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MNBlockHead
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Old April 16th, 2019, 10:16 AM
With the Content Market releases and the recent added features, it is nice to feel the tool development progressing again. It is also nice to see the tenor of this forum also slowly change. Folks are actually discussing using the tool again.

This all is happening at about the same time that I've been getting into running a new campaign. My last campaign didn't use RealmWorks and now that I'm back in the tool I'm relearning old best practices as well as some new tricks.

For me, the biggest positive change after the Content Market is the overlay map functionality. It works seamlessly at the table and has greatly improved my experience running games from RW.

I am also relearning the joys of using RW and HeroLab together. I've gotten quite adept at creating custom monsters in HL but don't have to do that as often as before because of the hard work by the HL community and Kobold Press Tome of Beasts being available for both RW and HL.

Continued frustrations/wishes, include:

(1) Opening new tabs and switching among them is still sluggish, even with 64-bit. I use RW on a laptop with 16 GB installed RAM, an Intel i7 dual-core 2.21 GHz processor, and an SSD drive. I'm not sure if that is now considered underpowered for RW.

(2) Link management is onerous. This is something that has gotten much worse with the Content Market as you have no control over imported content names unless you edit all imported topics/articles one by one. RW really needs a way to view and manage ALL names for ALL topics/articles for a realm in one place.

(3) Web view. They teased us a couple years ago with a POC version that they shared in screenshots. I'll never get my players to use it if they have to buy windows software and install on a powerful enough laptop to comfortably run RW. Any I really don't want a table full of laptops at my game. If they can't view and search my realm content on a tablet or smart phone, they are not going to use it. I've been running RW for years and none of my players use past one or two of them checking it out once or twice. But all of them use D&D Beyond.

(4) Pins. I love running my games from the maps in RW. But the pins need some love. They get in the way and toggling them on/off is a bit clunky in play. Would be nice to have fade effects, the ability to resize them, and it would be nice to be able to give them different colors.

Even better, the ability to associate pins with map areas would be nice. If you could do that, you would not need pins other than to pin point a very specific area that doesn't have a graphic or text element on the map itself.

(5) Map Reveal - RW has one of the easiest to use fog-of-war reveal capabilities of any tool I've used. But it still takes time to carefully reveal map areas during a game. I would love to be able to preset reveal areas, perhaps associated with pins so I could just toggle reveal on for a room rather than having to select and reveal during the game.

Anyway that's where I'm at now after a few months of very heavy RW use.

How about you?

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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kbs666
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Old April 16th, 2019, 01:22 PM
1) Your laptop sounds like about a 5th gen core intel CPU. That's quite old. On both my desktop and laptop opening and switching tabs is quite fast.

2) I think this is one of those things that is always going to be onerous. How many topics does your main realm have? Can you imagine wading through several thousand names to find ones you want to set?

3) Definitely needed. Just not sure whether I think it should have priority over things to make GM's lives better. I still have doubts that jus being able to view a realm on the web will get many players to look.

4 & 5) Maps definitely need lots of love. I have a town map with something like 70 pins. Trying to find the right pin is a nightmare.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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Farling
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Old April 16th, 2019, 02:50 PM
For laptop performance, I recently found a setting on my laptop that meant that the CPU was running at only 25% when on battery power; when plugged into the mains it was running at 100%. This made a big difference to HL performance.

Farling

Author of the Realm Works Import (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=58156) and Output tools (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=59981)
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kbs666
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Old April 16th, 2019, 03:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farling View Post
For laptop performance, I recently found a setting on my laptop that meant that the CPU was running at only 25% when on battery power; when plugged into the mains it was running at 100%. This made a big difference to HL performance.
Battery saver mode probably but it shouldn't have been throttling your CPU that hard. Generally speaking it dims the screen and keeps the CPU from letting background apps run.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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Exmortis
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Old April 17th, 2019, 05:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
Battery saver mode probably but it shouldn't have been throttling your CPU that hard. Generally speaking it dims the screen and keeps the CPU from letting background apps run.
It can indeed, its probably the most annoying feature of modern CPUs, throttling with out my approval or intervention when there is no thermal issue at hand. I have seen it, and its been an issue here for us at work and now its a custom setup for our baseline image. we have over 12k end points and it was generating a fair number of calls due to 'slowness'.

I default set all my systems to High Performance, and deal with battery issues myself.

Exmortis aka "Scott"
RW - Looks like a heal spell incoming
HL - Game Master/Designer
RPG Tools - Campaign Cartographer 3+, D20 Pro Ultimate
Real Life - IT Security
Hobby - Anything on water or ATV
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Exmortis
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Old April 17th, 2019, 05:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
1) Your laptop sounds like about a 5th gen core intel CPU. That's quite old. On both my desktop and laptop opening and switching tabs is quite fast.

2) I think this is one of those things that is always going to be onerous. How many topics does your main realm have? Can you imagine wading through several thousand names to find ones you want to set?

3) Definitely needed. Just not sure whether I think it should have priority over things to make GM's lives better. I still have doubts that jus being able to view a realm on the web will get many players to look.

4 & 5) Maps definitely need lots of love. I have a town map with something like 70 pins. Trying to find the right pin is a nightmare.
Issue isn't the generation, we are talking Intel here, for years AMD has been zero performance threat, so Intel CPUs have not seen much gen over gen improvements, so a gen 5 CPU is not an issue I don't think. That will change now though.

The issue with RW is the core(s) speed. As far as I can tell it is not multi-threaded meaning it all runs on core 0 essentially (I have never tried setting a core affinity, most consumer apps do not behave well doing that). Core clock means a lot more to RW then core count. There is a noticeable difference between my Ryzen desktop and my Surface Pro 3 , not because of CPU cores but due to a much higher core clock speed on the Ryzen. My laptop sits square in the middle with a mobile IvyB and a core clock to match that space. Also my SP3 has a mere 4GB vs 16GB on my lappy and desktop. All have SSDs (NVMe on the desktop side).

RW has a fairly large memory threshold, it did not cack-out on me with my issues I had until just under 8GB usage. I was able to watch it grow from few hundred MB to 7.8+GB then it would crash if I attempted any action.

Last note, turbo core can really help RW on CPUs with a heavy core count but low MHz, since idle cores leave TDP on the table for clock speed boosts on Core 0. So those slower clocked mobile CPUs can see a small speed boost if there is little else onthe system running along side RW.

Exmortis aka "Scott"
RW - Looks like a heal spell incoming
HL - Game Master/Designer
RPG Tools - Campaign Cartographer 3+, D20 Pro Ultimate
Real Life - IT Security
Hobby - Anything on water or ATV

Last edited by Exmortis; April 17th, 2019 at 05:24 AM.
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MNBlockHead
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Old April 17th, 2019, 05:43 AM
1. Yikes. Didn't realize my Dell XPS 13" that I bought three years ago is old. But it is an ultralight so not really a power machine. Maybe there is still room for a desktop in my life. I do most of my heavy editing at my desk with a docking station. It isn't battery settings. I have my laptop set for full performance even when not plugged in. It only goes to power-saving mode if I manually set it to or if the battery depletes to 25% or less.

2. Going through thousands of names would be far simpler, so long as they are listed alpha-numerically. Though a type-as-you-go filter would be nice. I do it all the time in Evernote. Also, I work with legal indices with millions of tokens. As long as they are sorted and filterable, the number of items is not an issue.

What is an issue is figuring out the articles and topics that contain the name opening each one up. Opening the names-editing window for the currently open article/topic, editing the name(s), and saving.

I am regretting importing the SRD into my realm because of how onerous it has become to save my work. All the link prompts are aggravating. Yes, I can click the button to ignore further links, but then I lose the ability to link to my own created content.

3. I agree. Not my #1 priority, but they've done a lot of the work already. Also, they were talking about making it possible for DMs to edit from the Web view at some point. They are competing with companies like World Anvil, City of Brass, and eventually D&D Beyond. Since they started with a software version, if they could make a web version that supported most of the features but also maintained a software version that provided power features and the ability to sync your content and run it locally without Internet, it would be a real competitive advantage.

4 & 5 Yes. I learned early on to split up my maps. If there is a large town or city, I would see if there are specific sections or quarters, I would consider on the main map to just have a pin for each section. Clicking the pin will take you to an adventure area for that city section, which will contain a smart map for that section where the specific building pins would go.

It is a bit of work with a graphic-editing program outside of RW, but makes life easier to create and run games in RW.

In prior threads from years ago, I suggested that there be a collapsible pane appear on the right when you open a smart map that lists the titles of all the pins on the map. Similar to the table-of-contents view that shows the section titles for topics and articles. That would allow for more robust large-area maps with many locations pinned.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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kbs666
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Old April 17th, 2019, 06:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exmortis View Post
Issue isn't the generation, we are talking Intel here, for years AMD has been zero performance threat, so Intel CPUs have not seen much gen over gen improvements, so a gen 5 CPU is not an issue I don't think. That will change now though.

The issue with RW is the core(s) speed. As far as I can tell it is not multi-threaded meaning it all runs on core 0 essentially (I have never tried setting a core affinity, most consumer apps do not behave well doing that). Core clock means a lot more to RW then core count. There is a noticeable difference between my Ryzen desktop and my Surface Pro 3 , not because of CPU cores but due to a much higher core clock speed on the Ryzen. My laptop sits square in the middle with a mobile IvyB and a core clock to match that space. Also my SP3 has a mere 4GB vs 16GB on my lappy and desktop. All have SSDs (NVMe on the desktop side).

RW has a fairly large memory threshold, it did not cack-out on me with my issues I had until just under 8GB usage. I was able to watch it grow from few hundred MB to 7.8+GB then it would crash if I attempted any action.

Last note, turbo core can really help RW on CPUs with a heavy core count but low MHz, since idle cores leave TDP on the table for clock speed boosts on Core 0. So those slower clocked mobile CPUs can see a small speed boost if there is little else onthe system running along side RW.
I wasn't so much talking core count as clock speed and IPC. 2.21 Ghz is very slow even by lappie standards, today. Since its also a 2 core i7 makes it also an older generation with lower IPC.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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Valyar
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Old April 17th, 2019, 06:58 AM
You went so off topic...

What I learned after two years using the software is that I definitely need "drop all links without rescan in the whole realm" feature. I didn't do the most bright choice back then with auto-accept checkbox in bulk scan runs...

The past is a rudder to guide us, not an anchor to hold us back.
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Kathorus
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Old April 17th, 2019, 08:43 AM
Well, I'll say that I definitely wasn't using some features like they are being presented in packages from the content market. The biggest thing is naming the topic with sub-topics within the page, so instead of, for instance a class topic that has links to ability topics, I am just making a single topic and 'naming' the topic with all of the abilities.

I made a realm with the SRD, some KP stuff, and started to add my own, and as has been mentioned, it is a onerous process if you want to link things across content. In an odd way, I think this might make me more likely to continually use a single realm - players to me - "Hey can we start a game in this new world that came out it looks fun!" me to players "Well, that's not going to happen, we're playing in Midgard, now roll up some Kobolds!"

One thing I'd really like to see, and for me it's a tie with custom calendars, is some sort of glossary topic that can act as a tooltip. So, for instance, I don't really want to open a separate tab every time I need to know what the Blinded condition does, but being able to mouse over the link and getting a well-formatted tooltip would be awesome.

In a similar vein, being able to pop out tabs and move them around my desktop would be awesome. I have 3 monitors and when I am working on stuff, being able to view only one item at a time is a bummer, especially if I'm trying to match some formatting or look that the topics share.
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