Recently I got another email including a $5 coupon from DAZ, saying “we miss you so much, we’ll pay you to get you back!”
Yes, I’d also like to continue buying more products from the DAZ store again, but it seems the guys there are making it very hard for their customers to keep on supporting them. Why? There are many reasons, and I think most of them are well-known but are ignored intentionally:
First of all, DAZ is not listening to their customers. Instead of respecting their wishes (which are sometimes not so special), they are just ignoring them. For example there were many requests to keep all Readme files within the downloadable packages (as it was common before), but they decided to cancel them completely. For each single product, now several files have to be downloaded separately, like Readme files, content file lists or rendering infos. After each purchase the customer has to search the whole DAZ homepage in order to retrieve original information from the author. Usually documentation is always included with the purchased product, but not here at DAZ. When you’re in the middle of a workflow and you’d like to look up some hints from the author, this whole procedure is really annoying and sometimes even unacceptable, especially if the working PC is not supposed to go online. On a regular basis DAZ is closing such “unwanted” threads in the forums asking for improvements, and so many user voices will remain unheard and ignored.
The next point I’d like to mention is that compatibility is still a foreign word for DAZ developers. Functions that have been introduced few D|S versions ago are suddenly “unappreciated”, have disappeared from application menus, or simply won’t work anymore as before. Noone likes to rely on a new program version that doesn’t behave like the previous one. Of course artists want to continue using products they already purchased. Buying a product update (if it will be developed at all) for every new D|S version (even if the application is for free) is not acceptable.
However, the same problem applies to new DAZ products, too. It should be absolutely no problem for DAZ vendors to include additional material presets that can be interpreted and executed by older DAZ Studio versions (“legacy files”). But instead of making their new products compatible with all recent Studio versions, DAZ postulates that D|S 4.5 (or for using Genesis2 even D|S 4.6) has to be running. Even new products for the good-old Victoria 4 already come with material presets which sometimes cannot be read anymore by Studio versions older than V4.5. What if users still like to work with D|S 4.0, the initial version the Genesis platform has been introduced with? Unfortunately the latest D|S versions are still buggy. After all it really wouldn’t be too much effort for DAZ vendors also to include the approved file formats like “DSA/DSB/DSE” material files which can be interpreted by every common D|S version. Another approach could be that DAZ is providing a free “material preset converter” tool for DAZ-internal formats, in order to translate the newest “DUF” material file format back to “DSF” or even to “DSA/DSB/DSE”. But as it seems, DAZ is not interested at all to support their existing community. In the meantime you almost get the impression that Poser users are more welcome than DAZ users, as all you need in Poser is just to install that DSON stuff and everything is set and ready to go. For DAZ 4.0 users no support can be expected anymore, especially in conjunction with that belated “DSF” to “DUF” format change nobody needs.
The only opportunity left for me is to stick on the V4 figure and to spend more money buying at other stores like Renderosity or Content Paradise, which are now my preferred choice over DAZ. The simple reason is that there are many vendors who seem to keep an eye on the compatibility of their offered products, as they are very interested to keep them functional for a wide range of different platforms and their versions. All that proprietary stuff recently introduced by DAZ, especially forcing their own users to upgrade to buggy new versions is not what I expected for my work. As long as DAZ doesn’t realize that it’s up to them changing their mind and behavior, finding an acceptable solution to support their own applications correctly, it will be hard to continue supporting their store, regardless how many new base figures they might have released in the meantime.
As I already wrote in one of my other threads: compatibility is the magic word. But it seems DAZ has lost its magic.