I first discovered MapTool in May 2010. At the time, the most up-to-date version of the program was good ol’ 1.3.b66. That’s what I downloaded, and that’s what I kept using for about a year and a half.
Why? Well, first of all, it worked. Second, I had heard that certain things that worked in older versions (macros, etc.) would not necessarily work if you tried them out in a newer version. Third, new builds kept coming out regularly, and I didn’t want my players to have to constantly download new programs just to connect to my game.
Recently, I was browsing the MapTool wiki and forums and found some discussion about the program’s performance. Specifically, I saw a note that moving a whole bunch of tokens at once was faster in newer builds.
Now, I don’t have many complaints about MapTool, but it’s definitely been a major annoyance to want to move the entire party from one section of the map to another and having to wait 30 seconds for MapTool to make this happen. So, I downloaded the current version of MapTool, 1.3.b86 (as of this writing), which has been the most recent version for months (and thus pretty stable).
Woo hoo – I can now move mobs of tokens across the map instantly! I can also run a macro on a whole bunch of tokens at once – such as when I have a bunch of enemies that are invisible to the players and I want to run my “Toggle Visibility” macro on all of them. Previously, the tokens would blink into existence one by one (which was a kind of neat effect, I suppose, but not really what I wanted). Now – poof, they all appear! Awesome!
Best of all, I haven’t found any macros that have broken yet. I try to keep my macros pretty straightforward, of course, and I’m guessing that helps. But every adventure I’ve opened so far in 1.3.b86, even though it was created in 1.3.b66, has had no problems.
The real test will come on Friday, when my regular players will have downloaded the new software and will try playing with it together. Honestly, I’m expecting it to be a non-issue, but we shall see.
So, the moral of the story for me is: Use the latest version of MapTool, as long as it’s been out for, say, a month with no updates. I don’t want to update constantly, but in this case the update is definitely worth the trouble.