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flyteach
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 98

Old August 16th, 2019, 05:19 AM
LJ, thanks for the update, but it doesn't address the harder questions, some of which are a carry over from other threads, but might be appropriate here. BJ has said that HLO is still a "beta". That's not mentioned above and probably should be to set expectations. Line #1 is disappointing to me as there is much basic functionality (encounter generator, starship builder) that are basic parts of Starfinder (let alone Pathfinder 2E) that aren't implemented, but it seems LW is moving on to Shadowrun. There's been over 18 months of Starfinder "functionality", but only at the most basic levels. $24 is really not a lot. I get that. It seems that chasing the next shiny game system is more important than creating the basic functionality requested by customers for games that are already paid for (and yes, despite not paying the monthly fee, I have laid down much more already for what little is available with a promise the rest is coming later). So, when you say it supports SF and PF2, it's really that you are supporting character generation with those systems, but nothing else (yet). I'm still waiting for the rest.
Flyteach
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dacoobob
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 104

Old August 16th, 2019, 12:05 PM
Reposting a discussion with BJ from another thread, since it's relevant here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ View Post
As we've said elsewhere, HLO is essentially a beta product. This is the reason we have yet to start charging anyone the subscription fee and are letting users continue on for free well past the initial free time given. We want to have a stable product that provides the appropriate functionality for both GMs and players before we call it a full product.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacoobob View Post
You've said that on the forums, but for new or prospective users it's not at all clear that the product is a beta. There's no "early access" or "public betatest" indicators anywhere on the HLO website or marketing materials that I can find-- instead it's advertised like a fully functional product would be.

That's a problem because it sets up an expectation in new users minds that they're getting a finished product, then when they buy in and start using it and find all sorts of "missing" or work-in-progress features, they're pissed off and feel (rightly or wrongly) a bit cheated. The maxim is "Under promise and over deliver", but the imo the HLO marketing does it the other way around, implying a full product and setting up a situation where new users excitedly pay their money, get on and find problems, come to the forums in frustration, and only THEN discover that it was a beta product all along. Or worse yet, they find problems and decide the product sucks without even bothering to search out the forums. That leads to bad word-of-mouth etc-- not because the product is actually bad but because user expectations weren't managed well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ View Post
I'll discuss with the team and see if we can make it more clear in the store.
LJ, are you on the same page with BJ here?

Last edited by dacoobob; August 16th, 2019 at 12:08 PM.
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qcgreywolf
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 21

Old August 31st, 2019, 05:45 PM
Rob - “There is definitely a downside to this. In the process of switching over to the new product model, it is likely that there will be some number of existing users that choose not to embrace the new model – and, in some cases, can’t. Is that ideal? Of course not. It’s an unfortunate reality of the situation. However, if we stick with the old model, we’ll lose a different – and we believe much larger – set of users as they abandon us because we don’t support the devices they choose to use in their games. We have to pick our poison, as we sadly can’t “do it all”.”

This statement makes me sad. There are already multiple online-only services and there is only one comprehensive offline service: HLC

And now there are likely to be none.
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markelphoenix
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 9

Old September 1st, 2019, 11:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lj Stephens View Post
Hi all. I see several comments that I’d like to address, and I apologize for not responding to them earlier in this thread. I hope this helps to answer some of your many questions.

1. Hero Lab Online currently supports Starfinder and Pathfinder 2. In the fall it will also support Shadowrun 6.

2. The $25 per year is a nominal subscription fee for server access to HLO. It breaks down to about $2 per month to be able to access your characters on any device, and it doesn’t begin for some time yet.

3. Not only do we have a demo version of HLO, but we also have a 60-day money-back guarantee, should you decide it’s not for you.

4. There are future plans to allow you to migrate your content from HLC to HLO for a less-than-$20, one-time fee.

5. We apologize for the periodic downtime. We do announce those times in advance when we can. We are continuing to update and improve the product daily. That does require the occasional downtime, and acknowledge the inconvenience to you.

6. Many believe the HLO character sheet is an improvement over the HLC character sheet and we are continuing to listen to comments in an attempt to improve it further.
Have you guys looked into zero downtime deployment strategies? Not sure what you're using for back end, but most cloud providers provide multiple availability zone, so shouldn't be terrible to do rolling maintenance where you bring down Availability zone 1, all traffic goes to Availability zone 2, then you bring 1 back up, and bring down 2.
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