The shippers have been working hard since we last updated you. We've got about a week or so of actual shipping under our belt at this point, and are expected to hit the halfway point this Wednesday. Current estimation is that the ship-out effort will be wrapped up by or before the 8th of November — a bit slower than we'd hoped, but still well within tolerances. :)
Part of the reason is that the slowest part has been front-loaded here: a bunch of heavier-than-four-pounds international packages were covered in the past week. Along with a much higher shipping cost, these heavier packages also require more paperwork. Get under four pounds, and all the customs stuff can be covered on a single adhesive shipping label. Above four pounds, and you have to print out two sheets of customs paperwork, cut those sheets in half because that's actually four separate forms, and put the stack of them in a special clear plastic adhesive shipping pouch that you have to get from the post office. While that might not sound like too much extra, it's all about what that difference looks like when multiplied by several hundred shipments — i.e., hours of extra work. So that's what's been afoot, there.
That said, there are folks who are already reporting getting their stuff, as we expected when the shipping commenced. There's no particular geographic rhyme or reason working here, actually: it's more about what "group" your shipment falls into. Groups in this case are split up by package contents. So one day the shippers might work on the "Fate Core + Fate System Toolkit" packages as one group. When that's done, they might move onto the "Fate Core + Fate Accelerated + Fate System Toolkit" packages, etc. The idea is to make it easy for them to say "okay, we've got 120 packages that all have this combination of stuff; let's start boxing 120 of those up, weigh the first one, and get shipping labels printed for that standard weight in parallel" ... finding efficiencies in the process wherever possible.
We got a taste of this ourselves when we were doing the ship-outs of the signed Fate Core books a few months back — the speed-wins of this kind of approach can't be understated. It does mean that folks with the odd one-off, nobody-else-got-this-combo packages will tend to take longer to get theirs, but hopefully by focusing on building efficiencies throughout the process, the whole timeline will be compressed enough that everyone is getting theirs within a few weeks of everyone else. Given the wide variety of potential combinations on this project, we think this is going well!
What we don't know is what order the groups are in, so we can't easily provide estimations on a specific backer-by-backer basis. Tracking information is also going to be delayed, for efficiency reasons as well: we'd rather have the shippers put all their time for us into getting packages out the door rather than not getting packages out the door and instead copying and pasting hundreds of tracking numbers into a spreadsheet. That information will come eventually but it does mean that folks towards the early part of the shipping timeline are going to have their stuff well before we send them an email telling them the packages are on their way. Nature of the beast!
That said, maybe you can do a little crowdsourced action here to at least scratch the anticipatory itches of your fellow backers: if you have already received your package, leave a comment here letting us know where in the world you are, and (importantly!) what the combination of stuff was in the package you got. That should help us all figure out what groupings have gone out and which ones haven't. :)
At any rate, if you have already gotten your stuff, awesome—and enjoy! If you haven't yet, it's not too much longer now, and your patience is surely appreciated. And regardless, thank you so much for making this possible. This has been Fate's best year on record, and the start of a new phase of business for Evil Hat. The future health of the company is looking good, and that's all due to you.