suffer. I really hope this gets worked out quick or this game may be dead to me before I even crack open my first book.


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People just need to understand that hardware has its limitations, and Paizo was not expected to be spammed as it is. It IS likely that the servers are overloaded and thrashing. That's why they're getting new hardware.

It might take a fair bit of rework to set up a direct site where you can statically download everything, and even then, good luck getting your 20 GB of books x 35000 downloads (assuming people download to more than one device, such as a laptop AND an e-reader) = 700 TB of bandwidth, at worst. Seems expensive, don't you agree?

It purely does not make sense to own servers this powerful for such a giant (but temporary) spike in downloads. There are solutions that one can invest in (getting a download manager to queue up personalized + download for one-click downloading, for example), but every possible solution will take *time* to implement, and with a small team that needs to eat, sleep, and idk see the sun once in a while maybe, you're going to look at a longer time than what it will take to get your books.

Not to mention, say, keeping the website *alive* during such a high traffic period. Or responding to people whining about what a terrible service they have.

Purchasing a little more hardware to add to the server does seem like a quick solution to implement that should help with the bottleneck.


LustyCleric wrote:
Oh hey! Just managed to get my core rules book downloaded! Looks like you just gotta leave the download page open for about 10 minutes or so.

Oh, if it were only that easy. That's usually how these things go, one person can get one successfully through for every 100 (or 1000 or more) people who get nothing. There's nothing they can do about it but react now, though, and they seem to be doing that well at this juncture.

I expect them to migrate to EC2 by the next time they try something like this.


brady blue wrote:
so the servers are down now? why didn't you let humble bundle distribute the pdf's instead of using your own server...if you had such a crummy server?

HumbleBundle can't host the server because the watermarking (which is needed for PFS) is done via Paizo. It's logistically much more work to let HB do it. Heck I'm sure that's one of the reasons they don't sell books via third party stores in the first place.


Keeper, I know that it's frustrating (and as a player for several years who was just excited to get the totally and originally free Player's Guide for the new Adventure Path that came out today, I share your pain), but you are literally complaining about a potential 20 second wait. I realize that this is not a good first impression, but the scale of this thing is, as several of Paizo's staff has said, UNPRECEDENTED, and I really think if you just take a moment and think about that calmly, and grit your teeth, you'll have a great experience with this game.

It seems like the only big mistake here was Paizo not guessing just how popular their game/deal would in fact turn out to be. So let's reel back the visceral desire for "punishment," ok?


jillthemenace wrote:

It might take a fair bit of rework to set up a direct site where you can statically download everything, and even then, good luck getting your 20 GB of books x 35000 downloads (assuming people download to more than one device, such as a laptop AND an e-reader) = 700 TB of bandwidth, at worst. Seems expensive, don't you agree?

They have to pay that same bandwidth cost no matter what, but if they store personalized PDFs for everyone they also have to pay that in storage...

jillthemenace wrote:

...but every possible solution will take *time* to implement, and with a small team that needs to eat, sleep, and idk see the sun once in a while maybe, you're going to look at a longer time than what it will take to get your books.

Setting up static downloads temporarily is without a doubt the simplest and easiest solution to implement, other then just letting the servers burn and churn and ultimately fail to provide anything of course...


I have been trying to download my PDFs for over 24 hours now and still have not been able to get to any of them. Every time I try the website says "personalizing" but does not proceed further. This is very frustrating. It seems very disingenuous to offer a bundle that you do not have the infrastructure to support.

Dark Archive

Those who refuse to understand, did you note where Chris Lambertz just said they actually got some new hardware they are getting set up tonight? They are actually making purchases of hardware to upgrade their site to deal with this increased load. This is good for us now, and it's good for them in the future. I am not sure many companies would go so far as to actually upgrade their system to be able to handle a temporarily increased load.

As for why the DRM is important on OUR end... you now OWN all these books, and you can prove it when someone asks. When you go to an official Paizo sponsored Pathfinder Society game and the GM is like "Do you actually own the Advanced Class Guide to be able to play a slayer?" you can say YES.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Something like 30,000 users, the majority of them new, have shown up in the last 24 hours to download nearly two dozen books each.

By comparison, Paizo does a monthly release of ~3-5 books that authorize to a few thousand users over the course of 2 weeks.

We're seeing the effects of ~3x (maybe 5x?) as many users trying to download 4x-7x as many PDFs in the span of 1/10th the usual amount of time. That's a ridiculous spike in traffic. It's certainly one they didn't anticipate (as Erik said, the HB was much more popular than they anticipated). I bet Paizo has added more new customers in a day than they've added in the last 2 years. All of them showing up at the same time wanting their stuff. Fulfillment will undoubtedly take longer than usual.

If you're worried about your downloads expiring, don't worry. They don't expire and there's no limit on the number of times you download. I can still download stuff I bought 10 years ago.

And if you're new here, welcome! Paizo really does go out of their way to take care of their customers, despite the current download problems. I've been here 10 years and I've never seen anything like this.

-Skeld


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, everyone if frustrated, that is certain. but if Paizo needs to reboot the website to get their system problem fix we would all support you in order to get the issue solved.

My suggestion to paizo is to shut down the site temporarily until the overload issue has been dealt with because the actions of hundreds of people trying to download a whole bunch of material while this is going on is just gunking up and slowing down much of the progress that can be made.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Actually this reminds me of what happened to Blizzard when they first released WOW, massive overload and constant addition of hardware.

Dark Archive

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Yep, plus when they update books in the future, you get an email letting you know the file has changed so you can get the new version (which as Skeld said, you can always redownload any time you want)


The site was shut down for a bit yesterday. It didn't much help things. It'll probably get another short downtime tonight or tomorrow when they install the hardware.

My understanding is that it's a queueing issue, too much is being added to the worklist too quickly, not just an issue of a backlog. Shutting the site down for a couple of hours would only make that issue worse unless they came back up at, like, quarter of six in the morning CST or something, and even then it'll only last until people catch onto the fact that the servers aren't being blitzed. At which point they will be again.


The Norv wrote:

Keeper, I know that it's frustrating (and as a player for several years who was just excited to get the totally and originally free Player's Guide for the new Adventure Path that came out today, I share your pain), but you are literally complaining about a potential 20 second wait. I realize that this is not a good first impression, but the scale of this thing is, as several of Paizo's staff has said, UNPRECEDENTED, and I really think if you just take a moment and think about that calmly, and grit your teeth, you'll have a great experience with this game.

It seems like the only big mistake here was Paizo not guessing just how popular their game/deal would in fact turn out to be. So let's reel back the visceral desire for "punishment," ok?

My goodness you have a great vocabulary. But please don't twist words:

It's not a desire for punishment at all. I never said I wanted to see someone punished; quite the opposite. I want to see the users not feeling the pinch. I was SO excited when i saw this bundle, as i'd not owned any TTRPG books since highschool (a depressingly long time ago) that was clear back when the nice hardback 3.5 ed D&D books first came to be. I took a history test the day the GM manual made to our gaming store shelves :P

I'm not complaining about a 20 second wait- I'm complaining that I've been unable to receive any of the goods i paid for in 3 days. If it came back down to it, I'd be fine with it. annoyed? sure a little, but yea 20 seconds isn't a huge deal even in the face of having to do it 40+ times to get all the books i just got in the bundle. It would make a lot more sense to do a bulk download but logistically I can see that being a problem for permanent storage regardless of how big these pdfs get (i imagine quite large with the amount of imagery in them is anything like the covers).

I still look forward to some day, ideally within a day or so sitting down to see what pathfinder is all about- but who knows, if it takes them a longer time to deal with an "unprecedented" boost in popularity, then that's just how it goes. The one thing that doesn't change is my annoyance that I was excited about something that has since turned into another disappointment, and source of frustration rather than joy. It's perfectly reasonable to pay for something and, regardless of the cost, expect to receive what you paid for. I understand in an age of rampant piracy there's a need to protect digital assets, and for the convenience of not looking like an encyclopedia salesman hauling around 30 physical books, protecting them from idiot friends spilling coffee on them (true story, sad day), im perfectly willing to compromise on their form of DRM.

You even agreed with what i said, and echoed that they themselves agree, that IT dropped the ball. I didn't say they should answer for it, or even that i wanted a reply. This is a forum that (ideally) their staff reads, and I'm just using the provided tools and my right to voice discontent with the situation. I want these books because they seem awesome, and its been a really poor welcome to the community for myself, and im sure many others being met with nonstop technical difficulties and and endless supply of lip from loyal people who've not been on shorter end of this particular stick. It's not a good impression for the company, its not a good impression of the community. It's exactly what i said, just a bad situation. One i hope gets resolved before this becomes more than $20 worth of trouble to bother 'bearing' with.


I'm one of those people who decided that for such a good price, I could try Pathfinder. If Paizo only had the capacity to deliver goods to 1000 people a day, they have the responsibility to insure that they don't sell to more than 1000 people a day. The fact that some of the money is going to charity doesn't absolve a vendor of that responsibility. When you take the customer's money, you have a responsibility to deliver then -- unless it's made clear upfront what the delivery schedule is. It seems like a simple breach of contract to me.


Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:


As for why the DRM is important on OUR end... you now OWN all these books, and you can prove it when someone asks. When you go to an official Paizo sponsored Pathfinder Society game and the GM is like "Do you actually own the Advanced Class Guide to be able to play a slayer?" you can say YES.

Except I can't download the book anyway, so this advantage doesn't really make sense in this context. If they would just relax this policy temporarily so everyone could get "humble personalized" copies now that are the same for everyone and therefore don't melt the servers, I could always come back and download a "truly personalized" copy at any point in the future when the server load is lower, to prove to my GM that I really own it. A temporary solution is by definition temporary.

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