If you are old enough, you have been disappointed before by great software that has been mismanaged and flung over the corporate abyss. As a user of Painter since Fractal Painter, the last 2 years of releases does not bode well for me remaining a part of the Painter customer base. I'm not a pro, but a hobbyist of photography, computers, and the modern means towards achieving my now retired bliss.
3 things: 1) last year's conundrum with the upgrade pricing. I did receive a refund from $229 to $99 then, but it sure made me think about the marketing by the product manager. 2) this year, 2016 upgrade pricing involves the identical consumer misrepresentation as last year. How can a company make the same mistake in such a short time? I made sure I paid $99 this time, but I see that many have paid more. A bad business move, for sure. 3) installed upgrade fine on laptop, but unable to install cleanly on desktop (after using tab-enter) and bugs galore. I haven't heard of something even close since the Netscape and Explorer wars of the 1990's. (Bet you that R&D didn't use an AMD machine with Radeon graphics in testing). That is just plain silly and extraordinarily amateurish by a company like Corel whose main competition is Adobe.
I have received my customer support file number and was moderately chagrined that they were additionally trying to sell me faster support services. Like paying for support will solve a carte blanche install bug, though they could sure keep me busy trying to work around what I cannot fix.
Have read the community's forums as to Painter 2016, additional bugs present and past. Bugs are inherent in software to the extent that the product developers are given the ability and resources to care and nurture their product and their customer base. Which should maybe match up with corporate goals and operations management guidelines. Which made me look up current Corel financials and their public company health.
Anyone can look this up, but it appears as if part of the product management disarray resembles recent corporate decision-making.
(from Wikipedia): Having suffered layoffs in 2003, 2008 and 2012, Corel went through another re-structuring in December 2013 by letting go the entire engineering and quality assurance team in its Taipei office. The Taipei office had been the core development centre of PaintShop Pro and VideoStudio, one of Corel's most well-known photo- and video-editing bundles. The 2013 re-structuring led to a complete handover of the product development to outsourced companies, and cut off support of pre- and post-purchase customer service.
I have never been patient with "things" that don't work. But experience has codified my once ongoing quest for personal embarrassment; I have met my limitations, and agree that I am not necessarily bug-free, either.
But for something that I care about, like Painter, I am compelled to understand the "why". Obviously the business plan is not what we think it is, because it is not normal and rational. I can only tell Corel what I think and express my concerns for our future together. And I don't plan on getting much closer to the abyss.
Keith123 said:Rearranging the brush categories and removing variants and then charging $29 for 15 brushes is insulting
The 2015 library still exists inside 2016 - no brushes were removed actually - you just don't see them in the 2016 library. You can switch to the 2015 library under the Brush Menu - plus the 2015 library in Painter 2016 has all the new 2016 brushes mixed into it as well - so in effect when you choose the 2015 library you are getting all the past brushes from 2015 plus the new 2016 brushes. Hope that makes sense.
I think that the 2016 library was condensed to help new users not feel overwhelmed. I don't mind too juch because I can still access the old 2015 library. I have mixed feelings on the 2016 library being condensed - while the number of brushes present before was somewhat daunting, I was always discovering new variants that I had never previously used - even after years of using Painter - and that was often part of the fun of using the software - that feeling that the software had so many surprises.
As far as selling brush packs - the idea doesn't really bother me but the price is too high IMO - however I respect the fact that many do not like this new approach to adding content.
My take on the brush packs is that they were really made for ParticleShop (with Painter users as a secondary concern) -- they are all particle brushes, and having tried all of them I don't think you are missing out on much (unless you really want more particle brushes). I am all for separated content sales, but the content needs to have diversity, quality and value. I am not sure I agree that Painter needs to deliver new content with every version -- when you buy the software you get the full brush engine, with all of the capacity to make your own brushes (or customize existing ones). At that point you are far better off than something like ParticleShop that can only use the brushes (but not make them). I am a little irritated about ParticleShop itself -- those are development resources that could have been put into Painter instead. Every time they go off on some sidetrack like this it waters down what Painter could be. I also agree that as an outsider it sure looks like some "corporate suit" is making really dumb decisions based on short-term thinking, and the lower level people are just doing their best to make it work. Focusing on common sense issues and taking care of long-standing issues is far more pressing than being "inventive" with new features.
jason_maranto said: I am not sure I agree that Painter needs to deliver new content with every version -- when you buy the software you get the full brush engine, with all of the capacity to make your own brushes (or customize existing ones).
There's enough brushes in Painter's library that Corel should release a new version without any new brush technologies and just upgrade other tools that need updating.
jason_maranto said: am a little irritated about ParticleShop itself -- those are development resources that could have been put into Painter instead. Every time they go off on some sidetrack like this it waters down what Painter could be
I don't understand how providing features for Photoshop is going to help Painter stay competitive - it seems to me that this will only keep people from checking out Painter.