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View Poll Results: Do you want to see a change in the license system?
Yes. 8 61.54%
No, it works fine. 5 38.46%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Talon125
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 9

Old April 25th, 2012, 08:08 AM
I love HeroLab, but your license system sucks balls.

I completely understand the need to protect your intellectual property, but the current system uses takes way too much time and manual input from you guys.

I just spent the last 2 days unable to use a product I bought because you guys put some arbitration 120 day wait on license transfers. (in event of system re-installs, hardware tweaks, or just user error)

There are many better DRM systems out their than the one you're currently using.

One suggestion, would be to adopt a system similar to what itunes and netflix uses. Allow the users to Authorize or DeAuthorize whatever computer they want the product to function on, but limit the total number of authorizations to the number of licenses they bought. If they've reached their limit, they need to DeAuthorize one of the systems before being able to use another computer.
Bam, problem solved.

Way less work for you guys. Way less headaches for users.
I gotta tell you, I was so frustrated by your current DRM system that I was ready to ditch you guys all together.

You make a good product but seriously, get a better license management system. Or just ditch the 120 day thing. It's pointless. The majority of your customers are gonna be geeks, and the majority of us geeks like to tweak and fiddle with our computers.

Just my two cents.
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Colen
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,718

Old April 25th, 2012, 05:20 PM
Hi Talon,

Firstly, I'm sorry that it took a couple of days to get you back up and running - we try to get to license reassignment requests as soon as possible, ideally within a business day, but apparently that wasn't possible in this case.

Unfortunately, changing to an authorize / deauthorize mechanism would complicate matters for almost all of our users. For the vast majority of people with licensing issues, something bad happened to their computer - hard drive crashed, OS corrupted, virus got to their computer, computer hardware died, or something similar. So they'd have no way to "deauthorize" their license, and they'd have to apply for a manual license reactivation anyway.

Not only that, I guarantee you a lot of users would forget about the "deauthorize" requirement, so they'd get rid of their old computer, install Hero Lab on their new one, copy their files onto the new machine, but forget to deauthorize the old computer. Now they need to apply for a manual reactivation too.

So by adding an authorize/deauthorize mechanism, we wouldn't really achieve much - we'd make the licensing process (which is already complex enough) even harder to understand for users, and we'd only make it easier in a small number of cases.

Our current mechanism is better for almost everyone - if you're outside the 120 day limit, we allow the reassignment automatically with *no action at all* by the user. It's only if you're within that limit, in the minority of cases, that you need to do something further.

Note that in almost every case where someone is hit by the 120 day limit, you can apply for early license reassignment, which we try to approve ASAP. We're absolutely open to letting people with legitimate problems like the aforementioned hard drive / OS / computer issues reassign their license early, and we're even giving free reassignments to users who want to transfer their license from a PC to a Mac.

Hope this helps you understand our reasoning! Please let us know if you have further questions or comments.
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Talon125
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 9

Old April 25th, 2012, 05:50 PM
Perhaps you're not familiar with Netflix, itunes, and to some extent, Dropbox. But all those systems don't require you to be on the same computer you want to deauthorize, in order to deauthorize them.

You are presented a list of all computers via a profile site, or within the program itself. And you just click on any computer in the list you want to deauthorize. That'll free up that license to be used again. It would in no way complicate anything for any user.

Just my two cents, having been inconvenienced by your current system, and I have never been inconvenienced by itunes, netflix, or any other program that uses a auth/deauth system.

Just some feedback from someone who has bought HeroLab and every single Pathfidner add-on.

Chris
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Duggan
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,450

Old April 25th, 2012, 06:24 PM
Personally, I've had no problems with the current system of licensing. I've had to have it reassigned probably 2-3 times over the past year or two and I've always gotten a response within 2 days, even over a weekend. Personally, I'd prefer to see development time spent on new game systems and updates on the existing ones rather than on new authentication methods. Just my two cents...
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Talon125
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 9

Old April 25th, 2012, 06:35 PM
2 days is a long time compared to 2 seconds if it was left to the user to control.

Removing the 120 day limit would effectively do the same thing and wouldn't require any extra time or money being spent by the company.

You guys monitor how often people are re-associating the license keys anyway. Apply the 120 day block to people that ARE abusing the system and have 40 re-associations a month instead of assuming everyone is going to abuse it.
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Talon125
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 9

Old April 25th, 2012, 06:44 PM
Maybe I'm way off base here. But take a look at the number of threads in these forums that include license issues...

At first glance I found all of these on the first pages of the "Website Support" and "HeroLab Discussion" sections...


http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=20079

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=19692

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=19659

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=14450

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=14167

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=20356

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=14986

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=20428

I'm sure there's more. You guys would know better than I, you're dealing with it every day. But you have to see the trend of dissatisfaction with the current DRM system. You guys offer good support (after a couple business days) but why not eliminate the need for so much support in the first place?

Last edited by Talon125; April 25th, 2012 at 06:46 PM.
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Colen
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Lone Wolf Staff
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,718

Old May 7th, 2012, 08:29 AM
(Sorry for the late reply, I lost track of this thread getting AB for the Mac ready for beta.)

We're not saying that our license mechanism is perfect - nothing is. However, tens of thousands our of users are using it without problems every month. The threads you indicate are the exceptions, and we do our best to handle those as swiftly as we can.

We don't like it when people run into problems with the licensing mechanism like this - I can completely understand that it's a frustrating thing to happen. But there's a trade-off between spending weeks or months reworking our licensing mechanism, vs spending that time improving our products instead.

The threads you posted span several months - we could indeed spend weeks reworking our licensing system to allow people to revoke licenses like you suggest, and I imagine it'd help maybe half of the users who posted with problems. Or, we could spend those weeks working on Hero Lab for the Mac, or adding new content to Pathfinder and Shadowrun, both of which will be helpful to thousands of people.

We're a tiny company, so those are the kind of trade-offs we have to make when considering what to work on next.
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ShadowTool
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 7

Old November 14th, 2012, 12:06 PM
Having just become a customer, I can't agree more with Talon125 here. You guys DESPERATELY need a different approach. I understand system/vendor lock-in happens, but great scot you need something a) easier for new/potential customers to understand, b) easier for customer to execute/manage, and c) easier for you to administer.

I didn't understand for several days that I wasn't going to be able to run HeroLab at the office. After reading the forums, and going back and reading some of the emails I got I found the "second license" option. I was dumbfounded.

Why have licenses at all? A simple subscription/log-in mechanism alone would solve all these problems.

Someone at Lone Wolf MUST understand this, so I assume there's some unknown compelling reason to continue with this. Maybe you developed the license system in-house and don't want to throw away that investment. I get it. But for the love of humanity, consider something else going forward. =)

Brad
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ShadowTool
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 7

Old November 14th, 2012, 01:01 PM
Tengent: Just noticed that as a new customer (I chose Shadowrun as the game system) I only have access to the core rules. Each additional rulebook worth of material is $10. So, that's essentially $100 more dollars on top of the $30 initial purchase, just to have the complete game mechanics/equipment. I would have sworn that I read the initial license covers all current material, and that new material post-purchase was an add-on. Apparently not.

Not happy. No wonder sales are so low. This explains a lot.

Tomorrow I'm attending a con with Shadowrun sessions each slot for four days. This will be discussed.

Again, a subscription method would solve this problem by providing a continuous revenue stream over time.
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Unseelie
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saratoga, CA
Posts: 256

Old November 14th, 2012, 03:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon125 View Post
Perhaps you're not familiar with Netflix, itunes, and to some extent, Dropbox. But all those systems don't require you to be on the same computer you want to deauthorize, in order to deauthorize them.

You are presented a list of all computers via a profile site, or within the program itself. And you just click on any computer in the list you want to deauthorize. That'll free up that license to be used again. It would in no way complicate anything for any user.

Just my two cents, having been inconvenienced by your current system, and I have never been inconvenienced by itunes, netflix, or any other program that uses a auth/deauth system.

Just some feedback from someone who has bought HeroLab and every single Pathfidner add-on.

Chris
You've been lucky then. Actually, iTunes does require you to de-auth from the machine that authorized. Otherwise, you get one complete reset of all of your installations per year. If you need it more than that, you have to email support and have it done manually and the process is about as fast as Lone Wolf's is.

It's a real pain when you're a professional SQA engineer for a Mac developer and forget to de-auth, and then have the hardware taken away and replaced with newer hardware semi-regularly. Even engineers inside Apple have to ask for periodic manual resets because of this.

Last edited by Unseelie; November 14th, 2012 at 03:21 PM.
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