First and foremost, I'm intending this to be strictly a discussion of viable technological alternatives, so the obvious suggestion to not use a computer is not going to amount to much)
So. I am a "computer guy"...as such, I am constantly reworking/updating my technology situation, and use multiple machines all the time. I have also been a faithful customer of Army Builder's for several years now. And just recently I once again had to migrate my license as I acquired a new machine, and once again I had to go download Army Builder, once again with an expired license. The latest version is 3.3, and I re-purchased a fresh license at 3.2, so I did not expect to have much trouble; download 3.2, put in my codes, get on with my life.
Nope. The 3.2 download is gone. Forcing me to buy the program all over again for an update I do not want, while meanwhile the good folks at ab40k.org do all the work and likely don't see a dime of the money.
Flustered, I made my way to the 3.1 download. 3.1 installs, I put in my license, hunky-dory. Then I go to download the update for ab40k's module - manually, of course, because my license is outdated - and I find that for some time now the format has been made such that it will not function with version 3.1.
So this is it. The draconian licensing scheme of Army Builder has fed me up to the point of surrender. I have decided, after being forced to pay for the product more than 5 times over the years due to licensing snafus, that I am finished with it. This product, if it is going to be a yearly subscription fee, should be far less expensive, and moreover, I should not be forced against my will to have to update the product, nor conned by the app (as it often lets you download an update to the latest version but then installs as a trial and renders all of your old datafiles unusable).
I understand piracy is a concern but this product's licensing model is hugely restrictive. Even once you own the product you can only put it on two machines, and if you so happen to need to change what machine one of those licenses is used on, you are only allowed to do it once every four months. Microsoft is not allowed to make a version of Windows that no longer installs iTunes. It's monopolistic. Honda is not allowed to make a car that only works with one other company's gas. So why is Army Builder able to force me to update my program by rendering its old version obsolete at will? Why have I paid so much money to them over the years, when it is the diligent work of the people at ab40k.org that has made the product worth a damn? I would be much happier if I were paying the group that actually makes the updates we want, the codex updates, but I'm not. I run a gaming group with a large membership base and there isn't even any way I can get a bulk license for the group, like with other software.
So I have decided to not only not use this product, but to promote alternatives. First and foremost, I will point out to everyone that their old version, v2, has been diligently updated by various people and is able to be hacked. So do with that info what you will, fellow Warseers. I will also be doing my damnedest to create a virtual machine, which can be distributed to/accessed remotely by all of my club members, that uses one singular license paid for by the group.
Has anyone else had too many bad experiences to support this product financially any longer or am I in the minority?