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  • #16
    Re: Scared to purchase

    Rob and company are also generally very willing to work with you to retrieve lost licenses too. It's a good company.
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    • #17
      Re: Scared to purchase

      Its a good program with some fairly restrictive DRM. Helped me get the confidence to start running a campaign. One of my favorite features is the ability to print off character sheets made in the program, although unfortunately they retain the ugly hero lab logo. Frankly having the logo on there kind of cheapens the look and lowers the overall quality of the character sheet. It would be enough to have "made with herolab" in small text at the bottom or something.

      But yeah it will probably cut character creation time in half.

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      • #18
        Re: Scared to purchase

        Originally posted by amphitheres View Post
        some fairly restrictive DRM.
        I wouldn't describe the DRM as restrictive. You buy it for $30, which gets you two keys to use on any two computers that you can change often enough that I have never bumped into the limitation despite multiple reinstalls and computer transfers. If you want additional computers you pay $10 per computer, up to (IIRC) 5 computers. The license is only checked when you install or update, which lets you actually install it on more than the number of licensed computers if you so wish. Additionally I have heard that those few who have bumped into the activation limit have been able to easily contact Lone Wolf and get the issue resolved quickly.

        I went for years with my two licenses and only just last month bought a third for my wife's laptop.

        So to reiterate, I wouldn't call Hero Lab's DRM restrictive.

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        • #19
          Re: Scared to purchase

          Originally posted by insaniac99 View Post
          I wouldn't describe the DRM as restrictive. You buy it for $30, which gets you two keys to use on any two computers that you can change often enough that I have never bumped into the limitation despite multiple reinstalls and computer transfers. If you want additional computers you pay $10 per computer, up to (IIRC) 5 computers. The license is only checked when you install or update, which lets you actually install it on more than the number of licensed computers if you so wish. Additionally I have heard that those few who have bumped into the activation limit have been able to easily contact Lone Wolf and get the issue resolved quickly.

          I went for years with my two licenses and only just last month bought a third for my wife's laptop.

          So to reiterate, I wouldn't call Hero Lab's DRM restrictive.
          DRM is best when you forget it is there. I have not even owned hero lab for 60 days and I have already had problems with it. The license is checked more often than every update, it checks your license every time hero lab connects to the internet. If your license has been used on a separate installation or computer within 120 days, then hero lab will boot up in demo mode essentially making it useless. In order to fix it you must either wait the rest of the 120 days, or send an email to lone wolf explaining the reason for the transfer (which is none of their business), and in 1-2 business days they will respond. For me this occurred when upgrading from windows 8 to windows 10, but it could perhaps occur during a major windows update or if you need to reinstall hero lab. A second license for hero lab is obtainable, however they do not give it to you when you make your initial purchase. In order to get it you must make a request by email, and again, wait 1-2 business days to obtain it.

          This scheme may work for you, but for me and a lot of others, it is a source of frustration and makes the overall experience much less pleasant. Hero lab is not exactly cheap at a price point of 30$, but I can not imagine investing more money than that and to also have the almost inevitable downtimes that are caused by this DRM scheme. It compares pretty badly to most DRM schemes that i have used. They could easily improve it by decreasing the time between transfers to 40 days, or allow one license to work on 2 computers instead of giving you 2 licenses. That would eliminate a lot of the problems that people have, and it would allow more flexibility in general. I bet the reason they don't do this is to get people to buy extra licenses.

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          • #20
            Re: Scared to purchase

            *shrug* Fair enough. I've personally almost never had a problem in the years I've owned my copies. I keep it installed on two different computers, my desktop and my laptop, and I think I've had twice that I've actually had to contact them to switch licenses, and they responded back in less than 24 hours. They apparently had a huge issue with pirated software with Army Builder and Card Vault, up to and including people discussing buying one copy and installing it on every laptop in the group while they were in line to buy. And, as a small company that has employees in the single digits, they can't afford to be losing that money.
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            • #21
              Re: Scared to purchase

              Odd, I haven't had any such problems with the DRM, and I regularly open or use Herolab without internet connections. It only pops up when I update and it has the information already entered so I just hit the Okay button.
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              • #22
                Re: Scared to purchase

                Originally posted by amphitheres View Post
                DRM is best when you forget it is there. I have not even owned hero lab for 60 days and I have already had problems with it.
                While I've had it for years with no issues.

                Originally posted by amphitheres View Post
                The license is checked more often than every update, it checks your license every time hero lab connects to the internet. If your license has been used on a separate installation or computer within 120 days, then hero lab will boot up in demo mode essentially making it useless.
                so if you've broken the license conditions you get stopped...

                Originally posted by amphitheres View Post
                In order to fix it you must either wait the rest of the 120 days, or send an email to lone wolf explaining the reason for the transfer (which is none of their business), and in 1-2 business days they will respond. For me this occurred when upgrading from windows 8 to windows 10, but it could perhaps occur during a major windows update or if you need to reinstall hero lab.
                from the support information on the website
                "The identity of each device is based on information established during the installation of the operating system on the device. Therefore, upgrading and/or re-installing the operating system will be detected as a change in the identity, necessitating that the license be re-assigned. "

                so reinstalling hero lab on the same device doesn't have problems.
                an upgrade on the os should be fine but an upgrade from windows 8 to 10 will require moving the license, but I believe that will only need you to contact them if you've moved the license in the last 120 days.

                Originally posted by amphitheres View Post
                A second license for hero lab is obtainable, however they do not give it to you when you make your initial purchase. In order to get it you must make a request by email, and again, wait 1-2 business days to obtain it.
                Or you could go to the License menu and select "Obtain Secondary License" which I recall being instant (I can't swear to that as I did it several years ago...)
                I certainly don't recall it being a big problem...

                Originally posted by amphitheres View Post
                This scheme may work for you, but for me and a lot of others, it is a source of frustration and makes the overall experience much less pleasant. Hero lab is not exactly cheap at a price point of 30$, but I can not imagine investing more money than that and to also have the almost inevitable downtimes that are caused by this DRM scheme.
                In several years total downtime caused by licensing by me is 0 minutes.
                Now if you're trying to fiddle around to cheat the details it might be a problem for you..

                As far as not cheap goes that's up to the individual to assess.
                I'll say that I've bought the license and most of the data packs for paizo pathfinder products, Mutants and masterminds and shadowrun (4th and 5th editions)
                I'm very happy with what it provides and consider it money well spent for the ease of making and maintaining characters, the only complaint I have is that the shadowrun group I was playing in died...

                Originally posted by amphitheres View Post
                It compares pretty badly to most DRM schemes that i have used. They could easily improve it by decreasing the time between transfers to 40 days, or allow one license to work on 2 computers instead of giving you 2 licenses. That would eliminate a lot of the problems that people have, and it would allow more flexibility in general. I bet the reason they don't do this is to get people to buy extra licenses.
                Considering you can have it on 2 computers at a time and that you can move it every 4 months without an issue I can't see this as being a big deal too often.
                Yeah, it could be an issue if you buy it, move computers immediately and then upgrade to windows 10 (or vica versa) but generally it's rarely an issue.

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                • #23
                  Re: Scared to purchase

                  Originally posted by Mad Hamish View Post
                  While I've had it for years with no issues.
                  Good for you, you have said this before.

                  Originally posted by Mad Hamish View Post
                  so if you've broken the license conditions you get stopped...
                  Close. If Herolab thinks you've broken the license conditions you get stopped. In my case I did nothing wrong and it still stopped working for me.

                  Originally posted by Mad Hamish View Post
                  from the support information on the website
                  "The identity of each device is based on information established during the installation of the operating system on the device. Therefore, upgrading and/or re-installing the operating system will be detected as a change in the identity, necessitating that the license be re-assigned. "

                  so reinstalling hero lab on the same device doesn't have problems.
                  an upgrade on the os should be fine but an upgrade from windows 8 to 10 will require moving the license, but I believe that will only need you to contact them if you've moved the license in the last 120 days.
                  I stand corrected then. Reinstalling Herolab should not be a problem then. But regardless, it doesn't change the fact that they are way too rigid. Like I said before, a little more flexibility with license reassignment would go a long way in improving the situation. It really is not good enough as it is now.

                  Originally posted by Mad Hamish View Post
                  Or you could go to the License menu and select "Obtain Secondary License" which I recall being instant (I can't swear to that as I did it several years ago...)
                  I certainly don't recall it being a big problem...
                  Fair enough, from the information on their website, the secondary license can be retrieved as you describe.

                  Originally posted by Mad Hamish View Post
                  As far as not cheap goes that's up to the individual to assess.
                  I'll say that I've bought the license and most of the data packs for paizo pathfinder products, Mutants and masterminds and shadowrun (4th and 5th editions)
                  I'm very happy with what it provides and consider it money well spent for the ease of making and maintaining characters, the only complaint I have is that the shadowrun group I was playing in died...
                  For me 30$ is not cheap (thats could feed me for a week!), and the cost of data packs is too expensive. I am especially disinterested in their data packs because of how unreliable the program has been for me so far (features not working correctly, the DRM, etc).

                  Originally posted by Mad Hamish View Post
                  Considering you can have it on 2 computers at a time and that you can move it every 4 months without an issue I can't see this as being a big deal too often.
                  Yeah, it could be an issue if you buy it, move computers immediately and then upgrade to windows 10 (or vica versa) but generally it's rarely an issue.
                  It doesn't matter if it's a rare issue, it should be rarer. 4 months is a pretty long time as well, It might as well be 1 or 2 months like I said before. I can think of a few times where I have had to reinstall my operating system twice within 4 months.

                  As I have said before, of all the types of DRM I have seen for a computer program, this is the most restrictive, so by that alone it is pretty fair to call hero lab's DRM restrictive.

                  Anyways the restrictive DRM is not my only problem with Hero lab, otherwise I might give it a pass on that, even though I really don't like DRM.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Scared to purchase

                    {nods} I understand your frustration. It could be worse of course... I remember working with dongles, with diskettes with flaky bits to prevent copying that eventually settled and stopped working, transparencies and code sheets... Oh, those were the days.

                    Overall, I think Hero Lab is extremely useful for my needs, but I also understand that people are leery of it. I support their use of copy protection in part because I was privy to a bit of background of what happened with their prior products that they released without copy protection, with people discussing while in line to purchase Army Builder how they planned to buy one copy and then have everyone at the table install it. It would be nice if there were an automated system to at least allow a single reset within a reasonable time period for a given serial, for the purpose of weekends, but I've otherwise had an excellent experience with Lone Wolf's customer service with prompt resets within 24 hours both times I've had an issue. And my impression has been that most people have similarly had a good experience, with most people who've experienced a longer turnaround finding that it was because the email got dropped into a spam folder or the like.

                    But yeah, the method used to check for OS changes depends on Microsoft's code to determine said change, and it is notoriously flaky. I have had a time or two when an automatic update from Microsoft screwed up my system, including forcing Hero Lab to re-update.
                    [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

                    [b]Current games:[/b]
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