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  1. #11
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felderburg View Post
    I suppose what I'm getting at is this: why can't I just download my character's xml from right within the campaign? That would be much easier for me as a user.
    To do what?

    What do you want to do with the xml outside of FG?

  2. #12
    It's mostly to have a back up, just in case, but in the event I wanted to add skills/powers/whatever in the XML, or see how things I've added work in the backend, it can be useful.

    It was also useful to see how a character (didn't) change after my GM ported the campaign from classic to unity.

    I also think going back to a "manage characters" would be better than creating a whole campaign, because I have campaigns under multiple rulesets/games (call of cthulhu and dnd, for example). So I have to create a separate campaign for every ruleset? At least with manage characters, everything was under a single, intuitively labeled button. Creating a campaign just to download an xml backup is counterintuitive and adds junk files I don't need. Not to mention it's a step that basic users might not understand; I have a player in my group who consistently needs help with FG, and if they wanted to have a backup of their character, how would they go about doing it without the more intuitively labeled "manage characters" button?

    I guess I don't understand the resistance to just letting players click a single button to download a backup of their character, just in case.

  3. #13
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Manage Characters effectively required a second branch of logic that the developers had to maintain. So instead of making an enhancement in pone place, they had to make it in at least 2.

    Yes creating Management campaigns is an extra step, but once you have created those campaigns (such as "Characters 5E", "Characters PF", "Characters CoreRPG") you don't have to make those campaigns again. And instead of going Manage Characters then select the campaign you want to access the characters from (i.e. 2 steps) you know select the campaign for the ruleset and opening that (one step, sort of).

    In short, it's a different workflow, but really not different capabilities, and one that makes it easier for the developers to maintain the code, though admittedly I can see how it might impact some users negatively (though again, I don't see most casual users wanting or needing it).

    But, as always, the devs do listen, add the suggestion to the Wish List and if there is enough interest, I'm sure its something they will reconsider.

  4. #14
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felderburg View Post
    ...I have campaigns under multiple rulesets/games (call of cthulhu and dnd, for example).
    FYI - Manage Characters didn't work 100% with the Call of Cthulhu ruleset (among others). So, in FGU you actually get full functionality for character maintenance with Call of Cthulhu, whereas in FGC you had less functionality for Call of Cthulhu in Manage Characters.

    This is what Moon Wizard and LordEntrails have mentioned above - there were issues with maintaining full Manage Characters functionality across all rulesets. Hence the move to allowing all PCs used on the local computer in FGU campaigns to be loaded into a campaign for that ruleset. Create a campaigns "Characters - Call of Cthulhu", for example, once then use that all the time to access all PCs you've used on that computer.

    This is actually more functionality than you had in FGC with Manage Characters - if you wanted to do anything other than read-only access to a previously used PC you had to load up that "cached" campaign in Manage Characters, export the PC to XML, exit the cached campaign, load up the base ruleset in Manage Characters (pretty much the same as loading a campaign), and then import the exported XML. If you want to do that in FGU you load up a "Characters" campaign and open the PC from the cached campaign - which loads it into the campaign (no need to manually export to XML then import the XML). Quicker, simpler, much less steps.

    From what I'm seeing in this thread and others, the perceived "difficulty" with FGU is purely based off learning a slightly different process. Similar functionality to FGC's Manage Characters is still there, with so much more.
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  5. #15
    Are the characters kept updated in my personal campaign? Or will I have to manually import them every time I make changes in my GM's campaign?

    I guess my problem is that I don't know how the character data are stored, or where they're stored. Apparently there's some sort of local cache or something that my computer pulls from (either in Manage Characters in FGC or to pull from when creating a campaign in FGU) because I am able to get info on my characters even when my GM's server is not connected to the internet. So why can't I just pull from that local cache to create a backup xml file? Or is that now how it's done? I don't need to edit the character, I simply want to download an xml so I have a backup.

    Edit: If I understand more about the technical stuff, that may help my frustration. I just don't currently understand why the program doesn't say "hey, you have a character, click this button to download an xml"; instead, I have to go through all these extra steps that apparently serve to convert the cache into an xml. Why do those steps exist?

    Edit 2: Also, when I say it's not "intuitive" to backup the character in FGU, I mean that even though the end result may be the same number of steps, actually knowing how took *much* longer. In FGC, there was a manage characters button, which is self-evident and easy. In FGU, I had to do a lot of internet searching and trial and error before I found out I had to create my own campaign.
    Last edited by Felderburg; October 27th, 2020 at 01:44.

  6. #16
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    When you import a character into a second campaign, it is a copy, not a link to the original. So if you change the character in the second campaign, you will have to re-import it back to the first campaign.

    Architecture and storage, when a client connects to a host, a cache file is created local to the client. This is stored in the <FG Data> / cache /<campaign name>. In that cache you will have 2 directories and one file. The modules folder will contain cache data for any module data you have from the host (GM). The usersettings folder will contain hotkey files for the characters you have owned. The root level file is campaign.dat, and contains your character(s) and the campaign data that has been shared with you (stories, npcs, images, etc).

    It's important that this cache architecture be used, otherwise every time you wanted to open and image or story or anything else, you would have to make a request back tot he host, slowing down your computer and theirs.

    When you do an import, you are extracting the character data from the campaign.dat file in one folder and importing it to another.

    If all you want is a backup, just backup the cache. Do be aware though, if you release your character or the GM cleans ownership from you, the character will no longer reside as a copy in your cache (since technically you are no longer authorized to access it).

    I suspect the reason that their is no export your character button for a player is that the use case for such is expected to be minimal (unlike FGC when you had to export characters if you wanted to move them from one campaign to the next).

    I don't think anyone disagrees that the steps to make an external backup is more extensive, I think it's just that the need for such is perhaps seen as minimal.

    As always, you can always add a request to the wish list, perhaps the desire is not so minimal and many other users will agree with you and vote for the idea.

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  7. #17
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    I've made a video the "manage characters" functionality in FGU: https://youtu.be/30o7jjJpLoo

    EDIT: Video has an addendum at 04:58 to cover character XML import/export.
    Last edited by Trenloe; October 28th, 2020 at 20:26.
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  8. #18
    [
    I don't think anyone disagrees that the steps to make an external backup is more extensive, I think it's just that the need for such is perhaps seen as minimal.]

    In my experience with electronic data systems, it is foolish not to have backups. I might remember a lot about my character, but after months or years of play there is guaranteed to be plenty of minutia I haven't memorized.

  9. #19
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonid View Post
    I don't think anyone disagrees that the steps to make an external backup is more extensive...
    Count me as one person who disagrees... To backup a single PC from a campaign cache there are slightly more steps in FGU than doing it in FGC's Manage Characters if you haven't already created your character management campaign, the effort to create that campaign is the typing of the new campaign name once. If you've already created your character management campaign then there is only one additional step - import the PC from the campaign cache into the character campaign. Then export to XML (this final step is exactly the same as FGC). So, to be perfectly honest, the difference is minimal when exporting the XML characters from a single campaign cache

    However, if you want to backup all of the PCs you've used in the last few games (different GMs and/or campaigns) then FGU is much more efficient - load up the character campaign, import each PC one-by-one into the campaign and then either export the XML per PC or do a single XML export (/exportchar) to export all PCs in one XML file. If you needed to do this in FGC you'd need to load each campaign cache individually, exporting the PCs only available in that cache, then close that campaign cache and load another, export, close, load another, export, close, and so on... Way, way, way, less efficient than using FGU.

    Like I said earlier, the resistance I see is really down to users not knowing how to use this in FGU and just assuming that because things aren't exactly the same as before then they are worse. I see this again and again around this issue - hence why I made the video. Hopefully it will help people take the step from FGC to FGU and realise that they're not losing any functionality and are actually gaining more.

    EDIT: Screenshot added below. This is the additional step needed in FGU, compared to manage characters in FGC, to be able to export the PC XML from a campaign cache - go to the import character screen and click the green "Add Character" button- takes all of 2 seconds. And, if you want to do two PCs from different campaign caches (bob from "ext" and My Tester from "5E Test" in this screenshot) you can do that all at once without having to exit one campaign cache and load another, which is what you'd have to do in FGC's Manage Characters.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Trenloe; October 28th, 2020 at 22:32.
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  10. #20
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    If it's about backup, then why bother exporting? Should you be backing up your entire FG Data folder anyway? Or at least the campaigns subfolder? And you know, doing a proper off site backup?

    Just exporting the xml to another folder/file on the same computer hard drive is buying you very little.

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