Starfinder Hero Lab


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Liberty's Edge Contributor

Summersnow wrote:

To me a game like pathfinder is a social interaction game. Players should be involved with each other, the game, the map, the mini's, etc.

Using a tablet or laptop to access a digital copy of a rulebook is fine for me.

BUT, Herolabs looks to be aiming to turn the game from a social game to a computer game, with everyone sitting behind a computer / tablet, etc. instead of table, map, etc.

At that point I'd much rather be playing WoW, STO, Neverwinter or any one of the MMO's out there.

I don't mind the new online only features, but I feel basic character / ship creation and manipulation like HLC has should remain a free service with the subscription fee covering the advanced features.

Or make it a real subscription, $5 a system and EVERYTHING is included for that system with no added data pack purchase, etc.

Unless the functionality of HLO is VERY different from HL Classic, you don't need to worry about turning the ttrpg into a computer game. Hero Lab provides an "in-play" tab as part of the character management that allows you to apply current effects and automatically calculate the changes to your character. Players still apply that information the exact same way that anyone with a paper character sheet does.

The comments I have seen about being able to manage things like a starship as a group are unclear, but I imagine it will be something similar. I'm guessing that if a starship's stats are held in a central location, changes I make as an engineer can be applied to the gunner's rolls, so the modifiers would show up on that person's screen, if we were both accessing it.

The same kind of interaction between players happens at the table. There's just not as much time spent recalculating your stats after receiving a buff spell or getting hit by a debuff.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


The biggest issue I've had with portable electronics at the table is, paradoxically enough, speed.

When there is hard copy in front of someone, they can typically glance at everything and the roll and calculation are done in moments if not seconds.

When they have to use electronic devices they have to flip/scroll/wander, flip scroll wander, touch touch touch, flip scroll, push button, flip scroll "Nat twenty plus, ah, hold on, didn't have Bard's Song clicked, um, 27."

Granted, I haven't GM'd in Starfinder yet, but I can imagine the same thing happening, but far worse if the current proposed on-line version is going to be put in place.

"Hold on, I lost connection to the cloud. It's gonna be a moment or two. And it's back... no, it's gone."

Lonewolf has already said that a connection will only be needed when making updates to the character. Once you have the character in the app (or whatever) it will stay there. If you lose your connection, your character doesn't go anywhere. You just won't be able to synch updates you make in the app with the version in the cloud.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that there is no reason that HLO can't be used to print out paper character sheets for use at the table. HL Classic can do that, now, and it is the way many people actually use the software. I doubt very seriously that LWD will be removing the ability to print character sheets from within the software.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Paris Crenshaw wrote:


Lonewolf has already said that a connection will only be needed when making updates to the character. Once you have the character in the app (or whatever) it will stay there. If you lose your connection, your character doesn't go anywhere. You just won't be able to synch updates you make in the app with the version in the cloud.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that there is no reason that HLO can't be used to print out paper character sheets for use at the table. HL Classic can do that, now, and it is the way many people actually use the software. I doubt very seriously that LWD will be removing the ability to print character sheets from within the software.

What is considered an 'update'?

Buffs?

Debuffs?

Damage?

Resource Expenditure?

Miscellaneous conditions?

Right now, it seems very unclear, especially with the good chunk of folks I play with that use electronic devices, as to whether or not that would be allowed to be updated in 'real time' with the current description of services.

And if folks are paying for an *online* version to use on their electronic devices, then it seems counter-intuitive to require them to print out their character to play, then, doesn't it?

Liberty's Edge

I love using digital tools in my ONLINE game as well. Keep in mind that many people use virtual table tops to play.


Paris Crenshaw wrote:
It just occurred to me that there is no reason that HLO can't be used to print out paper character sheets for use at the table. HL Classic can do that, now, and it is the way many people actually use the software. I doubt very seriously that LWD will be removing the ability to print character sheets from within the software.

Which is exactly how I would use it, until the subscription fee isn't paid at which point all of the money I have invested in HLO & Starfinder data packs is useless.

Given that LWD decides when and how those fee's change bothers me.

Sure, $2 a month is small, but what if it becomes $5, $7, $10 after a large investment in data packages?

I'd still rather see HLO offer a lite version, you buy the "system" and the Data packs and you get character and ship creation, level update, print character & ship sheets etc. (basically what HLC does now without some of the during game upkeep abilities) but nothing else and have the subscription fee for those that have stable connections where they play, can afford phone data tethering at cons that don't have wifi, who's players all have invested in HLO as well, etc. and want to use the advanced features.

Liberty's Edge

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:


Lonewolf has already said that a connection will only be needed when making updates to the character. Once you have the character in the app (or whatever) it will stay there. If you lose your connection, your character doesn't go anywhere. You just won't be able to synch updates you make in the app with the version in the cloud.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that there is no reason that HLO can't be used to print out paper character sheets for use at the table. HL Classic can do that, now, and it is the way many people actually use the software. I doubt very seriously that LWD will be removing the ability to print character sheets from within the software.

What is considered an 'update'?

Buffs?

Debuffs?

Damage?

Resource Expenditure?

Miscellaneous conditions?

Right now, it seems very unclear, especially with the good chunk of folks I play with that use electronic devices, as to whether or not that would be allowed to be updated in 'real time' with the current description of services.

And if folks are paying for an *online* version to use on their electronic devices, then it seems counter-intuitive to require them to print out their character to play, then, doesn't it?

This is the biggest question I have that they still haven't answered. If you can't do those offline, then the view-only mode is less useful than a paper character sheet.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

What is considered an 'update'?

Buffs?

Debuffs?

Damage?

Resource Expenditure?

Miscellaneous conditions?

Right now, it seems very unclear, especially with the good chunk of folks I play with that use electronic devices, as to whether or not that would be allowed to be updated in 'real time' with the current description of services.

And if folks are paying for an *online* version to use on their electronic devices, then it seems counter-intuitive to require them to print out their character to play, then, doesn't it?

True. There's still some key information missing. I'm one of those people that uses Hero Lab at the table. I'm planning on giving HLO a chance. It seems like the only way I'll be able to get all of my questions about the software answered.

My point wasn't that people would be *required* to print out their sheets. It just occurred to me that some of the discussion seemed to indicate that having an electronic device at the table would be required. The lack of connectivity in certain gaming locations won't affect those who simply want to create characters at home, then print them to take to their games elsewhere.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Redelia wrote:
I don't see any advantage for me to online, either. I use software to quickly generate a character sheet that I print out. I would not allow anyone to bring a device like a computer to the table to keep open at all times (an occasional rules reference is fine). If you play at my table, you're playing off a paper character sheet. I have seen no announcements of any way the online version would help with that.

Pretty sure the Guide to Organized Play says that folks playing in PFS/SFS (at least) may use electronic media.

Different for a home campaign, of course.

Yeah, that would be in her home games as other threads where people disparage technological character sheets have resulted in Paizo saying that they would be allowed for organized play. (at least at public tables)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ShinHakkaider wrote:
Skeld wrote:

It doesn't matter (to me) who's generator came out first. I'm more interested in what the support looks like a year from now. Maybe PCGen will bebefit from the slower release schedule for SF. If their PF track record is any indication, a year from now, PCGen will be about a year behind on releases.

-Skeld

Which begs the question: With HERO LAB you actually can go in and enter new feats and spells and other material manually. There's a learning curve but you CAN do it. Does PCGen allow you to do this as well?

Yes, you can. Tutorials exist that allow you to edit the plaintext files to add new content ( feats, races, classes, equipment, etc. ) to the software.

Silver Crusade

pauljathome wrote:
Steel_Wind wrote:
Alpha? Not even first out. I don't run beta, let alone alpha software. Lone Wolf has had an alpha for months. They showed it at Gencon.

I now have access to PCGen. I do NOT have access to Herolab Online.

I'd call that first out. In fact, I did and do :-).

I'm not saying PCGen is perfect, I'm not saying Herolab can't catch up, but I'm standing with my statement that they're first out of the gate

I want to admit that I was wrong in the above.

PCGen is very definitely not in a state that I'd call "out" yet. I've tried to build 3 different characters. None particularly difficult (how could they be at this point? :-)).

In all 3 cases, I ended up going to a fillable pdf instead since PCGen just couldn't handle what I wanted.

At this point, as far as I'm concerned it is still an open question which will be first out.


What were some of the fillable sheets you used?

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Remember that even when you disagree you need to keep your posts civil and that tone, particularly sarcasm and hyperbole, can be difficult to convey or interpret in a text-based medium, so its important to be conscientious with your word choice.

Grand Lodge

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Hello HeroLab people. Could you please make Starfinder support from HeroLab look like the Pathfinder HeroLab that we know and love? I don't want a subscription-based HeroLab online. I don't want to have to be connected online to make my Starfinder characters.

You have a willing audience, if you just make Starfinder work like the classic Pathfinder HeroLab App. Please, do this and take my money.

Hmm
Venture Lieutenant
Online Play-by-Post Play

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Hmm wrote:

Hello HeroLab people. Could you please make Starfinder support from HeroLab look like the Pathfinder HeroLab that we know and love? I don't want a subscription-based HeroLab online. I don't want to have to be connected online to make my Starfinder characters.

You have a willing audience, if you just make Starfinder work like the classic Pathfinder HeroLab App. Please, do this and take my money.

Hmm
Venture Lieutenant
Online Play-by-Post Play

Ditto


Hmm wrote:

Hello HeroLab people. Could you please make Starfinder support from HeroLab look like the Pathfinder HeroLab that we know and love? I don't want a subscription-based HeroLab online. I don't want to have to be connected online to make my Starfinder characters.

You have a willing audience, if you just make Starfinder work like the classic Pathfinder HeroLab App. Please, do this and take my money.

Hmm
Venture Lieutenant
Online Play-by-Post Play

I feel the same way, but Lone Wolf Development has a pretty tight budget, with a small staff. They appear to be up to there necks in putting out content, and are less able to address nagging bugs and such, not to mention better support for customization. It is my hope, and fervent wish, that a new business model might address these shortfalls with increased, reliable, monthly revenue.

True, everyone and his dog is going to subscriptions; and they add up. And sometimes they want unreasonable sums, overestimating peoples willingness to add "just one more sub." Let's hope they don't try to get too much, and that people will buy it. If they can switch PF to a reasonable sub model that gets me the content and support I want, I will gladly pay.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Everyone says 'increased monthly revenue' with a subscription-based programme.

The problem is that when you have such a thing, resources have to be devoted to 'maintenance/repair' at a higher level of frequency and expense to satisfy subscribers, so any net gains in quicker update through-put are horrifically lost in the back-side of the product.

It could not have been that difficult to just take HeroLab, tweak a few parameters, and BAM, StarfinderLab.

Why does everything have to be *online* or even *online-only* these days?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Why does everything have to be *online* or even *online-only* these days?

Some of us play in places where reliable internet is NOT the norm. So a standalone program is mandatory for us in those instances.

Scarab Sages

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

And some of us like to do full character Audits when we are stuck on a plane for 16 hours (Sydney/Dallas)

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
I feel the same way, but Lone Wolf Development has a pretty tight budget, with a small staff. They appear to be up to there necks in putting out content, and are less able to address nagging bugs and such, not to mention better support for customization.

I've seen this said before and this makes no sense to me.

LWD is too small/resource-limited to add SF support and data to their currect product (Hero Lab Classic). However, they have sufficient staff/resources to develope and entirely new, parallel product. (Hero Lab Online).

These cannot simultaneously be true.

-Skeld

Silver Crusade

Can'tFindthePath wrote:
Let's hope they don't try to get too much, and that people will buy it.

There are lots of people (including me) who won't buy a subscription almost regardless of the price (I admit I'd buy it at some absurdly low rate). I'm cheap and I KNOW that I'd keep the subscription running long past the time I thought it worth while.

And yes, it really is mostly a matter of money. If they charged US$.01 a month all of us saying "No, subscription evil" would buy in :-)

Frankly, in some respects I'm torn as to whether I want their new model to succeed. On the one hand, they seem like reasonable people and I liked their old product so I sorta want the company to succeed. On the other hand, if they fail AND survive that failure I'll get a product that I'd actually buy (Starfinder in a non subscription model). I'm buying very little Pathfinder stuff right now (the bloat has gotten to me) so at this point I basically have no vested interest in Lone Wolf.

Silver Crusade

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pauljathome wrote:


There are lots of people (including me) who won't buy a subscription almost regardless of the price (I admit I'd buy it at some absurdly low rate). I'm cheap and I KNOW that I'd keep the subscription running long past the time I thought it worth while.

And yes, it really is mostly a matter of money. If they charged US$.01 a month all of us saying "No, subscription evil" would buy in :-)

I still wouldn't buy it at 1 cent a month, because that's missing the biggest cost: the cost every month in my time and my husband's time to track the subscription in balancing our checkbook and managing our budget. And it's also supporting a model which I have problems with as a matter of principle.


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The thing that bothers me the most is that Lone Wolf has proven they're incapable of meeting timelines and completing features for a product besides HLC - Realm Works is still not complete nearly 5 years after the Kickstarter. They've been promising that the Content Market was coming "soon" and is "nearly done" for almost two years now - the "complete Pathfinder library" was promised to be released in early 2016.

Their reasoning always seems to be that the Hero Lab and Realm Works teams are separate. Well how about before launching an entirely new product, you first lend some people from that project to Realm Works and get it completed?

Their HLO FAQ has a lot of commentary about features that are not going to be in the initial release, but are "planned" for the future - kind of like how the Content Market was planned. Like custom content (a hugely important feature)...sure, they may say it will be released soon after HLO is released, but can we trust Lone Wolf to make that deadline? I could easily see it slipping to 2018, then 2019, then who knows if it will ever be released?

Lone Wolf has squandered every bit of goodwill I had for them, and HLO is not what I want. I want Realm Works to be completed, and Starfinder to be supported in HLC. I have no need whatsoever to run it on a multitude of platforms (I use PCs/laptops), no need for online access (I use Dropbox to store my portfolios), and no desire to pay a subscription to access content I've already bought.

Liberty's Edge

If paying the monthly subscription meant having access to all the sub-licenses, I might consider it. If having them transfer my current licenses to Hero Lab Online did not negate my Hero Lab "Classic" licenses, I might consider it.

But first and foremost I need a fully functional offline version. Why, because I play in plenty of locations with no internet. God forbid I end up having to move into the country where my only internet options are shudder dial-up, or Satelite. "Its raining, guess I can't work on my characters...". We are way too far away from the kind of infrastructure necessary to support Online all the time requirements.

Just my thoughts

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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You know what, I feel a need to reiterate my position on this, in part because last time my post was... unfortunately short and I was a bit too irritable. I'd like to explain my position properly.

I love Hero Lab. I've created hundreds of monsters, NPCs, and PCs using it. It makes math easier and it's made my wife's character creation enormously better. I've purchased a large number of the data sets for it, too. I don't feel this entitles me to them choosing a new course, mind. All it entitles me to are the things that I've purchased.

I will not use Hero Lab Online under any circumstances. They can do everything they say, but a monthly subscription/pure online experience is a dealbreaker for me. Unlike many people, this isn't because I use it in areas where there isn't good internet access or such, but because I prefer stand-alone programs where I don't have to rely on their servers being up to use it. I don't like cloud-based computing. I don't need any of the online features they consider vital. And, like alientude, they've largely worn out my goodwill. I backed Realm Works for the chance to build my own setting in it, including the custom calendar. I'm still waiting on that. It's to the point I've considered learning programming just so I could build my own calendar builder.

So, since I'm uncertain that I'll be able to keep using things that I've loved and enjoyed, I've stopped all purchases from Lone Wolf. I'm not happy with doing it, but I've done it because I refuse to support a business model which I fundamentally disagree with. If I could opt-in to the online portions and use Starfinder independently under the old methods, this would change, but that doesn't appear to be happening.

I'm going to keep an eye on Hero Lab through the end of the year. If by that point things don't appear to be moving in a direction I can support, I'm going to leave and not come back.


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According to the FAQ, they will support both formats simultaneously, purchases will count for both formats, and the estimated sub fee is TWO dollars.

If that is all true, count me in!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Q: Will Hero Lab Classic support Starfinder?

A: Starfinder is a unique system with various aspects that are much better suited to Hero Lab Online. Heck, that’s why we’re focusing on Starfinder first! Consequently, we will not be offering Starfinder in Hero Lab Classic, at least initially, as it wouldn’t be as powerful or enjoyable to use.

That doesn't seem to be ANYTHING like you were thinking, Can't.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Wei Ji is correct. Both Classic and Online will support Pathfinder, but not Starfinder. Additionally, Pathfinder support will not be part of the initial HLO roll-out. Initially, HLO will only support Starfinder.


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Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Wei Ji is correct. Both Classic and Online will support Pathfinder, but not Starfinder. Additionally, Pathfinder support will not be part of the initial HLO roll-out. Initially, HLO will only support Starfinder.

Apologies if I wasn't clear. I was speaking in general about HLO working with HLC. I too wish there were an offline/Classic version of Starfinder. I am just happy to have support for Pathfinder.


Do we know any official release dates or at least hints at when it will be released? It's been quite some time.


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Beta is supposed to be ready by the end of September. Not sure if there has been any comment as to when final release is expected.

Grand Lodge

If they let me pay for a year or 6 months at a time I will be all over this. It would cost me way too much money to get all of the packs for Hero Lab at this point.

Will you be able to input your own classes? I plan on updating a lot of Pathfinder to the Starfinder chassis in the future and need to be able to add my own classes, feats, etc.

SM

Grand Lodge

my face....you took my face


Skeld wrote:

LWD is too small/resource-limited to add SF support and data to their currect product (Hero Lab Classic). However, they have sufficient staff/resources to develope and entirely new, parallel product. (Hero Lab Online).

These cannot simultaneously be true.

It could be true.

Various statements by LWD can be condensed into: Starfinder is not simply a dataset you import into HL Pathfinder.

To properly implement Starfinder they have to create an entirely new game interface, this goes for both HL Classic and HL Online. Adding Starship combat to HL Classic may be equivalent to an entire interface itself.

It may in fact be easier to start from scratch and make HLO: Starfinder than add it to HL Classic. Imagine you have a product that is 10 years old and you have learned a lot new programming tricks that will improve the product. Unfortunately implementing those methods would require you to update every game interface and data pack. Now you have the opportunity to release a new game interface that is expected to sell very well. Do you shoehorn it into the old system or use the improved methods?

The HL online model makes sense in a lot of way from a developers standpoint. Presently you have a base program, potentially multiple game interfaces and a bunch of data sets. That makes for a very bloated install on the host computer. It also makes for a lot of server load when a new update or data set is released. With HL Online the patches are applied to the server. It also means drastically different game systems can have equally diverse server side applications. Doing so "could" simplify adding new game systems and improve user experience.

If you have to "develope and entirely new, parallel product." anyway why not use it to showcase your latest efforts.

Silver Crusade

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Lane_S wrote:


To properly implement Starfinder they have to create an entirely new game interface,

I find it VERY hard to believe that the interface that supports Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Savage Words, Mutants and Masterminds, etc would require significant work to support Starfinder which is, to a very huge degree, just a variant on Pathfinder.

Now, perhaps they're trying to leverage Starfinder sales into supporting going to a new chassis. But that is a very different thing.

Grand Lodge

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pauljathome wrote:
Lane_S wrote:


To properly implement Starfinder they have to create an entirely new game interface,

I find it VERY hard to believe that the interface that supports Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Savage Words, Mutants and Masterminds, etc would require significant work to support Starfinder which is, to a very huge degree, just a variant on Pathfinder.

Now, perhaps they're trying to leverage Starfinder sales into supporting going to a new chassis. But that is a very different thing.

I was going to say this, but pauljathome beat me to it.

From the comments I've read on various forums, the vast majority of people would be perfectly happy with a HLC plug-in similar to Pathfinder because what they really want is a Starfinder character generator/manager. Integrated party management and starship combat synergy have the potential to be good features that are nice to have, but the lack of similar features hasn't stopped HLC from being very popular with Pathfinder players.

The fact of the matter is that LWD has wants to move to an online implementation (because it solves a number of other problems they have) and Starfinder's release, and the subsequent clamor for HL support, provides them with a good excuse to move in that direction. The heartburn that a lot of people are having is that the rationale for making Starfinder exclusive to HLO feels very flimsy and artificial (as in, they're making up excuses for why Stafinder is only supported by HLO because that's what they want to do).

Add on top of that the mountain of legitimate, specific questions customers are asking about how HLO is going to be implemented that LWD is been either unable or unwilling to answer. Also, don't forget the host of questions stemming from issues that an online implemenation is going to bring.

-Skeld


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I have been a MAJOR supporter of HeroLab in play and on these forums and others. I see zero compelling reasons to migrate to HLO. This whole "software as a service" movement that Adobe, Microsoft and others have begun moving to in recent years is troubling to me, and I don't particularly want to support it, whether it's HeroLab or Photoshop or whatever.

If my tabletop RPG is so complex I need a computer (and internet connection) to play it, it's time to rethink my game of preference.


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Yeah. Forcing people to access electronic devices at the table isn't great. Mobiles etc are such a massive distraction anyway, bringing apps to the table isn't what I wish to see


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pauljathome wrote:
Lane_S wrote:


To properly implement Starfinder they have to create an entirely new game interface,

I find it VERY hard to believe that the interface that supports Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Savage Words, Mutants and Masterminds, etc would require significant work to support Starfinder which is, to a very huge degree, just a variant on Pathfinder.

Now, perhaps they're trying to leverage Starfinder sales into supporting going to a new chassis. But that is a very different thing.

Of course they are trying to leverage Starfinder to force people to invest in HLO.

The platform doesn't offer enough advantages for the subscription fee as compared to the drawbacks they keep trying to downplay to justify its existence.

Given that a lot of the new features look like they will require the entire group to have devices / accounts, i.e. more income for LWD, and a live internet connection I doubt they could afford development on the system without extorting everyone to use it.


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Looks like beta signups are out next week
lone wolf tweet

I can't wait, I for one welcome my new online overlords


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I only use HL to create characters, and I dont want to have to go online to access the program.
I understand that it is better for them as a business to have recurring income, and I would likely get the online subscription in case I am somewhere without my computer, or in case I go back to Linux which I could not get the latest version to work with HL. However, I won't get HLO to replace HL. Since I dont want to encourage them into thinking this was something that I support I will just avoid HLO until SF is available online and offline.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Reading this thread I think I must live on another planet.

I don't go online, I am online on wifi always, in my house, in my job, in bars and cafes, in large sections of my city with public WiFi, even on the bus, and failing that I have 4G with enough data to handle a webapp easily.(I live in Ireland)

I don't really see Herolab online as a problem in fact it seems way more convenient to me, and it will have a nice modern slick HTML5 responsive UI, not the aging and ugly desktop UI we have now.

I think there are loads of people like me and Herolab is right to pitch their product for a marketplace with ubiquitous internet access. If you don't live in this market you probably are in a decreasing minority. I work in software and we made a similar move with one of our products and it has made excellent economic sense for us, and I think it will for Herolab too.

If this doesn't suit you that's unfortunate, but statistically you are in a decreasing minority and Herolab can't bet on you for it's future.

Liberty's Edge

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Im not a fan, but I use hero lab to make and manage characters. I dont need all that party crap and it is a shame the datasetswill be compatible but 'ui' issuse prevent them from usingmhero lab classic.


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Gnomatsu wrote:

Reading this thread I think I must live on another planet.

I don't go online, I am online on wifi always, in my house, in my job, in bars and cafes, in large sections of my city with public WiFi, even on the bus, and failing that I have 4G with enough data to handle a webapp easily.(I live in Ireland)

I don't really see Herolab online as a problem in fact it seems way more convenient to me, and it will have a nice modern slick HTML5 responsive UI, not the aging and ugly desktop UI we have now.

I think there are loads of people like me and Herolab is right to pitch their product for a marketplace with ubiquitous internet access. If you don't live in this market you probably are in a decreasing minority. I work in software and we made a similar move with one of our products and it has made excellent economic sense for us, and I think it will for Herolab too.

If this doesn't suit you that's unfortunate, but statistically you are in a decreasing minority and Herolab can't bet on you for it's future.

I game in two locations: 1) game stores, 2) other people's houses. In neither case is there public wifi available, so I need to tether through my phone for internet. This drains my phone battery very rapidly (where it can't really even last through a full session unless I plug it in). I would be surprised if gaming in one or both of those two places, along with the level of internet access they afford (i.e. none), is not the norm.

If playing online, then sure internet isn't a problem because it's a requirement just to play. Convenient access to internet when playing in person is not a guarantee. Consider also even if the game store or convention does offer free access to wifi, that it is possible their link gets overloaded due to sheer amounts of usage (or lone wolf's servers get overloaded) and you can no longer access or manipulate your character.

I oppose the subscription fee because there is no added value. In addition to making you pay full price for data packages, they hold you hostage for a monthly fee in order to access your characters. There is room for both subscriptions and microtransactions, but requiring both is a scummy business tactic. Either make a sub that unlocks everything (so it's clear you're renting the content), or make microtransactions that permanently unlock without need of a subscription, but not both. Even if the sub is only 1 penny a month, that is still 1 penny more than it should be if the only value of the sub is "be able to access things you've already paid for." They could easily bump the price of the data packages by a couple of dollars each and leave the sub completely out, or tie some other perk into having a sub (such as a discount on data packages, or some features that unlock by having a sub which are not tied to data packages). Syrinscape and D&D Beyond have two different monetization models which involve both microtransactions and subscriptions that I feel are a lot more fair to the customer, and I would rather see HLO move in one of those directions if LWD feels the need to have both types of monetization. I'd prefer if they eliminated the sub entirely though and just did free access + data packages.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gnomatsu wrote:

Reading this thread I think I must live on another planet.

I don't go online, I am online on wifi always, in my house, in my job, in bars and cafes, in large sections of my city with public WiFi, even on the bus, and failing that I have 4G with enough data to handle a webapp easily.(I live in Ireland)

You read my mind. I have wifi in almost everywhere and 4G/LTE on phone if needed. Charging is possible pretty much everywhere, and if there is not a socket you can always plug it to the laptop you are using and charge it from the USB port.

I understand some peoples griefs on subscription/data package model but that has nothing to do with the fact the software is online. I for one prefer the HTML5 and everything being always up-to-date on every machine I am, be that a work laptop, home PC or a phone/tablet.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...So are you on Windows 10, rixu? Or the latest iIteration? Or even Linux or the like?

Some of us dinosaurs are still using Windows 7, and prefer to have a guarded approach to re-inventing the wheel when it doesn't need it every two months.

In addition, requiring a dataplan to use a service is just more salt in the wound/detraction from what might be a wonderful product. It's divisive to those who 'have not' and insulting as well, when the 'offline' product works perfectly fine for what it is needed to do.

Always Online and subscription is two bridges too far.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gnomatsu wrote:
Reading this thread I think I must live on another planet.

You're having a slightly different discussion than the rest of us.

-Skeld

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I'm not in favor of buying data packs for a system and then giving the company making them the power to hold my purchases hostage by requiring a monthly fee that can be changed at any time. Paying multiple times for something I've already bought is a complete no-go for me.

If HLO was a subscription-only service with no initial fee, that got access to all data packs then we'd be talking. Even a scaling subscription that cost more the more things you want to use would be fine. But I will not support the proposed business model.

Grand Lodge

I can't wait for the beta to go live. I just updated an old Win 7 era laptop to Win 10 and it's a great machine for simple stuff like this. I'd like to know if there will be an option to include your own custom classes, feats, etc. I don't mind paying extra for the Authoring Kit like you can with HL. I just have a lot of things that I want to port over to my own Starfinder game.

I really like the subscription model. I hope they give us the option to just pay for a year at once but it's not a big deal it they don't. I love my Adobe subscription since I get _ALL_ of the programs without having to pay thousands of dollars for them up front and then thousands more every few years when "Creative Suite #whatever" is released. $50 a month does it for me. In all honestly, I'm just going to pay for a year at a time starting next year. One bill, once a year. Easy.

Cakewalk Sonar went to a subscription model several years ago and it only costs me $20 a month for a fantastic DAW that gets monthly maintenance updates and new features every month or so. I think Cakewalk has a better model for their subscription because you don't lose access to the program if you cancel your subscription. You can use all of the features up to the point you canceled with no restrictions. You just don't get new features or maintenance updates.

TL;DR
I can't wait for this to go live for many reasons!

SM

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
StarMartyr365 wrote:
I love my Adobe subscription since I get _ALL_ of the programs without having to pay thousands of dollars for them up front and then thousands more every few years when "Creative Suite #whatever" is released. $50 a month does it for me. In all honestly, I'm just going to pay for a year at a time starting next year. One bill, once a year. Easy.

I know, right? It would be nice if LWD did something like that. Instead, they're going with the "pay for the software and pay a sub to use it" model. It would be like you paying thousands of dollars for Adobe AND paying $50/month to access it. Would that be as awesome?

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

People have done that for plenty of other products.

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