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RebelHill
03-30-2008, 07:44 AM
So I saw J Roth talking to 3D World magazine... and there was the question about the FREE upgrade nature of lw... blah, blah, licensed users, yadda, yadda.

One thing that i couldnt help but notice was Js saying that the practice of giving away free .x updates in a version cycle may well not continue beyond the 9 cycle.... YIKES.

Ok... for my own part... I bought LW at v7.5 with free upgrade to 8, got all the 8.x updates free... paid for 9, and have gotten all the 9.x updates free... I also got vue for free, some training videos, etc.

One thing Ive LOVED about LW is just how long ive been able to run the program, always up to date, and for how little (its cost me less than 1000 of my earth pounds so far).

U may think therefore that Im gonna have a ***** about this changing in future, and us being made to pay for .x upgrades.... but to the contrary... I just wanna say this.... (before anyone else starts off a ***** thread on it (;

Newtek fellas... i, and Im sure many others have really dug LWs pricing structure over the years, and u've given us so much, for so little... so thanks... and if u do have to change the pricing structure, and charge for every .x update... then do what u gotta do.... As long as u keep the prices reasonable, and the shift in pricing is matched by a constant improvement in LW itself.... then I, for one, and my lovely cash, will be behind u guys all the way.

hrgiger
03-30-2008, 07:55 AM
Really? That's interesting and I don't think unexpected. It doesn't bother me any.

colkai
03-30-2008, 09:27 AM
It doesn't surprise me, times change.
Does it affect me? Probably, but then,
life is already taken steps to sort out the likelyhood of me moving onwards
with upgrades anyway, Newteks upgrade policy is gonna make a
difference in that area, but hey, we've done ok up to now.

Lots of stuff on my HD courtesy of Newtek I'd likely not have,
not least of which LWCAD (my precious), and LW will still work
as it does, regardless of it's upgraded.

Pretty much everyone else charges for point releases so you can kinda see the
point (groan), especially as each point release is greeted with statements such as
"if they charged, Lw would be better because they'd have more money".

Cageman
04-01-2008, 01:45 PM
Hmm...

So...if NT continues with OB-releases for LW10.x, then people have to pay in order to participate?

I would like NT to go for the following approach:

LW10.0 is released and the people who bought it have the right to participate in the next 10.x OB for free. When the OB is over, they have to pay like anyone else, but at least it gives them a really good insight into what is going on before buying (remember, participating in OB doesn't force anyone to lift a finger to report bugs and help out).

Lets say I participate in that OB but decides to not to buy it, I'm not going to have the chance to participate in the following OB (untill I buy the previous release). I also think NT should hand out discounts to those who put in alot of effort into OB (I'm certanly not doing alot of testing of LW9.5 at the moment).

What do you think? Would that be a fair and good approach?

Cageman
04-01-2008, 01:48 PM
BTW... I found this snippet online (http://www.3dworldmag.com/page/3dworld?entry=q_a_with_newtek_s) (I don't think it is the whole Q&A session...or is it?)

lardbros
04-02-2008, 03:08 AM
I was just about to post about this, just read it this morning...

As i think most will agree, i think it's a good idea so long as development speed increases and the product gets much better! Which i think it will. It does depend on how much these point upgrades are, but i'd probably be willing to upgrade no matter how much, i enjoy using LW and finally people at work (where i use 3dsmax) have been phoning up asking if anyone has heard of Lightwave. Not sure why yet, but im sure as hell gonna find out!

Maybe the buzz is getting about??

calilifestyle
04-02-2008, 10:42 AM
I would have a problem. with paying for point upgrades. thats one reason why i left MAX after 5 i didnt like that pay sub. plan to pay for a 5.xx rev that should be bug fixes oh and small things.
Now if the company adds things during their Dot rev bumps thats on them and i shouldn't pay for bug fixes. i have not problem paying for true upgrades. 8>9>10 and so on, but then again. if this the case might as well go back to MAX. lol not like i would be missed ;-)

lardbros
04-02-2008, 10:54 AM
There are huge differences between Autodesk and Newtek's upgrade policies.

With autodesk you either pay a huge upfront amount and then yearly for the subscription, or pay large amounts each time the new version comes around.

Problem with both is that paying a subscription and not getting a half decent release in between is shocking...

and paying for each upgrade you think is decent, you may wait ages and then not be able to upgrade from the version you are using, therefore have to stump up for the whole lot again!

Newtek, if they charge for a .5 release (with others inbetween being bug fixes) i think is a good idea. If they get more money, then they can create a better product, which is exactly what im after. Nothing's been confirmed anyway, so guess we can only wait and see!

I can sure as hell say that Newtek's upgrading policies will be MUCH fairer than Autodesk.

globalnode
04-02-2008, 10:59 AM
I think its a good thing. It will give them more money to work with, and it will keep them on their toes... No one will pay for updates that arent worth it! I like the idea as long as I can try before I buy!

geothefaust
04-02-2008, 11:04 AM
I read that some time ago, it's enlightening. But we still don't know exactly what was meant.

For me though, it really depends on price (over time) vs functionality. The price used to be about $1795 right?

Well now LW is $900-1000 for a full release and $400-500 for upgrading. Let's say, for the sake of argument here, they raise they don't raise the base price at all. But just charge for point releases. Let us also say they charge about $200 for a (substantial .x release with meat on it's bones *glares at autdesk*) .x release. Assuming they release 5 .x upgrages over the lifetime of a version, that's $1000. Which honestly, puts the pricing of LW back around what it USED to be before the price drop.

I don't think that's a big deal, if it's something like that. What bugs me is, what if you skip a .x release? Do you pay for both when the next one comes out that you really wanted? Do you have to pay for a full upgrade or full retail price? That's what is nagging at me.

Larry_g1s
04-02-2008, 11:16 AM
.... As long as u keep the prices reasonable, and the shift in pricing is matched by a constant improvement in LW itself.... then I, for one, and my lovely cash, will be behind u guys all the way.I think that's the key. I don't think I'd have a problem paying a small fee for a good solid .x upgrade with some cool features (as mentioned, not bug fixes). I think NT could, if done right, could skim a little of the user (i.e. small fee) for added features, and still cover there cost for the development.


I can sure as hell say that Newtek's upgrading policies will be MUCH fairer than Autodesk.From my experience with NT, and what I've heard about Autodesk, I think that's safe to say. ;) You just CANNOT beat LW's price point, not even with a stick.

Andyjaggy
04-02-2008, 11:17 AM
I don't really see this as being as issue. It may just mean smaller and quicker point upgrades and most of the new features will be in regular upgrades. We'll still get the same amount of LW goodness it will just all be in one upgrade instead of spread across 3-4 upgrades.

Limbus
04-02-2008, 01:32 PM
I am all for paying for point updates if that will speed up the development process!

Cheers, Florian

archijam
04-02-2008, 01:48 PM
I would have a problem. with paying for point upgrades. thats one reason why i left MAX after 5 i didnt like that pay sub. plan to pay for a 5.xx rev that should be bug fixes oh and small things.
Now if the company adds things during their Dot rev bumps thats on them and i shouldn't pay for bug fixes. i have not problem paying for true upgrades. 8>9>10 and so on, but then again. if this the case might as well go back to MAX. lol not like i would be missed ;-)

I see what you're saying (being an ex max user also), but to put it another way, I simply 'trust' NT not to charge me for bug fixes and minor updates.

It's that simple.

Some people seem to interpret JR's words as meaning every point release would incurr a cost, which is a huge assumption.

Autodesk may have a track record in this department, but NT not. Long live the 'benefit of the doubt' ;)

j.

OOZZEE
04-02-2008, 02:17 PM
I find this quote.....

JR:I think they compare rather favourably overall, but it is the market which will make that ultimate determination, of course. We may not offer all of the features in rigging to the degree that Maya does, but our approach for LightWave has always been to get the job done as quickly as possible. Our customers tend not to have an army of MEL coders on hand to write up new tools to accomplish some unique, one-off requirement that comes in. Instead, they are small shops who need to bang out great looking work as quickly as possible, often with just days of work time (weeks tend to be luxuries in our market). Maya doesn‘t fit into that equation too well, though people do try…

It‘s all about knowing when to use the tool for the job, or put another way, using the right tool for the right job. If you have a large budget, a lot of time, and are doing a feature film with a creature that no one has ever seen before, then perhaps LightWave v9.5 may not be the best choice for this situation. However, if you have just a few weeks, a few people, and limited finances, the LightWave is made for you. And I suspect that there are many more of the latter out there than the former…

and this quote.....

JR: Seems like they are free? Please, let‘s not equivocate! For existing LightWave v9.x license holders, these tools ARE FREE! NewTek has provided free “.x” releases for some years now, although this may not continue beyond the LightWave v9 series.


to be a bit odd....admitting that LW is not the right tool for new( maybe requiring superior CA tools) creatures and not for people with large budgets....SO if the goal of NT is to start charging for .x release to have more funds for developement, then will there really be new better tools if they want to continue to cater to smaller financed & lower budgeted studios and users that just need to get the job done ? or is it an attempt for a money grab on their part ?

I paid the higher price for LW and honestly, development was not much faster back then than it is now so why should that change in the future.

I also feel that they have not attained their status of 'being up there' to start taking these kinds of decisions just yet.

honestly, so what if they added fur or CA joints... this is not revolutionary in 2008 and not ahead of the pack.

I would agree only to pay for a .x only if I saw truly new things coming out of NT and not because they implemented stuff that should have been done a long time ago with the amount of years they have been in the business.

RedBull
04-02-2008, 02:42 PM
I find this quote.....

to be a bit odd....admitting that LW is not the right tool for new( maybe requiring superior CA tools) creatures and not for people with large budgets....SO if the goal of NT is to start charging for .x release to have more funds for developement, then will there really be new better tools if they want to continue to cater to smaller financed & lower budgeted studios and users that just need to get the job done ? or is it an attempt for a money grab on their part ?

I paid the higher price for LW and honestly, development was not much faster back then than it is now so why should that change in the future.

I must admit the upgrade pricing and options is a little for scary, for many of us it's the only reason we keep upgrading LW, i also paid way more for my LW licences and since the price drops the quality has dropped too.

Two years of Open Beta, to receive half-assed CC implementation, Modeler tools in Layout or lack thereof and a new-old hair solution, that i had already paid for once before.... I'm not sure how NT think they could charge differently or more for the upgrades they keep churning out.

But their old upgrade paths were good, i skipped LW6.0 and 6.5 and upgraded from 5.6 to 7.0. (6.0 was just to buggy/broken) but looking at LW8 and LW9, while parts of 9 have been worth it, the whole process has not been an overwhelmingly good one, since the NDA and Beta's all my LW colleages have gone to XSI and Modo, and the once very active community non-existant, So it's hard when you already spent money on FFIV, and NT just include it. Anyway upgrading to LW in the future isn't a given, like it used to be for myself.



I also feel that they have not attained their status of 'being up there' to start taking these kinds of decisions just yet.

honestly, so what if they added fur or CA joints... this is not revolutionary in 2008 and not ahead of the pack.

I would agree only to pay for a .x only if I saw truly new things coming out of NT and not because they implemented stuff that should have been done a long time ago with the amount of years they have been in the business.



I tend to agree LW is like a band-aid, and while some competent work has begun on Lights and the PRBLUR and DOF, GI etc, it's just little bits of a much bigger mess. And with Modo growing, Silo on Linux, Houdini, the CG market is just getting more alive, and let's not forget the realtime previewing that others are now taking to a new level. I can't see myself investing in LW, given the current past two years of development.

globalnode
04-02-2008, 03:22 PM
they are definitely going to have to earn their money from this point forward... thats for sure!

What we have now is way less then i was expecting for the 9x cycle... Disappointed is an understatement! They will have to show me something special before I give them another cent...:goodluck:

Larry_g1s
04-02-2008, 03:26 PM
I paid the higher price for LW and honestly, ...


I can't see myself investing in LW, given the current past two years of development.

I honestly don't understand statements like this. Call me a LW fanboy, but for what LW can produce & the price, it's very unmatched. I've seen the price for the competition. Modo? it's about the same price for LW and there is no real animation. 3DS max/Maya, etc....you can get LW and many of the great 3rd party plugs (fPrime/Kray/LWCAD/HD instance, etc.) all for less than those other packages.

Saying that adding fur or CA joints is not revolutionary in 2008 yet praising other packages (that can cost much much more) for having is a bit twisted.

*Pete*
04-02-2008, 03:39 PM
weeelll...on a more positive note, it should silence the "NT ripped us off by having us pre-pay free upgrades" people. ;)

i have no problem with this, depending on the point upgrade pricing of course...but so far LW has paid itself of multiple times for me, just in the last week i made the same money as i originally paid for 8.5 +9.0 +point updates to 9.5 + vue 5+ LWcad.

Even though i am a greedy person, NT deserves to get paid for the hard work just as any other 3D company (or any company...what ever business).

RedBull
04-02-2008, 03:44 PM
I honestly don't understand statements like this. Call me a LW fanboy, but for what LW can produce & the price, it's very unmatched. I've seen the price for the competition. Modo? it's about the same price for LW and there is no real animation. 3DS max/Maya, etc....you can get LW and many of the great 3rd party plugs (fPrime/Kray/LWCAD/HD instance, etc.) all for less than those other packages.

LW is a great program, and even if i don't upgrade i can use it's features for years to come, but it's hardly the software i want to be investing my future in..The architecture is old, the tools are rapidly falling behind the status quo.
Modo is cheaper and has a growing community, with an SDK still to come.

NT could not port Modeler tools to Layout, they could not get CC patches to be worthwhile, the Nodal interface can't even affect OGL. This is not a LW i want....

And actually when you add FPrime, FiberFactory, LWCAD, HD Instance, LW is not cheap in comparison that have the majority of features in one nice package, and they all work with everything, unlike LW which is usually limited by the architecture. As demonstrated by the fact FFIV, does it work with HD-Instance, Kray or Fprime..... Does LWCAD work in Layout yet?


Saying that adding fur or CA joints is not revolutionary in 2008 yet praising other packages (that can cost much much more) for having is a bit twisted.

Speaking of twisted, I'm sorry where did i praise other packages Hair and Joints? I'm saying adding Fur i already paid for, is not a smart move on my back pocket. And considering the Saslite debacle, gee it's the third time NT ripped me off the same thing.

The 8 and 9 development cycles have been slow, and have not produced a massively better LW experience. Considering how far behind LW is, committing to an upgrade until the upgrade is complete is not something i will be doing in the future. For myself the Beta of LW9.x for two years, destroyed the community that was so active before NDA's and constant beta development.
FPrime just isn't enough to sell me LW anymore.

adamredwoods
04-02-2008, 03:50 PM
I've always felt the Lightwave business model needs to become more aggressive if they want to stay competitive.

Since paid point upgrades obviously works for other companies*, it may work for Lightwave. But a problem being that Lightwave is behind on some things. It may be too late for them to create enough backing to supply the point-release monetary pipeline.

I think Lightwave needs to gradually enter the point-release payment plan, over time. Start small, then work into subscription, then into price increases-- once their whole package becomes competitive again**.

* Other companies in LW's bracket that charge for point releases: 3DS Max, C4D, Maya, XSI...

** Competitive being their animation and layout tools-- the render and modeler is highly regarded.

Cageman
04-02-2008, 04:13 PM
they are definitely going to have to earn their money from this point forward... thats for sure!

What we have now is way less then i was expecting for the 9x cycle... Disappointed is an understatement! They will have to show me something special before I give them another cent...:goodluck:

Who said 9.x cycle was over? Just curious... havn't heard anything of that either in the OB nor here...

archijam
04-02-2008, 04:23 PM
I'm saying adding Fur i already paid for, is not a smart move on my back pocket.

This is the second time you've mentioned this in this thread.

It has been stated elsewhere by NT (NDA NDA NDA) that this investment will not effect you.

To make a plugin analogy, It is also akin so suggesting that as an Fprime or HD Instance user, you would be disappointed to see Fprime or HD I integrated into LW.

Are you serious?

To expect that the FFIV to FiberFX conversion and integration of programmer within NT will NOT improve the potential original plugin beyond its previous abilities is ... odd.

j.

Cageman
04-02-2008, 04:23 PM
The 8 and 9 development cycles have been slow, and have not produced a massively better LW experience. Considering how far behind LW is, committing to an upgrade until the upgrade is complete is not something i will be doing in the future. For myself the Beta of LW9.x for two years, destroyed the community that was so active before NDA's and constant beta development.
FPrime just isn't enough to sell me LW anymore.

Call me an idiot... but I can honestly say that I do things in LW9.x (with the help of some free third party tools) in minutes that would take several hours to do in LW8.x, if at all... ...yeah... thinking about it... I came up with a workflow that IS impossible in LW8.x without doing several steps. I can now do everything in one step AND have flexibility. And the setup IS a matter of minutes rather than hours. :)

It all depends on what you do, of course, and how much influence you have from other apps. My workflow is very inspired by how you can work in Maya. I was very happy to discover that LW9.x allowed me to have a similar workflow (if not even better) as I have in Maya.

And I'm not talking about rendering... those improvements... well.. holy cow!:)

Cageman
04-02-2008, 04:25 PM
To expect that the FFIV to FiberFX conversion and integration of programmer within NT will NOT improve the potential original plugin beyond its previous abilities is ... odd.

j.

Or... he really doesn't have a clue! :)

Darth Mole
04-02-2008, 04:47 PM
I just had to render an animation for a client. I was using 9.3.1 with radiosity and it was taking ages - plus the animation colours/tones kept popping, very weird. I figured I'd run it through 9.5 beta and the output was excellent: faster and smoother. Got the job finished much quicker.

LW has made very serious progress - not least all the under-the-hood stuff we can't see (and, rightly, don't care about). It's a shame that not all that work is obvious, as I think a lot of users would be surprised just how far your ? and $ have gone in the development of LW.

If paid upgrades mean that Jay and the team can deliver on their promise of a 'profoundly stable' application, with best-of-breed tools, then I'm all for it. You just don't get something for nothing.

RedBull
04-02-2008, 05:03 PM
I've always felt the Lightwave business model needs to become more aggressive if they want to stay competitive.

I agree, and i understand that NT needs a better revenue stream and constant income, free render nodes for example is a selling point, but also a hinderence for making more money. And after two years, you wonder how NT do pay their programmers..... :)


Since paid point upgrades obviously works for other companies*, it may work for Lightwave. But a problem being that Lightwave is behind on some things. It may be too late for them to create enough backing to supply the point-release monetary pipeline.

Agreed! A brand new LW10 with a nice new core, may get me to change my mind... (even a new LW10 Modeler)


* Other companies in LW's bracket that charge for point releases: 3DS Max, C4D, Maya, XSI...

The difference being that i own seats in two of them, and hardly ever upgrade.... I usually go many versions before finding useful features, With LW i pre-upgraded..... You might find this makes LW not make more money, at least not from myself.




To make a plugin analogy, It is also akin so suggesting that as an Fprime or HD Instance user, you would be disappointed to see Fprime or HD I integrated into LW.

Oh absolutely, You see Graham and Steve are two of Lightwaves biggest assets, and they've both done outstanding efforts on their particular plugins, if NT integrated them, we can assume that nothing better would ever come of them.... How many examples from the past would you like me to site?


To expect that the FFIV to FiberFX conversion and integration of programmer within NT will NOT improve the potential original plugin beyond its previous abilities is ... odd..

Your point is not one i was making, and indeed has nothing to do with the idea of upgrades and paid point releases. Given the fact we all pre-paid because of the value-adding of LWCAD and DFX+ over the last few years, when value-adding a hair solution to add new customers, and not implementing the ideas put forth when i made my investment in LW9, is not something that many will put up with, and now they are suggesting subscription or paid point upgrades, Good luck with that!

Wickster
04-02-2008, 05:28 PM
I don't see the difference between a .0 and a .5 so as far as I'm concerned its business as usual. It all comes down to us, NT tells us what on the next .x release and we decide wether it's worthy of our money to pay for the update or not. It's always been like this, except our .0 releases are .Xs to other competitors. the only ones that would have a problem are the ones who "must" have the latest and greatest version no matter what.

globalnode
04-02-2008, 05:34 PM
Who said 9.x cycle was over? Just curious... havn't heard anything of that either in the OB nor here...

I just assume that this is it... for the most part.
I doubt they will show me what I was expecting for 9.x.

Yog
04-02-2008, 05:34 PM
* Other companies in LW's bracket that charge for point releases: 3DS Max, C4D, Maya, XSI...

You can remove XSI from that list. Always get some useful new tools with their free point releases.

Even though they don't release many updates, I suppose you could also include MAX in the free updates if you are on subscription. A bit of a grey area, but at least you get a guaranteed full release every 12 months with the subscription.

DragonFist
04-02-2008, 06:14 PM
I have no problem with charging reasonable prices for ".x" releases that are new feature releases. I would be upset paying for bugfix releases. I consider that I shouldn't have had the bugs in the first place and shouldn't have to pay to have them fixed.

So, if I get 10.0 and then 10.0.1 comes out fixing some bugs found in 10.0 after release, this should be free. But if then 10.1 comes out with new features x, y and z, then okay, I'll pay a reasonable upgrade fee if I desire those features.

I think it might be better to sort of "feature expansions" rather than ".x" feature releases anyway.

That way if the v10 "Motion Capture Functionality Expansion" isn't something I want, I can skip it but if they then add v10 "Character Rigging Expansion" and I do want those, I can get those without getting the motion capture one.

That's the way I'd go. Either way, want to make clear that I would not be interested in paying for bug fixes.

jin choung
04-02-2008, 06:21 PM
You just don't get something for nothing.

again, unless you've been asleep for the last decade, you know it's not true:

- linux (i only list it once but it's really huge)
- apache (also huge)
- blender (it looks pro too! http://peach.blender.org/index.php/trailer-page/)
- winamp
- skype
- pidgin
- firefox
- gnu c (etc) compiler
- python
- java
- bit torrent
- open office
- google and its legion of free stuff

and i could go on, i really could.

so just want to counter that particular notion. these days, you can get a whole awful lot (and often better than commercial options) for nothin'.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

of course, not to say that there's anything wrong with commercial software or people trying to make a living by it. but it is indeed made tougher by competition not only from other commercial concerns but by the freebies too. good luck to ya.

but yeah, if there's not a radical upshift in the quality and quantity of not only features but CHOICE of features commensurate with the additional cost, the next version may be an opportune point to take my leave.

jin

globalnode
04-02-2008, 06:33 PM
Yeah... I would be real interested to know what their pre order sales will be like compared the last releases. I bet it will be like 80% less... Unless they give some ridiculously great deal, and even then I think people will want to see what they are buying first! I know I will.

DragonFist
04-02-2008, 06:56 PM
@globalnode, err... wavemaster, etc.

How many times do you need to be banned to stop playing devils advocate?

globalnode
04-02-2008, 07:01 PM
@globalnode, err... wavemaster, etc.

How many times do you need to be banned to stop playing devils advocate?


Dont know any wavemasters, and I am merely stating that know one in their right mind would prepay for another 3 year beta!

OOZZEE
04-02-2008, 07:35 PM
Saying that adding fur or CA joints is not revolutionary in 2008 yet praising other packages (that can cost much much more) for having is a bit twisted.


no one is praising other packages... just stating that they(NT) are not doing anything new in the market.

Something I would like to understand is why say something like this now after all this time when I honestly believe that most LWavers stayed loyal to NT because of such a good policy in the first place...

if this change is an attempt solely for making more money, they may lose that loyalty.

I think NT are slowly coming out of a slump and I personally dont think the recent improvements justifies such a change right now... too early !

but then again, if they came up with the WOW factor, I would invest again in them on a .x ( but no $$$ for bug fixes )

Nicolas Jordan
04-02-2008, 09:03 PM
I think this is a good thing as long as most of the additional revenue is put into development, just my opinion. I don't mind paying for something like a 10.5 release but I not sure I would want to pay for every little release like 10.2, 10.3 etc unless they were fairly solid feature rich release that were spread out. I really have a feeling that 10 will be the next major release maybe after a 9.5.1 or something. It's been a while since Lightwave has really felt like it was in a complete, finished, polished state. I realise that it's always under development but I really don't think any partially finished or partially implemented features should be left in Lightwave in any release. I am hoping that Lightwave 10 will show lots of polish and feel more complete than the Lightwave 9.0 release did. I think that this extra revenue from point release could help put some extra polish into the product.

Brian_7
04-02-2008, 09:07 PM
As I see it, the 9.x cycle is long. There is no question about it. I believe NT did the right thing and allowed us a "free" 9.5 upgrade and will continue the improvements up until 10.0. When 10.0 arrives, we will pay for the upgrade and then as 10.1-10.4 comes along, we get it free. When 10.5 comes, we probably will pay. This was how pricing was before the 9.x cycle.

The software upgrades from almost ALL software vendors over the past 5 years have been quite soft in comparison to the previous 5 years before that. There are exceptions... and there has been quite a few remarkable achievements in the 3D industry during that time....

Brian

P.S. The remarks stated above are personal in nature and do not reflect what other people believe nor is it intended. :)

KevinL
04-02-2008, 09:42 PM
Ahhhhh.... yet again

jin choung
04-02-2008, 09:53 PM
This was how pricing was before the 9.x cycle.

????

i don't know who you were paying or why but NO IT WASN'T.

and this is why there is a reaction. this is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than past iterations.

jin

kfinla
04-02-2008, 10:16 PM
I'm not sure how to react to paid updates.. I've been a LW user since v 6.0b and am used to paying only for full X.0 updates.

The Lw 8.x series was a bit underwhelming, were as the Lw 9.x updates have been very impressive, and as ppl have commented most devs would charge for the level of development going into them.

I guess ultimately IF there is a paid point upgrade, or subscription system put in place.. I hope it is only for the x.5 updates not all the way along. Marketing will be busy trying to convince me to part with my money each time.

I waited a long time to buy LW 9 and certainly admit that a lot of it was the direction i saw in 9.2 and knowing i would get more still for free. If all i was getting was 9.2 i'm not sure I would of bit.

Larry_g1s
04-02-2008, 11:42 PM
LW is a great program, and even if i don't upgrade i can use it's features for years to come, but it's hardly the software i want to be investing my future in..The architecture is old, the tools are rapidly falling behind the status quo.
Modo is cheaper and has a growing community, with an SDK still to come.

NT could not port Modeler tools to Layout, they could not get CC patches to be worthwhile, the Nodal interface can't even affect OGL. This is not a LW i want....

And actually when you add FPrime, FiberFactory, LWCAD, HD Instance, LW is not cheap in comparison that have the majority of features in one nice package, and they all work with everything, unlike LW which is usually limited by the architecture. As demonstrated by the fact FFIV, does it work with HD-Instance, Kray or Fprime..... Does LWCAD work in Layout yet?



Speaking of twisted, I'm sorry where did i praise other packages Hair and Joints? I'm saying adding Fur i already paid for, is not a smart move on my back pocket. And considering the Saslite debacle, gee it's the third time NT ripped me off the same thing.

The 8 and 9 development cycles have been slow, and have not produced a massively better LW experience. Considering how far behind LW is, committing to an upgrade until the upgrade is complete is not something i will be doing in the future. For myself the Beta of LW9.x for two years, destroyed the community that was so active before NDA's and constant beta development.
FPrime just isn't enough to sell me LW anymore.1st I'd like to apologize for saying twisted, I was in a hurry, and couldn't think of a better word. But after reading it in your quote, it didn't convey what I meant. That said...I'm not sure where you're getting your info. but Modo isn't cheaper than LW, it's the same price. Granted it might have instancing (p.s. this isn't a LW Modo comparision, just LW comparision to other apps. period...dont' want to start an app war) and certain things different, but as I said before, it has no animation built in. At best you can import the motion, etc. So I'm not knocking Modo in anyway. I just still think pound for pound (dollars to features) LW is tough to beat.

JohnMarchant
04-02-2008, 11:56 PM
I would gladly pay for a good .5 release as long as its not just a bug fix. I think the releases between the .0 and .5 release should be for bug fixes and free.

I hope and dont think that NT would ever go down the autodesk route. If it improves the software and gives us good new tools and helps developement then im all for it.

Regards, John

*Pete*
04-03-2008, 12:59 AM
The first thought about the potential new pricing for point updates i got now in the morning, was even more positive..actually.

To take FiberFX as an example...it didnt get into 9.5 for free, thats for sure...NT bought it for us and imho, thing like FiberFX (or Sasquatch (not saslite)) should have been bought and implemented a long time ago, same goes for valuable plugins as FPrime, HD Instance and LWCad.

us paying for point upgrades will boost the economy of NT to hire more developers, or to buy third party plugins into LW at a far faster rate than before, this will also speed up the overall progress towards the ultimate goal of "Catch up".

us buying all the needed plugins by ourselfs would result in 2 things, both negative.
1: we would pay more for them when buying as individuals.
2: changes within LW might break the functionality and the developers or the plugins would, as usual wait for a point update to be released before fixing the plugins.

NT buying the plugins, with our money for the updates..
1: cheaper, as NT can negotiate as a big player and get large discounts.
2: plugins broken by code changes are fixed on the fly as plugin developers will have far more access to the code (if hired or contracted by NT).

who didnt watch with envy when Autod**k bought Mudbox?..i did, and i wished that NT would be able to do the same one day...but it aint gonna happen as long NT is a: the cheapest player on the field and b: the most generous and therefore the most economically handicapped player on the field.

all in all, positive news...how much can a point update cost??..heck, LW costs so little that i could very well buy it once a month without straining my economy all too much, and im not rich.
*disclaimer: the last argument is valid as long as dollar is as low as it is ;)

jin choung
04-03-2008, 01:13 AM
heck, LW costs so little that i could very well buy it once a month without straining my economy all too much, and im not rich.
*disclaimer: the last argument is valid as long as dollar is as low as it is ;)

then you are the kind of consumer that companies dream about.

even if i could, i would not. i have better things to spend my money on, least of all others in my life. heck, even charities or a random homeless person would be far better deserving.

they only get my money if i feel it's worth what i'm getting for it. if not, not.

jin

juanjgon
04-03-2008, 01:18 AM
I have no problems in pay for LW updates ... i make money with LW and it is my main tool in my work. I need a solid LW development and a top application and NT needs money for this ... period. Withou this LW never could be a top product, and we all need it.

Darth Mole
04-03-2008, 02:11 AM
Jin - yes, okay. Some things are free to the consumer, but all these things need funding somewhere along the line, perhaps not by the end user but by the sale of supporting material, books, DVDs, special offers, charity donations etc. Or, in most of these cases, the hard work of the coders that give over a lot of their free time.

LW isn't like that and I don't mind that it isn't. But I do expect a superior product and - importantly - service because of it.

Sorry, I'm an old cynic: I still figure there's a catch somewhere along the line...!

*Pete*
04-03-2008, 02:15 AM
they only get my money if i feel it's worth what i'm getting for it. if not, not.

jin

Agreed ;)

i just wanted to point out that LW is far from being expensive, considering the money it can bring in.

My previous job was as a concrete grinder specialist (its as sad as it sounds like) and we used machines worth 100.000$, and could easily waste expensive diamond grinding tools worth 5000$ during 1-2 days worth of work.
the electricity bills were massive, we had to transport all our (large) tools by truck sometimes very long distances...

sure, my boss took well paid for the effort and my salary was nothing to be ashamed off...but the estimated time to fully pay off a investment in one of the 100.000$ machines were about a year and a half, after that everything made with the machine was profit.

this is very normal in most businesses, you buy the needed tools and expect to have it paid off by the money it will generate, during a few years.

3D, and LW specially is a very low cost business, i pay very little for Lightwave, i pay little more for plugins and still something more for my computer..but thats it, after 1-2 jobs all of that is paid and the rest is profit.
depending on the speed i am getting new jobs i can very well pay it all off in one month, and have eleven months of profit.
AND...i still have a day job, and 3D is only extra for me at the moment...i can only imagine the amounts of money you pros can drag in.


NT getting paid for updates will most likely mean that we will get better updates, which will potentially save us the need to buy plugins...i have no problems with that, infact..i see it as saved money and time.

and as you say..if the named update is of no intrest, i wont buy it.

jin choung
04-03-2008, 02:16 AM
Or, in most of these cases, the hard work of the coders that give over a lot of their free time.

yes. we're assuming these things are NOT magically appearing out of thin air of their own volition.... : )

of course, when we say free, we mean free to the end user.

and cynicism is fine and you're welcome to it of course. but the free/open source movement have a pretty fine track record now to hang your hat on.

jin

archijam
04-03-2008, 02:33 AM
yes. we're assuming these things are NOT magically appearing out of thin air of their own volition.... : )

of course, when we say free, we mean free to the end user.

and cynicism is fine and you're welcome to it of course. but the free/open source movement have a pretty fine track record now to hang your hat on.

jin

... so propose a business plan in which LW could release things for free, yet pay for their overheads and keep the updates substantial. Not saying it isn't possible, I'm genuinely curious if you have some examples, coming from the open source sector .. I'm sure NT (and any other 3D vendor) would be genuinely interested, especially given the current financial climate.

j.

jin choung
04-03-2008, 02:41 AM
i'm not! not at all.

i have absolutely NO problem with lw being a commercial app and i have no problem with lw making a buck.

i have NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER of trying to get lw to be free!

in this thread, i'm just pointing out a counter to darth's earlier sentiment.

further, they are of course, completely free to charge as much and as often as they want.

and i would only point out the obvious that i won't necessarily follow. for me, cost of ownership was a huge part of why i've stuck around.

lw doesn't exist in a vacuum and competition comes into play. and alas, there are indeed now, viable free alternatives.

so certainly, newtek should do whatever they feel is in their best interest.

jin

colkai
04-03-2008, 03:23 AM
Yeah... I would be real interested to know what their pre order sales will be like compared the last releases. I bet it will be like 80% less... Unless they give some ridiculously great deal, and even then I think people will want to see what they are buying first! I know I will.

Yep, me likewise, they would have to do something truly outstanding to secure a pre-order from me next time around. Truthfully though, as nice as some of the new features are, the timescale and uncertainty of how this has all progressed means I very much doubt that is going to happen.

More likely, especially of point upgrades are chargeable too, I will only upgrade once I've seen something *working* that I like. Of course, that said, if each point upgrade becomes chargeable, it may be a moot point as the cumulative cost may just put it out of my reach as a hobbyist anyhow.

archijam
04-03-2008, 03:28 AM
i'm not! not at all.

i have absolutely NO problem with lw being a commercial app and i have no problem with lw making a buck.

i have NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER of trying to get lw to be free!


That was not what I meant, sorry if it read like that. I assumed that you were implying that LW could learn from the open source 'business' strategy, ie. fast advances, high community involvement, low overheads - in which case I am genuinely interested. Not about becoming open source entirely ...

It's an interesting topic.

I have to say, that with people such as Pomfried and Dpont working with the Light plugin class as fast as they are, I like what this could suggest for 9.x ..

j.

Yog
04-03-2008, 07:20 AM
Of course, that said, if each point upgrade becomes chargeable, it may be a moot point as the cumulative cost may just put it out of my reach as a hobbyist anyhow.

Paid point releases may sound a major move for Newtek (and would certainly take away some of the moral high ground), but in reality it will remain a small change as long as Newtek continue their policy of each upgrade costing the same no matter what version you are coming from.
This is the real strength of Lightwave's upgrade policy, and is the real unique feature that distinguishes it from the competition.

You can't imagine how much it galls me to be on Autodesk's subscription program for MAX. If I miss one upgrade I more or less have to pay double next time, miss a few upgrades and my entire upgrade path gets wiped out and I have to start from scratch. unfortunately I have to use the software, so I'm an unwilling slave to their upgrade policy.
Fortunately for me, but not for Newtek, I've at times been able to take a break from upgrading Lightwave, and jump on the bandwagon a couple years later with no financial penalty.
It's because of this I'm quite surprised that Newtek are considering charging for point releases, but not introducing a sliding scale for full version upgrades. If they really wanted to make money, the opposite way around would be the way to go.

achrystie
04-03-2008, 07:45 AM
In my mind it really just has to do with exactly "how" they choose to implement the new policy. It's a balancing act of what I find to be fair and reasonable and what they can get away with charging and how often. The things that stick out in my mind that would make me turn to a competitive product (or just use an old release without upgrading the newer version) are:
a) the quality/significance feature of upgrades offered
b) the price associated with those upgrades/features
c) the overall stability of the product.

Things that have made me stop using or stop upgrading a product in the past have been when a developer continuously branches "bug" fixes in with minor features that I now have to pay for. Caligari did this with Truespace. They released a whole bunch of "non free" point releases, with bug fixes mixed in, that were necessary, but then threw in some "useless" extra feature and called it a paid point upgrade. It made the program frustrating to deal with and the overall cost of ownership much more than it seemed when you first purchased it. People argue that we should "pay" the company to fix bugs, but my opinion is that any software "must" have a profit margin built in, and if the code is riddled with bugs...it's up to the developer to pay for that fix out of their profit margin, not charge me for it.

I'd also argue that just because the developer charges more, or more often, does not mean that ends up going into development, and it's a bit of blind faith that increasing price will increase quality or decrease development time.
My personal opinion is that "some" of the features that have been introduced in the 9.x cycle may have warranted some upgrade cost, such as the hair and shader nodes. These are features that could be purchased separately that were integrated into the product and yet add "significantly" to the feature set. However, expecting me to pay for some small optimizations and bug fixes for the program is...expecting a lot.

Lastly, the cost of the upgrades is certainly a factor. If every 6 months I now have to pay 1/2 the overall cost of the program to "upgrade"...other programs become much more attractive.
Just my two cents.

markschum
04-03-2008, 08:20 AM
I have a problem with being asked to pay for bugfixes. And thats all a point release should be anyway. You release Vx and then fix everything that doesnt work properly in Vx.1 - Vx.x

New feature additions should be Version releases .

If charging for bugfixes then lower the cost of the upgrade .

I didnt upgrade to Version 9 because it was more than 50% of the cost of the product, and I didnt see enough in it to pay that much again for it .

Thats just my opinion .

It would be nice to get tools that dont abort the entire application when a selection is unacceptable. I dont get a big thrill having to reboot a system when the app crashes and find and delete the potentially corrupt config files for each tool.

wavk
04-03-2008, 09:38 AM
no problem with payed upgrades although rather not.
i definatly will not pay for betas.


mlon

jin choung
04-03-2008, 11:35 AM
That was not what I meant, sorry if it read like that. I assumed that you were implying that LW could learn from the open source 'business' strategy, ie. fast advances, high community involvement, low overheads - in which case I am genuinely interested. Not about becoming open source entirely ...

It's an interesting topic.


oh, ok.

well mostly, i've said that newtek CAN'T keep up with the open source method. they're doing stuff that is beyond the development budgets of companies much larger than newtek.

what i saw as an interesting strategy was if lightwave made a clean break at version 9.99 and version "0" became a legacy free product, i thought it would be smart to release version 9.x's source code for community maintenance.

it would still be a paid product but the source is released (like id software does for their older games like doom, quake, etc). this would be the version of lw that maintains compatibility and the community can develop it and get rid of bugs and such.

and that version would be perpetually available for the sake of compatibility (and interim usage as version 0 comes up to snuff) and every purchase of lightwave zero would come with it and it could be purchased alone for a nominal price.

i think that would be a cool move that would leverage the best aspects of the lightwave community and the highly motivated bunch that are already creating free plugins and such.

but it's probably not feasible for them since they're probably never going to ditch ties to their legacy code.

instead of breaking compatibility once and for all at the next version, it will, as is currently happening, break compatibility little bits at a time.

jin

kfinla
04-03-2008, 09:08 PM
Just to play devils advocate.. I also would echo.. who's to say a dime of paid upgrade money is put into R&D and is not just kept as profit.

Autodesk has billions and were not seeing Max version 20.

Ultimately we all want NT to be a healthy profitable company. If it goes belly up we all lose.

Personally I think the paid upgrade paradigm might be a bit pre-mature. Having seen LW in both bright and dark times I would say were just starting to step into the light again and see positive momentum. I think it might be better to get more ppl onboard with what a great value LW is first.. perhaps paid upgrades in the LW 11.x series once more ppl are on the hook. Thats just my 2 cents.

*Pete*
04-03-2008, 10:55 PM
Just to play devils advocate.. I also would echo.. who's to say a dime of paid upgrade money is put into R&D and is not just kept as profit.



The economical law of competitivity?...If NT raises the price of LW, but does not add new features faster, or of better quality, they are likely to loose customers to competitors that are about at the same pricerange.

but yes, it could happen that the upgrade fees would end up into free drinks and pizzas and NT offices, but knowing that for example FiberFX (9.5 beta) didnt come cheap, but was just as well bought in and implemented into LW strenghtens the faith that NT is doing what it can to please us, the customers.

hair and fur werent promised to be a part of the 9.x cycle, but now we have it.
there are other areas that could be worth to be improved and buying fully functional, ready made third party plugins not only frees up NT dev team from the job of creating own solutions for those things and allows them to work with, for example strenghtening LW as it is, core updating and what not ;)

but, i still doubt that a paid upgrade system would be anything like a subscription fee, giving you the chance to opt not to buy updates you do not need.
which in turn would lessen the profit generated by the updates and increase the pressure to deliver better and more meaty updates.

you, as a devils advocate could be correct, and Nt would just collect the money and save in a bank...but they would also not win anything by doing so, no marketshares, no new customers, they would always be "catching up"...so, they have everything to win and nothing to loose by reinvesting the money generated by updates, into new technologies for future updates.

Andrewstopheles
04-05-2008, 01:46 PM
I'm waiting for a better explaination from Jay Roth. I was initially stunned by the 3DWolrd article and Jay's comment that left me worried about upgrade pricing.
As a small studio VP Lightwave has been a wonderful tool and the 9.5 cycle is a real treat. I beleive I've gotten my money's worth. However I have to agree with Jin that I won't necessarily follow if the cost of ownership increases. I'm already facing my first paid update when v.10 comes, and if I have to pay another $500 for v.10.2 I would be very disappointed. I might pay $500 for 10.5 if its a strong release, but I can't see myself paying for incremental updates. I would prefer a subscription pricing model in that case, but I can get a lot for free (Blender) so there needs to be an icentive to pay.
Newtek is in business, and they need to treat it like a business, so paid upgrades might be in our future but I hope they don't price themselves out of the market. And their market is, after all, mostly made up of the small studios and freelancers.
Maybe the render nodes could be licensed... my opinion is that the larger studios doing feature films won't feel the bite of the additional expense as much as I will.

hrgiger
04-05-2008, 07:07 PM
I don't think that they will charge the full upgrade price for each incremental update. I could see the regular price of updating to a full version(which is $400, not $500 unless you want the printed manual) and then maybe anywhere from $100-$200 for increments if that.
Personally, I don't like the idea of an annual subscription. I would like to see what I'm getting before I pay for it.

SP00
04-05-2008, 08:02 PM
I rather see a higher price for a full point release with free .x upgrades than cheaper upfront cost and paid upgrades for .x releases.

So if Newtek really needs more money for the LW10. Charge me more for LW10.0 and give me all the free upgrades in the 10 cycle. I believe this will keep LW community on the same page better, since you can break up the community into different .x releases of the same cycle, which would suck.

Titus
04-05-2008, 10:26 PM
I don't think that they will charge the full upgrade price for each incremental update.

I think the same. A few years ago I paid NT a software update for my Video Toaster 2 system just to have the ability to install the card on a Win XP PC (something related to the new OS). I had the option to install the original disks in a Win 2000 box, but decided to pay $60 bucks instead, not a big deal because I paid more for my obsolete sorry-only-one-generation iomega BUZZ video capture card.

Having this experience I'm confident NT will charge for specific updates and nobody is gonna be forced. Don't want to do the small update? no problem, wait for the next.

SP00
04-06-2008, 08:13 PM
One thing is for sure, bug fixes should be absolutely free. That means that bug fix updates should probably be separated from new feature updates, but that makes things a little complicated.

jin choung
04-06-2008, 11:26 PM
One thing is for sure, bug fixes should be absolutely free. That means that bug fix updates should probably be separated from new feature updates, but that makes things a little complicated.

not if they just made .x updates free! that's what .x updates SHOULD BE! just bug fixes....

and the big features should be hallmarks of integral updates...

but noooooooo....

jin

JMCarrigan
04-10-2008, 08:02 PM
So I saw J Roth talking to 3D World magazine... and there was the question about the FREE upgrade nature of lw... blah, blah, licensed users, yadda, yadda.

One thing that i couldnt help but notice was Js saying that the practice of giving away free .x updates in a version cycle may well not continue beyond the 9 cycle.... YIKES.

Ok... for my own part... I bought LW at v7.5 with free upgrade to 8, got all the 8.x updates free... paid for 9, and have gotten all the 9.x updates free... I also got vue for free, some training videos, etc.

One thing Ive LOVED about LW is just how long ive been able to run the program, always up to date, and for how little (its cost me less than 1000 of my earth pounds so far).

U may think therefore that Im gonna have a ***** about this changing in future, and us being made to pay for .x upgrades.... but to the contrary... I just wanna say this.... (before anyone else starts off a ***** thread on it (;

Newtek fellas... i, and Im sure many others have really dug LWs pricing structure over the years, and u've given us so much, for so little... so thanks... and if u do have to change the pricing structure, and charge for every .x update... then do what u gotta do.... As long as u keep the prices reasonable, and the shift in pricing is matched by a constant improvement in LW itself.... then I, for one, and my lovely cash, will be behind u guys all the way.

So. Mind if I ask if it's still possible to get Vue fer free?

pumeco
04-11-2008, 03:02 AM
Just thought I'd add a quick rant here.

I think NewTek should think very carefully about raising the price of LightWave. They'll face the danger of losing their hobbyist userbase and falling into that void where the hobbyist is piced-out, and the pro market aren't interested because the price difference between LightWave and the industry standard app's is even smaller. Not many will think the price difference is worth the risc.

There is growth, and there is mega growth.

To achieve mega growth, I still say that the best thing NewTek could possibly do is to keep a low profile for now, make version 10 an absolute killer, lower the price on version 10 for promotion, offer it on DAZ as being "Victoria friendly" (very important), and rake in the money and the members.

I honestly can't imagine a better solution than that. Of course, the product would actually have to be "Victoria friendly" to pull it off, but that should be easy enough to achieve.

Come on NewTek, smell the roses!
Why do you think Luxology did the DAZ thing :)

colkai
04-11-2008, 05:03 AM
Well for the first time in my history, the upgrade to LW10 is not clear cut.
Assuming I have funds for an upgrade, I'll be looking long N hard at XSI Foundations next time as an alternative.

Never thought I'd hear myself say that.