A better alternative to metacreator?

Now, Metacreator isn't exactly bad or anything. It has some neat looking features and it works okay.

It's just really badly designed, aesthetically, and is a bit of a pain to assemble.

Consider another system that's pretty complex... HERO 5th. Then take their pet project, HERO Designer. I love it, and I can make a new character a few hundred years faster than I can with MetaCreator. Not to mention that, for MetaCreator, you need either to make your 'custom virtues' or cheat the system or hope that a new release for the newest books will come out.

Is there something a bit more H.Designer like, maybe, that someone might have heard of?

Wouldn't it kick much of the butt?

I think one of Metacreator's chief virtues is that you can (mostly) define your own content. For instance, before the HoH:MC patch/upgrade was available I quite happily added the various Verditius virtues that I needed. My character sheet didn't go wanting. And for those lab activities that aren't yet detailed in the system you can simply run them on paper and then advance the character the required seasons and just apply the results.

I think any other system would face exactly the same issues. Unless MC was embedded at the core of Ars and content was worked on alongside the required books, I just don't see how the guys at AlterEgo could keep up. They have to make money just like everybody else and I'm guessing that they have a range of lines that they need to service with limited resource to spend against them.

I think your best bet is to try to work out some useful feedback ("really badly designed" is both untrue by virtue of being subjective and unhelpful by virtue of not being specific) and send it in. If you said something like "it's annoying how x happens when I do y, have you considered z instead" then I think you're on the right path to "improving" the application.

Bruce and Peggy are friendly and professional and I'm sure they'd value your support. And the best way to do that is to work with them on making MC better and more streamlined.

Bruce has been really good at responding to some of my feedback. I found a problem with item creation several times, and he has come back with patches ASAP {MT limitation, MT vs Refinement problems, and Rune magic stacking problems}...
Yes, MC has a few problems, but its really nice to have...

I have used Metacreator for years now and found that it is an invaluable tool to work with. I also have found bugs, and when I posted them, Bruce was quick to fix them and ship a new release.

With all of the sourcebooks out for Ars 5th edition, I think that Alter Ego has done a great job in keeping the system up to date. It is great for me as an SG to have the convenant, NPC's and characters all in one place, up to date.

It is also nice to have the built in error checking as designing an Ars character on paper can sometimes lead to characters that have "spent a few more points than they should have".