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  1. #21
    Frankly, the remark that you should not update before a game session is rather ridiculous. I updated several days ago, but I only notice problems when I start a game session. Or do you expect users to test everything every time there is an update? There is an update every week. Moreover, players update as well.

    And I do not use extensions.

    And, if it matters, I actually DID test the software for about an hour after the update before I got to the session, as I needed to prepare some maps. And that went fine. But the issue raised its ugly head as soon as a player logged on -- right at the start of the session -- as at that point the software tried to sync all the maps that the players used in previous sessions, and my screen was filled with error messages.

    Anyway, I don't need to go into a discussion with the developers about this. It is the first time I really have a big issue with FG. But it is one that I think that could easily have been avoided with better communication or a better approach. If you KNOW that things will break due to an update you make, you MUST make sure that you do your utmost best to help players resolve the issue, and not have them discover it because the software breaks with incomprehensible error messages and then just expecting them to find a solution on a forum. This was just handled badly, and I hope that the developers will do better for future updates.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Communicating to the any user base is always a challenging process. I have yet to see any program or company do it effectively for all users. Yes, communication for FG can be improved upon, but there is not yet a solution that works for everyone.

    But even more important than any given notification of change, is the warning that is placed with every set of release notes and is stated frequently on the forums and is otherwise just good practice; Please do not update right before a game session.

    Even with testing, even the most simple of updates has the potential to break something. And if you use extensions, the risk is order of magnitudes higher. Please don't put yourself in a frustrating position by updating right before game play.
    Well said.

  3. #23
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    Frankly, the remark that you should not update before a game session is rather ridiculous. I updated several days ago, but I only notice problems when I start a game session. Or do you expect users to test everything every time there is an update? There is an update every week. Moreover, players update as well.
    I'm sorry you feel my response was not helpful. I'm sure the developers do not expect every user to test every change. I also don't expect a small software company with a few developers and limited resources to get everything right every time.

    Anyway, I don't need to go into a discussion with the developers about this. It is the first time I really have a big issue with FG. But it is one that I think that could easily have been avoided with better communication or a better approach. If you KNOW that things will break due to an update you make, you MUST make sure that you do your utmost best to help players resolve the issue, and not have them discover it because the software breaks with incomprehensible error messages and then just expecting them to find a solution on a forum. This was just handled badly, and I hope that the developers will do better for future updates.
    Just so you know, you are not having a discussion with the developers. You are having a discussion with other users just like you. Users who are trying to help you understand the realities of niche low cost software and provide helpful suggestions. SmiteWorks employees and developers will all have a tag under their username indicating such.

    Problems? See; How to Report Issues, Bugs & Problems
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    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets, Balance Disturbed, Dungeon Room Descriptions
    Note, I am not a SmiteWorks employee or representative, I'm just a user like you.

  4. #24
    From Zacchaeus' answer I got the impression that he is at least in contact with the development team.

    If not, then I need to find a way to get into contact with the development team, because I really want to bring this to their attention. This sort of thing should NOT happen.

    And don't think that I do not understand the realties of (niche) software development. I have been doing that for the last 30 years. And I know that for a niche software developer, customer relations are of utmost importance. Having your customers run into an issue like this without proper communication, when you actually know that the issue will come up for many of them, is bad business practice.

    And actually, the "correct" solution to the problem is NOT what the developers suggest, reverting the changes, but found here: (post in different thread). Because reverting changes loses ALL the changes I made to the maps of CoS over the last 2.5 years -- changes which I need to keep. And the suggested fix in the listed post not only works and retains the changes, but it is also something that could EASILY have been done with a software update -- it is no more than search/replacing certain strings in ONE file. A very simple fix to the engine could also have worked: "if you cannot find the image in the indicated location, check if you can find it if you add 'images/' to the path, and if so, load the image from there." That's two lines of code.

    It truly baffles me that the development team released this update in its arguably broken state, when the fixes are so simple and the frustration heaped upon many users so intense.
    Last edited by Pieter; September 30th, 2022 at 10:37.

  5. #25
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    If not, then I need to find a way to get into contact with the development team, because I really want to bring this to their attention.
    Given that the lead developer (Moon Wizard) has replied in this thread, the one you mentioned and the one you linked, I'm pretty sure he is aware of the issue.

    But at any time you want to communicate directly with SmiteWorks, you can reach their customer support (and they can forward to the developers) via the: Help > Contact Support option from the website menu. Often times you can also reach the developers through the Discord channel found from the website Menu: Help > Discord Server. Note that many people are active on the Discord server, so to make sure you are talking with a SmiteWorks employee, look for the appropriate tag.

    Problems? See; How to Report Issues, Bugs & Problems
    On Licensing & Distributing Community Content
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets, Balance Disturbed, Dungeon Room Descriptions
    Note, I am not a SmiteWorks employee or representative, I'm just a user like you.

  6. #26
    Unfortunately, there are no mechanisms within the application client to identify specific data modules; because the application is a generic platform for running multiple frameworks/rulesets.
    Also, there are no APIs in the system that allow us to drill in to query or change a single layer from the framework/ruleset coding, which would be able to recognize the specific module.

    So, while an automated solution would have definitely been a better experience, we did not have any way to do that without investing a lot more development effort. I had to make the call to let the 5E official modules linger without updates (due to the tools used to make them no longer working), or try to work with users to fix as it came up.

    As I have volunteered in multiple threads, if you post the CoS file from the moduledb folder of your campaign, I will fix it myself and provide it back.

    Regards,
    JPG
    Last edited by Moon Wizard; October 1st, 2022 at 08:09.

  7. #27
    Thanks. I am computer savvy enough to apply the solution myself now I know what must be done.

    The offer is definitely friendly and supportive, and I understand the desire to bring the older modules in line with the newer ones. The main issue is the communication -- it is just bad business practice to confront GMs with a screen full of error messages which appear as soon as one of their players logs on (i.e., at the start of a session), and having them figure out by themselves, at that time, what is wrong.

    Maybe you did not realize that this would happen. I can imagine that -- sometimes it is hard to forsee the consequences of something that seems to be a small change, and I also understand that with a small team and weekly updates, you are not testing everything as extensively as you would like to. But I am curious to know how many GMs run into this issue.

    I still think a fix to the engine could have worked, because it should not be hard to write in the code "if you cannot find an image in the indicated location, attach "images/" to the path and see if you can find it there." But maybe I am overlooking something.

  8. #28
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    There are something like 2500 official products in the FG store plus maybe 1000 in the forge and others on the forums. It is impossible for a team this size to test every possibility.

  9. #29
    (a) If you make a change to one module, you do not need to test everything, you just need to test that module.
    (b) A developer who makes a change can think of what this would affect. "If I move all the images from one folder to another folder, and from now on I will load from that folder, what would happen to users who still have these images in the original folder?"
    (c) The original release notes actually indicated that these issues would occur, so the developers knew about this. The main thing they should have done is communicating about it better. Not every user of FG is on these message boards. As I said before, this was handled badly.

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