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TheSleeper
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Old September 19th, 2015, 07:54 PM
A few weeks ago I tried out Windows 10 on a new PC build, it was not for me so I reinstalled windows 7. I am met with a DRM wall to get back into the program I have paid a lot of money to have. I put in a ticket to correct the issue on Sunday only to find out that it would take as long as 1-3 business days to fix when I had 16 hours to play a game.

I found out I have a second key so I activate it on my new computer, that went fine for a few days then I get a notice that my computer has changed so I need to reactivate my licence. I had put in for an early licence reassignment so I used that licence on my computer. Today I go to use HL and I greeted with this message again:




What gives? Nothing has changed on my computer either time! DRM is making me question my investment in Hero Lab.

Now I will likely have to wait till Monday to get the service I have paid for. At this point I would have less bullshit if I downloaded a cracked copy. The intent of DRM is to prevent theft but thieves can download a copy from a torrent fairly easy, what DRM actually does it tick off your customers, make your product less friendly & useable and diverts production resources to just maintain the DRM.
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ShadowChemosh
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Old September 19th, 2015, 08:44 PM
Changing the OS is a major change to your computer. That will easily cause a new license reassignment which is allowed every 120 days. The "key" HL uses comes from Windows itself. So if the OS changes a new "Key" gets generated. So will major hardware changes.

Yes LW is a small company and does not work weekends. They will have you up and running again once the work week starts. My advice is don't do major changes to systems/computers when you need that computer for a game.

Don't be upset with a Small Company trying to make sure they get paid for what they do for living. They need to put food on the table and pay for places to live. Be upset with the community of gamer's who "think" its totally fine to steal what is not there's for free. Hell gamers have said "We can buy one copy and share the software with the whole group" right in front of the LW guys at Gen Con. That is how little they think of stealing.

Hero Lab Resources:
Pathfinder - d20pfsrd and Pathfinder Pack Setup
3.5 D&D (d20) - Community Server Setup
5E D&D - Community Server Setup
Hero Lab Help - Hero Lab FAQ, Editor Tutorials and Videos, Editor & Scripting Resources.
Created by the community for the community
- Realm Works kickstarter backer (Alpha Wolf) and Beta tester.
- d20 HL package volunteer editor.
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TheSleeper
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Old September 20th, 2015, 06:22 AM
Yes, changing the OS is a major change, I have not changed the OS in weeks. Patching or updating the OS is NOT a change of the OS at all. Point is I did not make ANY change to my OS windows update ran and patched 4 things one of those virus definitions.

The problem with DRM is that it is intended to prevent thieves but that's not who it targets, it strictly targets paying customers. The problem with your example is that they are deadbeats, anyone that is willing to steal this software is not likely to pay for it even if they have no way to get it for free so preventing them from having it has no monetary benefit but costs money to do and in making it a little harder for freeloaders it has been made non-functional for a number of customers.

I have every right to be upset that I can not use something I paid hundreds of dollars for simply because windows update ran.
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Togainu
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Old September 20th, 2015, 09:12 AM
Patching or updating the OS is NOT a change of the OS at all.

This isn't something you or Lonewolf decides. When an update is ran Windows can alter the System ID. By doing so it is basically seeing it as a new system. This ID is also what Hero Lab relies on for their DRM. So yes a simple update CAN be seen as a change of the OS and is determined by the OS.

anyone that is willing to steal this software is not likely to pay for it even if they have no way to get it for free so preventing them from having it has no monetary benefit

This is a statement based on air there are no numbers that support either way. I know enough people that if they can get it for free they will. If they can't find a way around the DRM and find that they want/need the software will pay for it IF and only IF they can't find another solution to get that particular software for free.

but costs money to do

As for DRM costing money to implement. Depending on the implementation this is actually only a one time investment with only an occasional update for future special circumstances. Meaning that the cost for DRM can be pretty much neglected after the initial setup

PS. instead of bringing this up in 3 topics shall we just make this the only place to do so... bit redundant to place it in several places while it is all one and the same topic

Last edited by Togainu; September 20th, 2015 at 09:15 AM.
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liz
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Old September 20th, 2015, 05:48 PM
First, let me address your concern about accessing Hero Lab. Unfortunately, we're a small company and cannot have support staff working 24/7. However, I know the support team will begin working on your support ticket (and others) tomorrow. License reassignments are higher priority issues, so it will likely be taken care of by the end of the day tomorrow.

The reason I'm responding to you now on a Sunday is because you're making false assertions about our company in multiple locations on our forums. Instead of replying to each of your claims across these multiple threads, I'll respond to them all here, and copy and paste into each thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
anyone that is willing to steal this software is not likely to pay for it even if they have no way to get it for free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
I don’t see any proof that there DRM has increased there profit’s at all.
Unfortunately, piracy is a big problem in our industry and it has a dramatic impact on the bottom-line and financial viability for virtually any company who offers their products digitally. We experienced piracy ourselves shortly after the company got started. Almost 15 years ago, we found out the DRM we originally used within our Army Builder product had been hacked. Because that hacked version was readily available, it turns out nearly 80% of our user base was using a pirated copy (based on metrics we instituted within the product to determine our exposure). That was 15 years ago, when the world wasn’t as plugged into the internet as it is now, so it’s doubtful that consumer attitudes (i.e. those numbers) have improved over time.

This experience speaks to the general philosophy of many gamers in our industry – if they can get it for free, they will. Once we implemented a new DRM mechanism, our sales tripled, which clearly showed that people wanted the product and were willing to pay for it – but only if they couldn’t get it for free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
Patching or updating the OS is NOT a change of the OS at all.
We outlined how devices are identified (and how devices could change "identities") on our website: http://www.wolflair.com/index.php?co...are_identified. As you can see on the website, "Upgrading your current operating system will often change the identity."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
Taking a look I find a number of torrents and regular download links the DRM has been unsuccessful as the only people with the un-cracked version are the ones that have paid.
You're welcome to download any number of those "torrents", but what you'll find is that it's the demo version of Hero Lab and does not actually include any unlocked game system information. That's because our system has been successful in protecting our software for years. If you find an actual working torrent with unlocked content, please point me to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
One working day is an unreasonable expectation of a company to make there customers wait every time they get an upgrade.
As upgrading the operating system is one of the reasons a computer may change its "identity", we actually made our users aware that the Windows 10 update may cause a license reactivation. We've even had users contact us in advance of their upgrade to Windows 10 so we could authorize their license for reassignment early.

As for our 1-3 business day response time for support cases, given we have only one full time technical support employee, I'm pretty darn proud that we can set that expectation for our users. Especially when upgrading your operating system is specifically called out as a reason your license may require a reactivation, and we notified our users on our website, on our social media, and in our recent newsletter that the Windows 10 upgrade may require a reactivation.

-----

Some final thoughts... I've been working with Lone Wolf for over two years now, either handling or overseeing the technical support cases like license reassignments. There has never been a license reassignment case that I could not explain. They're either prompted by someone using their license number on multiple devices, actually moving a license number within the 120 day window, the reasons outlined on our website, or a super fringe case (someone booting from both their computer's hard-drive and an external hard-drive. Based on our user base and the small number of license reassignment we receive during the week, the majority of users are able to use Hero Lab without running into any problems with our licensing system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
DRM is making me question my investment in Hero Lab.
If you're not happy with our licensing system, you're still within the 60-day return window. Please contact support@wolflair.com, and we would be happy to refund your purchase. In the meantime, our support team will be getting back to you tomorrow about your license reassignment.
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TheSleeper
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Old September 20th, 2015, 10:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz View Post
Once we implemented a new DRM mechanism, our sales tripled, which clearly showed that people wanted the product and were willing to pay for it – but only if they couldn’t get it for free.
Or it shows that freeloaders are freeloaders and that you make a good product that caught on at a similar time. Of course where the DRM was released at the same time as upgraded features your conclusions are circumspect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by liz View Post
You're welcome to download any number of those "torrents", but what you'll find is that it's the demo version of Hero Lab and does not actually include any unlocked game system information. That's because our system has been successful in protecting our software for years. If you find an actual working torrent with unlocked content, please point me to it.
After seeing me using HL last year a friend of mine downloaded a hacked fully unlocked version from a torrent that he used in front of me the next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liz View Post
As upgrading the operating system is one of the reasons a computer may change its "identity", we actually made our users aware that the Windows 10 update may cause a license reactivation. We've even had users contact us in advance of their upgrade to Windows 10 so we could authorize their license for reassignment early.
From that link: “(This does NOT include automatic updates and service packs.)

It was an automatic update that locked me out Friday evening on windows 7, 4 days after I installed and patched it and then again a few days after that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liz View Post
As for our 1-3 business day response time for support cases, given we have only one full time technical support employee, I'm pretty darn proud that we can set that expectation for our users. Especially when upgrading your operating system is specifically called out as a reason your license may require a reactivation, and we notified our users on our website, on our social media, and in our recent newsletter that the Windows 10 upgrade may require a reactivation.
Your response time for Hero Lab and Realm Works is rather good that is not nor has it been the issue I have.

Windows 10 is not the issue its a Windows seven (7), “automatic update”/“Windows Update” issue.

A 1-3 day turn around is crazy, It should not take a tech to unlock my account after it is de-authorized by your DRM system. Once installed it should not monitor my hardware any more for changes or if it is then design your program to reset the timer if it de-authorizes a computer, size of the company is not an excuse for badly designed DRM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liz View Post
If you're not happy with our licensing system, you're still within the 60-day return window.
My 60 days was up in 2013.
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Togainu
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Old September 21st, 2015, 03:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
Or it shows that freeloaders are freeloaders and that you make a good product that caught on at a similar time. Of course where the DRM was released at the same time as upgraded features your conclusions are circumspect.
As stated in one of my other posts. What you are saying Liz is doing is the same thing you are doing. You are assuming that those tripled numbers are people that would have bought it even if there wouldn't be DRM in place. I can assure you that isn't the case. I know people that would have not paid for it but used the DRM free version/hacked version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
From that link: “(This does NOT include automatic updates and service packs.)

It was an automatic update that locked me out Friday evening on windows 7, 4 days after I installed and patched it and then again a few days after that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
Windows 10 is not the issue its a Windows seven (7), “automatic update”/“Windows Update” issue.
This I have also addressed already in a different post. Neither you nor Lonewolf decides when the Windows system ID gets updated. Microsoft's operating system does and your system apparently decided that the update warranted the distribution of a new ID (this is very rarely the case with updates). Seeing the ID changed Hero lab needs to be reactivated. This is part of the design of this DRM method and it is a well working one.

Just for a future reference when installing an older version of Windows knowing you have to update I would recommend you to first update Windows entirely before installing software again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
A 1-3 day turn around is crazy, It should not take a tech to unlock my account after it is de-authorized by your DRM system.
While it would be nice if that wouldn't be needed. It opens the system up to a lot of exploitable behavior. Seeing how rare it normally is for your system ID to update this is a well acceptable manor of doing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
Once installed it should not monitor my hardware any more for changes or if it is then design your program to reset the timer if it de-authorizes a computer
The check to see if the system ID changed is something that has to be done every time. This comes into play for example when people try to share by for example HDD moving.

As for the statement where you are talking that it should only be done if your system is de-authorized. It is doing that, Windows saw a need to update the system ID this causes an ID change. Causing Hero Lab (among other software) to see your system as a "new" system and need for authorization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
size of the company is not an excuse for badly designed DRM.
This is actually a well designed and working DRM. The main reason you are encountering issues at the moment is because of the things you have decided to do and the order in which it was done.

You say your 60 days have been up since 2013. Meaning you have been using Hero Lab for about 1-2 years (depending on when in 2013). So you haven't run into an issue till you choose to try out Windows 10, then go back to windows 7, then the updates.

Windows 10 - needs reassignment
Windows 7 - needs reassignment
Updates - might (on rare occasions) need reassignment if the OS chooses to update the System ID
some hardware changes - depending on the hardware that is changed Windows will assign a new System ID as well

This situation isn't a common scenario it can happen and that is also why Lonewolf allows for early reassignment of licenses.

Last edited by Togainu; September 21st, 2015 at 03:46 AM.
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rob
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Old September 21st, 2015, 04:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
After seeing me using HL last year a friend of mine downloaded a hacked fully unlocked version from a torrent that he used in front of me the next week.
This is news to me! I'm incredibly skeptical that he was using a hacked and fully unlocked version, since I've never seen one that actually worked. Lots of attempts, yes, but nothing that was truly unlocked.

If you can provide us a copy of this hacked version, and it turns out to be true that it's fully unlocked, I'll make it worth your while.
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liz
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Old September 21st, 2015, 07:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
My 60 days was up in 2013.
I apologize, I misread when your account was created.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSleeper View Post
After seeing me using HL last year a friend of mine downloaded a hacked fully unlocked version from a torrent that he used in front of me the next week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
This is news to me! I'm incredibly skeptical that he was using a hacked and fully unlocked version, since I've never seen one that actually worked. Lots of attempts, yes, but nothing that was truly unlocked.

If you can provide us a copy of this hacked version, and it turns out to be true that it's fully unlocked, I'll make it worth your while.
I'm going to echo what Rob wrote, as we've never seen a fully unlocked version. If the torrent does exist, please include it in your support ticket.
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TheSleeper
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Old September 21st, 2015, 08:00 AM
I will try and contact him, it's been a while.
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