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alientude
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 91

Old August 6th, 2019, 07:52 AM
I use HLC a crazy amount for my campaigns, building every encounter by hand before the campaign ends, tweaking the encounters as I learn more about my party, building new monsters using both the editor and the Bestiary Monster Creation. It's probably the most important tool I have for GMing...even more than the actual rule books.

I'm not particularly interested in HLO for a variety of reasons, and have been disappointed with Lone Wolf for quite some time in regards to their communication (and lack thereof), ability to meet goals, and honesty.

Our group is currently undecided about PF2E. We all use HLC at the table for live updates to our characters, and love it, and I, at least, find PF1E a great system that didn't really need to be updated.

With all that said, I definitely want to give PF2E a try, to see how it plays. I have an open mind despite the playtest leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I figured I'd check out HLO's demo mode to create a pretty basic character. I created one yesterday mid-morning (PDT), and am going through the process of creating one today also, to refresh my thoughts.

I'm using a Windows PC and Firefox.

1) I hit create character and HLO dumped me back to the login screen. Okay, no big deal. Login again, this time the character created and HLO took me to the profile. The UI is certainly wildly different from HLC. Tried to figure out where to go to start customizing things...and got dumped back to the login screen again. Not a good first impression.

2) Going through adding selections to my character, the speed and clunkiness of HLO is a huge issue. Click on ancestry, wait a few seconds. Click +, wait. Click human, wait. Click add choice, wait. Click X, wait. That's 5 clicks and around 30 seconds of sitting there waiting. In HLC, selecting a race takes 2 clicks and no waiting.

3) I believe as I'm adding stuff, that a red font means something that must be addressed before the character can be completed, and a yellow font means a general warning. But it's inconsistent. I added a fighter class to my character, and on the My Classes page, "Fighter: Class must choose a key ability score." is in red, with no indication of what to do about it. I look at the menus, no menus are red (though My Classes was before I selected the class). I go to the Fighter page, and find the Key Ability Score, so that fixes that...but why wasn't the Fighter menu red?

4) I'm not sure why there's even a "My Classes" page. PF2E's multiclassing is only done via feats. And starting wealth here seems odd, since all characters start with the same. This feels like a legacy from HLC/PF1E that doesn't fit PF2E. Seems like this could be consolidated into a more general page.

5) Background is Animal Whisperer. It gives me trained in Nature, and says "Animal Whisperer: Skills may still be made trained: 0 of 1." There's no checkboxes under the "Animal Whisperer" column of the skills, so as far as I can tell, I cannot fix this warning.

6) First impression of the Weapons page: Wow, that's a jumbled mess. Why is it showing 2 damages for fists? Oh, normal damage and critical. Why isn't there some kind of label denoting the difference?

7) I like that it shows bulk information on all the equipment pages.

8) I find buying ammunition more intuitive in HLO than HLC.

9) I was about to praise the full UI for buying/selling equipment, as it generally works well, then I tried special materials/runes. Is there really no way to buy a cold iron longsword without first buying the longsword, then editing it and "buying" cold iron? That's really unintuitive.

10) Is there any way to apply hit point damage to items? With shields actively taking damage in PF2E, this is incredibly important, and I couldn't figure out how to do it.

To sum up my first impressions of HLO, Lone Wolf managed to take the relatively ugly and outdated, but very functional, UI of HLC and make something worse in almost every way. The amount of clicking required is ridiculous. It shouldn't take so many interactions to select an ancestry. This is coming from somebody who has done some software development myself. UI/UX is of paramount importance. It doesn't matter how good your product is if the user doesn't like the interface. I find HLO extremely unpleasant to use.
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Parody
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 1,335

Old August 6th, 2019, 03:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by alientude View Post
5) Background is Animal Whisperer. It gives me trained in Nature, and says "Animal Whisperer: Skills may still be made trained: 0 of 1." There's no checkboxes under the "Animal Whisperer" column of the skills, so as far as I can tell, I cannot fix this warning.
I can answer this one: you need to add an appropriate Lore skill on the Skills page. Then it will show up in the Animal Whisperer column for you to check.

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Alewis
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 30

Old August 6th, 2019, 08:59 PM
I'm dreading how many clicks are going to be required with Shadowrun, a system much more detailed than Pathfinder.

I haven't come across a single feature that makes this better than classic and dozens that make it worse. I'm sure it's too late for LW to backpedal now and it's a shame, Hero Lab was one of my favorite products.
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Roadie
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 74

Old August 7th, 2019, 12:23 AM
Pre-GenCon HLO was working for me without any lag at all when adding/editing things and without all the errors I keep seeing now. I don't know what's going on, but I'm guessing they're having server capacity issues from underplanning for the number of people who signed up just for PF2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alientude View Post
9) I was about to praise the full UI for buying/selling equipment, as it generally works well, then I tried special materials/runes. Is there really no way to buy a cold iron longsword without first buying the longsword, then editing it and "buying" cold iron? That's really unintuitive.
This one is basically the same as HLC, the difference being that HLC opens to the edit mode when you add the thing, so hopefully it would be a small change for them to add in equivalent behavior.
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qcgreywolf
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 21

Old August 31st, 2019, 06:54 PM
I’m glad to hear others else saying these things. I lurk a lot and speak little in the HL forums. I keep poking my head back into HLO every couple months hoping to see...positive(?) changes.

I want a reason to throw my hard earned money at LW. I traditionally respect and value the company... but HLO is extremely underwhelming in many, many categories.
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