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DA Company Master
24-09-2007, 11:18
I went to Gamesday yesterday, and while there I took the opportunity to talk to Allessio About the Lash issue.

At 1st he tried to run away, lol, but then returned with:

"It was just supposed to be a normal move, made by the Chaos player but using the opponent's models."

I asked about targeting models in combat and he replied:

"No, it was never meant for that, it was supposed to be used like shooting, therefore it was not meant to ever do that".

He went on to say:

"There is definately an FAQ required... [no date/timetable discussed] ..., and we never thought about the double Lash, which allows you to move a unit more than once in the same turn, so that could possibly be addressed also."

So hopefully this clears up their intent, even if it doesn't help the RaW guys out there.

leonmallett
24-09-2007, 11:20
So we will see twin lashes until the FAQ, then. Roll on the FAQ!

Geetarman
24-09-2007, 11:24
Although I have not used or been affected by this new power I think its ******** pathetic that they write up rules and then after say "oh no we didnt mean for you to use it like that" and "we never thought of boudle lashes" WTF are these people doing when playtesting!?!?!?!!?!?!?!!?!

Gman

DA Company Master
24-09-2007, 11:32
I think they test them under 'playing for fun' situations, as it's meant. They don't think about how people will min/max stuff to take full advantage of the rules and then squeeze every thing possible from it via the RaW.

I can forgive them for that. :)

Urban Knight
24-09-2007, 11:59
Still two lash's and moving a unit twice is pretty obvious.

Still it is nice to see that Slaanesh Lords can still first turn charge, after all they need something to replace Siren.

Geetarman
24-09-2007, 13:12
I think they test them under 'playing for fun' situations, as it's meant. They don't think about how people will min/max stuff to take full advantage of the rules and then squeeze every thing possible from it via the RaW.

I can forgive them for that. :)

I cant, its their damn job to provide play tested rules that have been reviewed. the key word is play TESTED! That is to TEST the rules, to make sure they are fully compatible and not abuseable.

If they want to move towards a more streamlined rules system that can be used effectively in a pickup game environment then they need to pull their damn finger out and start doing things right!

Producing some half asses rules then going "oh yeah look at that" weeks afterwards then producing naff rules FAQ@s that could be avoided with some very simple, cheap and effective static document testing is just too much of a half asses attempt...

I'm a tester, probably a little obvious due to my overly anal fixation on testing, and there's no such thing as roughly tested, its either tested or it isn't and if I kept signing things off I was paid to check over and then discovered it had a load of bugs in it after I would get booted pretty damn smartish!

If they insist on having such sub levels of rules definitions then they should handle it like a software release, beta test the rules with gamers and then take their advice/questions on board and THEN published a finished document, as it is they are just pissing about and looking like idiotic amateurs...

Gman

FigureFour
24-09-2007, 13:21
Although I have not used or been affected by this new power I think its ******** pathetic that they write up rules and then after say "oh no we didnt mean for you to use it like that" and "we never thought of boudle lashes" WTF are these people doing when playtesting!?!?!?!!?!?!?!!?!

Gman

The problem isn't missing these situations, the problem is that drugged up or insane gamers come up with bizare interpertations of the rules that no sane person would ever consider.

I mean, can anyone provide a real reason why you SHOULD be able to lash someone out of combat?

Killmaimburn
24-09-2007, 13:33
This is the second designer we've heard from
http://warseer.com/forums/1917632-post43.html
I find it funny that the big "No 0-1 restrictions" sales speak might be 180'd.

and careful folks lets all keep in mind captain brown's edict on this
http://warseer.com/forums/1941008-post292.html
It is a new development, with which we might look back at the other thread, but lets not pick the scab off and start arguing over it just yet.
As to negativity, the whole sub prime market thing got worse because a load of invester corps models didn't account for any potential for a negative result (you mean things that go up, can go down:eek:), I think I can just about let GW off the hook as long as they release a FAQ quick time.

Maximillianus
24-09-2007, 13:45
Please let us not blame the (insane) gamers. The gamers (powergamers perhaps) do that for as long as games exist. It is the designers' responsibility to eliminate loopholes. And come on the double lash was pretty obvious, now wasn't it?

I will have to hold my bile and don't say anything about the devs competence or lack thereof. :p

I have to insist though that this indicates what a lot of people have been talking about. They don't actually playtest the darn rules! (And they are supposed to be used in tournaments - competitive play.)

I don't try to troll anyone here. It's just that I was literally shocked by Allessio's response.

WLBjork
24-09-2007, 13:52
I tend to agree with those that believe that when you test something you should try to break it.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the fastest way to make sure it'll do what you want!

shartmatau
24-09-2007, 13:55
Well GW does playtest all of the new rules. And I know that they are more frequently handing over WIP rules to gaming clubs to playtest, hopefully this will become a standard thing and GW's secrecy policy will be lowered a bit. It doesn't make much sense to work in a vacuum without actual player feedback.

And again hiring technical writers should have been a thought in the collective GW mind years ago.

Geetarman
24-09-2007, 14:14
The problem isn't missing these situations, the problem is that drugged up or insane gamers come up with bizare interpertations of the rules that no sane person would ever consider.

I mean, can anyone provide a real reason why you SHOULD be able to lash someone out of combat?

Them missing the situation IS the problem. Just because someone points something out that is not immediately obvious signifies that GW have FAILED to make their rules fit their desired "competative tournament style gaming" plan.

Giving out rules with holes like this (ESPECIALLY the double lash rule, how the hell did they miss that!) is just lazy and unprofessional. They need to pull their finger out, hire some professionals to static test their documents and start beta testing codecies before releasing final versions.

Its not like it would cost a lot more to do, most full timers at GW could do this kind of job standing on their head (indeed most of the time its the full timers that spot these holes), and GW need to realise that a growing base of their customers are adults who demand a bit of solidity to the things they provide.

You'd find that implementing some formal testing (not just a bunch of guys playing normal fun games) will cut down the number of FAQ's needed dramatically, resulting in savings in both time, money and increases in customer confidence and loyalty which can only boost income from satisfied customers.

Gman

Grimtuff
24-09-2007, 14:23
Well GW does playtest all of the new rules. And I know that they are more frequently handing over WIP rules to gaming clubs to playtest.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Don't be so silly, GW only does in house playtesting. The last army book I ever saw being playtested up at my local club was Ogre Kingdoms.

When they come to realise that you have to give the lists to the powergamers to make them better (as they will break them) but if they keep living in their bubble where no such creatures exist then all codexes will be like this.

2ndCompanyVeterans
24-09-2007, 14:28
I disagree with thousands of potential factors between army books and codexs there will always be a few that slip the net. Hind sight is 20x20 and in all frankness the IMO the codex's are greatly improving. Nothing is perfect or absolute get used to that. That's why there are faq's.

Finally if we are going to chastise people that are big enough to say that they didn't spot something, Maybe next time they will just decide to say tough thats how it's meant to work because that way they cop less flak. Just my 2 cents.

IJW
24-09-2007, 14:35
with thousands of potential factors between army books and codexs there will always be a few that slip the net.
Playtesting (done properly) is designed to pick up those things that can slip through the net.

Voodoo Boyz
24-09-2007, 14:38
HILARIOUS!

"We didn't think people would use two!"

"Wow, that's really problematic (lashing CC units, lashing twice), that'll need a FAQ."

*no idea how long that'll take to come out*

Geetarman
24-09-2007, 14:39
2ndCompanyVeterans - unfortunately you are very wrong, and when it comes to testing I know what its like as its my job.

When you look at a system such as 40k and what is actually in an armybook there are a finite number of army books and a finite number of things that can impact and be impacted by a new army book release.

If it were someone's day job to review this it could be done very quickly via a database or spreadsheet system, along with the normal manual testing and experienced users knowledge.

40k is like a programme, with lots of 'if then' commands, it just requires someone to look through it logically to spot the problems that could arise.

This would eliminate all but the smallest of defects, typo's and the like and would provide a much more solid system than there "release...wait...release FAQ" approach.

Hindsight is 20*20 but thats not the point, they could do more but they dont, and its RUBBISH!

Gman

Grimtuff
24-09-2007, 14:49
Finally if we are going to chastise people that are big enough to say that they didn't spot something, Maybe next time they will just decide to say tough thats how it's meant to work because that way they cop less flak. Just my 2 cents.

Didn't. Spot. Something? It was the first fething thing I spotted when I looked in the codex.

Being able to move a unit 4D6" then charge it, how the hell could you NOT spot that?

It is a Games Developers job to spot these things, that is what playtesting is all about. You have to break a product to make it better. This is what made people like Toumas Pirinen (sp?) such good Games Developers, they were prepared to powergame the playtest lists into oblivion to make for a better game.

2ndCompanyVeterans
24-09-2007, 14:50
I see your point to a degree but I do not believe it to be as black and white as you paint it.

Geetarman
24-09-2007, 14:59
I work in the life assurance industry which can be overly complex, not only the coding rules that apply to the websites being tested but also the archaic rules and regulations that the UK government implements along with the sales mechanisms deployed by the companies themselves...

GW's games are pretty simple by comparison... Break it down far enough and it all comes down to a simple series of yes, no or "depending" questions, there may be several thousand but thats not a huge amount of work once you have a template to work from...

Is it boring? Yes. Is it repetative? Yes. Does it give you 99.9% of the answers. Yes. Would it spot defects early? Definitely.

Playtesting only works so far...

Gman

Grimtuff
24-09-2007, 14:59
I see your point to a degree but I do not believe it to be as black and white as you paint it.

Eh?

Another hypothetical situation. Say you're on a plane and as if by some quirk of fate one of the wings falls off. The plane's designer is sitting next to you he says "wow I didn't spot that in testing!", and you say "how the hell could such a design flaw slip through?" to which the designer replies "Don't chastise people that are big enough to say that they didn't spot something."

See where this is going? ;)

Pharon
24-09-2007, 15:01
Ok. So from this it looks like the intent is:
2d6" is normal move - so you can move each model up to the 2d6" rolled
Works like shooting - so no targeting ICs and units in CC.

Even if somehow they manage to restrict people to one lash with a winged prince you still have a pretty decent chance of getting in a first turn charge.

On the playtesting issue... Sorry, most experienced gamers immediately saw the problems with lash as soon as they became aware of the rule. In the case of lash they either did not bother playtesting it at all or they used people that were not competent wargamers.

Urban Knight
24-09-2007, 15:13
i think the honesty of Alessio is refreshing and slightly funny.

At the end of the day Games Workshop sees itself as a company that produces models rather than a company that produces games.

The games are supposed to facilitate the sales of models and based on the prospect of Double Lashing Daemon Princes you can bet the sales of Daemon Princes Dragon Wings and Slaanesh Daemon parts have gone up.

In retrospect was Alessio really being honest whan he said 'opps'

2ndCompanyVeterans
24-09-2007, 15:18
when he took his all knight Bretonian army to the Warhammer GT and his oponent hid 20 stormvermin in a building with a grey seer and three warlocks there was a similar supprised phrase/look as he had no way to get them out of the building, he could not win the game from turn one.

He's a top bloke at the end of the day, Rumour has it he maybe heading towards the 40k GT this year!

Grimtuff
24-09-2007, 15:33
i think the honesty of Alessio is refreshing and slightly funny.

At the end of the day Games Workshop sees itself as a company that produces models rather than a company that produces games.


I find it really funny that you can believe that.

GW keeps changing what it is so often it's unfunny. Why the hell do they run tournaments if they say their games were never designed to be played like that?

Brother Loki
24-09-2007, 16:22
Because there's a demand for it, and it sells models.

Tournaments only came into being once GW started to take off in the States, as far as I can recall. They were unheard of until around the release of 3rd edition 40k.

The thing is if you look at the people who work in the studio, pretty much none of them are tournament type players. It honestly wouldn't occur to them to try to abuse the rules because it's not sporting. Tournaments only affect a small minority of players - I have no figures, but I bet it's no more than 10%, yet those players are the most vocal, and the ones most likely to seek advantages in fuzzily written rules.

Grimtuff
24-09-2007, 16:25
The thing is if you look at the people who work in the studio, pretty much none of them are tournament type players. It honestly wouldn't occur to them to try to abuse the rules because it's not sporting.

Yet, ironically this is what make for bad game design. You have to break a product to perfect it.

As much as it pains me to say it, Powergamers make for the best playtesters.

oCoYoRoAoKo
24-09-2007, 16:32
you will often find that the games designers (or any designers of that matter) will find it harder to locate problems such as the lash simply because they are the ones closest to what they have written and only think of the rules in the context of their interpretation of it.

i dont really mind that they "didnt think" that the rule would be used in a certain way (double lashing ect.) as now they are aware of it and have it in their power to fix the problem. after all, when we play the game we are in effect "testing" the rules and our feedback is encorperated into the rules in reprints, faqs, ect.

Cy.

Chaplain Mortez
24-09-2007, 16:39
Because there's a demand for it, and it sells models.


The thing is if you look at the people who work in the studio, pretty much none of them are tournament type players. It honestly wouldn't occur to them to try to abuse the rules because it's not sporting. Tournaments only affect a small minority of players - I have no figures, but I bet it's no more than 10%, yet those players are the most vocal, and the ones most likely to seek advantages in fuzzily written rules.

So if there is a demand for it because it sells models, then shouldn't they improve the quality of their rules so they can continue to sell more models? I think we lose more players to poorly written rules than we do to prices. For God's sake, Starbucks can charge $4+ for a 20 ounce drink. But people pay it. It tastes yummy to them. But if it tastes bad, they're just not going to buy it. Fact is, people stop playing games when they become unfun. I've heard the story of leaving the hobby for a while because of the nightmare of 2nd. edition and the power gaming that went on too many times to be convinced otherwise.

...and until you get more accurate figures, don't throw statistics around like "less than ten percent." 162 40k players showed up to the Las Vegas Day tournament (and 125 for Fantasy). That's a lot of people. And that's just Las Vegas. My store has only about twenty or so regular players. There aren't very many clubs in this state, either. So I think you're off a bit. I'd say it's more like 11%. :D

Nargrakhan
24-09-2007, 16:42
Maybe GW doesn't do the "mass testing" because they don't want the rules for their future armies to be heavily leaked on the Internets? The more people you involve, the harder it gets to tighten security.

*shrugs*

I don't know... I'm just kinda throwing that out. My own experience is with digital software, and while we would love to have hordes and hordes of play testers during the beta stage fact remains that we have to keep it a limited group to avoid IP theft, game leaking, and other general chaos.

For example Blizzard managed to keep Starcraft 2 secrets for years. However, they could only begin "tweaking" the gameplay balance after it was public announced, because they needed to get hordes and hordes of play testers and it wouldn't have been a secret anymore: someone would have ratted it's just how people are.

So perhaps GW is the same?

Slaaneshi Slave
24-09-2007, 16:50
I think the people who invented football (with a round ball) are at fault because they intended the game to be played with one ball, not two, and so did not play test multiple balls.

Voodoo Boyz
24-09-2007, 16:56
I think the people who invented football (with a round ball) are at fault because they intended the game to be played with one ball, not two, and so did not play test multiple balls.

Except when they told people the rules for football they didn't say stuff like "Well you need at least one ball, but you're allowed up to two..."

Lets compare apples to apples here, mkay?

I knew the Lash was stupidly good and potentially broken the minute I read the rule. They seriously need to bring some power gamers into Nottingham or something to look through this crap!

Axel
24-09-2007, 16:58
GW desperately needs some organized feedback, both in pre- and after-sale of their products. It certainly will enhance the quality and thus the sale.

And with organized I do not mean to skim the forums and listen to the loudest whiners, but to use registry, feedback formulas and quantitative analysis, in addition to a qualitative analysis of premium testers. This WOULD mean that a lot of test rules leak out, but what the heck, it would make the actual codizes and faqs so much better...

paddyalexander
24-09-2007, 16:59
Is leaked information so bad though? I don't know about anyone else but becuase of the leaked info on the Ork Codex I'm currently buying up a lot of the current Ork box sets, which I wouldn't be doing if the rumours hadn't gotten me excited in the first place.

Having information appear on the net generates interest. Simple. The only reasons I can think of to decrease the amount of time between announcement and release is to plu their own website(which to be frank is mostly useless) & white dwarf (which is an even worse source of info).

Grazzy
24-09-2007, 17:01
I knew the Lash was stupidly good and potentially broken the minute I read the rule. They seriously need to bring some power gamers into Nottingham or something to look through this crap!

Correct! Get some hardcore tourney players to look through the codex, then ask them to make army lists. Any unit that is constantly selected should have a slightly higher points cost etc. When they cannot choose between different units then the codex is right. Would only add a week onto the design process.

Mr Zephy
24-09-2007, 17:01
Maybe GW doesn't do the "mass testing" because they don't want the rules for their future armies to be heavily leaked on the Internets? The more people you involve, the harder it gets to tighten security.

*shrugs*

I don't know... I'm just kinda throwing that out. My own experience is with digital software, and while we would love to have hordes and hordes of play testers during the beta stage fact remains that we have to keep it a limited group to avoid IP theft, game leaking, and other general chaos.

For example Blizzard managed to keep Starcraft 2 secrets for years. However, they could only begin "tweaking" the gameplay balance after it was public announced, because they needed to get hordes and hordes of play testers and it wouldn't have been a secret anymore: someone would have ratted it's just how people are.

So perhaps GW is the same?

But, if you look at the rumours thread, we already know loads about new releases before they are announced.

Slaaneshi Slave
24-09-2007, 17:07
Yet, ironically this is what make for bad game design. You have to break a product to perfect it.

As much as it pains me to say it, Powergamers make for the best playtesters.

You have obviously never played on an MMO public test server. Power Gamers don't test things. They kill stuff, and nothing else. Do you think a power gamer would ever test standard heavy bolter Land Speeders, or terminators with heavy flamers? Power Gamers make the worst testers.

Nargrakhan
24-09-2007, 17:08
But, if you look at the rumours thread, we already know loads about new releases before they are announced.

True... but not everything is known. For example exact stats and point values... unit composition limitations... etc...

To get serious with playtesting, the playtesters will need copies of the army list for the future book. Inevitably scans of it will begin circulating around the Internets.

I'm not defending GW or anything - and again I'm solely looking at this as an electronic game designer. Mileage will vary. :p



You have obviously never played on an MMO public test server. Power Gamers don't test things. They kill stuff, and nothing else. Do you think a power gamer would ever test standard heavy bolter Land Speeders, or terminators with heavy flamers? Power Gamers make the worst testers.

Naw... I think what he means, is let the power gamers find what's broken, then fix it. Have power gamers test things, until power games say the game sucks because you can't power game it anymore. Heh... is that even possible? ;)

Voodoo Boyz
24-09-2007, 17:13
You have obviously never played on an MMO public test server. Power Gamers don't test things. They kill stuff, and nothing else. Do you think a power gamer would ever test standard heavy bolter Land Speeders, or terminators with heavy flamers? Power Gamers make the worst testers.

That's the point. While they go nuts and kill stuff with all the super options of unbalanced glory, the Developers come in and redesign those units.

I doubt that Harlequins, Holofield/Spirit Stones, and 113 Point Dakkafex's would make it through playtesting had someone who knew how to play tournament style 40k was involved in the development of those dex's.

Bunnahabhain
24-09-2007, 17:35
You have obviously never played on an MMO public test server. Power Gamers don't test things. They kill stuff, and nothing else. Do you think a power gamer would ever test standard heavy bolter Land Speeders, or terminators with heavy flamers? Power Gamers make the worst testers.


No, so you knock the cost of a basic speeder with heavy bolter down, and increase the cost of the assualt cannon, to achieve balance within the unit When the power lists start using both the assualt cannons and heavy bolter variants, then the options are balanced. If every list is using a full allocation of speeders, then the base cost is too low, if no list are then it's too high.

Sure, it might take a few iterations, but how hard is it, with a group of, say a dozen or two tournament players to email out version 1.0 of the army list, and ask for sample lists and battle reports back within a week, and the play testers get list v1.1 a few day later to abuse. For the time and effort I would take, compared to the amount of complaints it would fix later.

Also, it could be done fairly late in the process. Here's the finished list, it's is 99% the same as when it started, but has had a few option moved about, a couple of sentences in the rules made clear, and a number of points values tweaked.

Inquisitor_Malice
24-09-2007, 18:45
I agree with Voodoo. As long as you have power gamers who are willing to solicit honest input, they make for the best testers. They tend to assess their choices based on gaining statistical advantage, in game flexibility, survivability and more in order to gain the biggest advantage to win in the end. This type of hardcore testing brings out flaws in unit costs and rules imbalances far faster than "fluff based" testing.

Zerosoul
24-09-2007, 18:49
As much as it pains me to say it, Powergamers make for the best playtesters.

Unless you don't want to make a game directed at those folks.

I know! Gasp! The horror! But here's the secret, guys - 40k is not really a particularly tournament-worthy game. The primary focus is not on tournies. It's on hanging out with buddies and rolling some dice. This is the core focus of 40k, and it's a better game for it.

Voodoo Boyz
24-09-2007, 18:56
Unless you don't want to make a game directed at those folks.

I know! Gasp! The horror! But here's the secret, guys - 40k is not really a particularly tournament-worthy game. The primary focus is not on tournies. It's on hanging out with buddies and rolling some dice. This is the core focus of 40k, and it's a better game for it.

That means nothing when people play that way regardless.

That's why there are UKGT's, USGT's, Indy RT's, and an 'Ard Boyz tournament, series.

And why the tactics forum gets posts like "How do I deal with Harlequins?" or "How to reliably kill a Falcon?" or "What's the best build for my Carnifex's?".

Killmaimburn
24-09-2007, 19:00
Whilst I'd agree that the main focus for you (and myself) is hanging out with buddies rolling dice. Is it really GWs?
I think the point about power gamers being the best playtesters as grimtuff has said, is because at that point you expose what can happen, you make the developers aware of what it is they have actually created. Having nice mild mannered people who always say "oh no It might have been cocked but lets just say it was a 6" won't show you the problems with tainted dice.
You don't test a formula 1 test cars stress reaction by having me ( a perpetually slow driver) drive it.
Some things are obviously both strangely good and strangely bad with the codex, are these options forbidden if in a friendly game someone by accident has put them together in a hastely created list?
The freedom excuse was always going to bite them.

Grimtuff
24-09-2007, 19:00
Unless you don't want to make a game directed at those folks.

I know! Gasp! The horror! But here's the secret, guys - 40k is not really a particularly tournament-worthy game. The primary focus is not on tournies. It's on hanging out with buddies and rolling some dice. This is the core focus of 40k, and it's a better game for it.

People keep saying that yet GW puts on tournemants. What a wonderful little paradox this is.......

CasperTheGhost
24-09-2007, 19:07
In the playtest they proabaly do just try the 'for fun' games and don't see how it could be seen the powergamer way. At the end of the day they can't see from every angle can they.

On a slightly related note, two years ago at GD my friend made Alessio say sorry for Skaven which was quite funny. :p

CasperTheFriendlyGhost

Zapherion
24-09-2007, 19:10
i honestly cant see what everybody is complaining about. Ive seen a couple of these threads and ive been on the recieving end of it during a game, and while annoying, its not exactly a devistating weapons. Also the Lash is a shooting attack and so i cant see the problem in targetting the same unit twice. Its like saying "oh you cant shoot that unit because uve already shot it once" If your that bothered about it get a psychic hood or equivalent.

mkerr
24-09-2007, 19:10
I asked about targeting models in combat and he replied:

"No, it was never meant for that, it was supposed to be used like shooting, therefore it was not meant to ever do that".

Wow, how vague. Does he mean that it is supposed to be exactly like shooting or more like shooting? Right now it's clearly not shooting so I wonder where that line is going to be drawn when they FAQ it? I believe that he didn't intend for the power to work against units in close combat and maybe they didn't intend for it to work against ICs. But what about Target Priority? Night Fight? The Shrouding? Etherium? Veil of Tears? That opens up a whole new can of beans.


You have obviously never played on an MMO public test server. Power Gamers don't test things. They kill stuff, and nothing else. Do you think a power gamer would ever test standard heavy bolter Land Speeders, or terminators with heavy flamers? Power Gamers make the worst testers.

That's the opposite of the correct answer. Power gamers (especially very thorough ones) make the absolute best testers for any type of game. I employ game testers and I'd rather hire a good power gamer over a good fluffy player any day of the week.

The fact that a power gamer would avoid things like a standard heavy bolter land speeder indicates that there may be a problem with the unit. The process that the gamer went through to discount the standard speeder as an option should have told the designer that there was a problem with the unit cost versus the utility of the model.

leonmallett
24-09-2007, 19:22
Because there's a demand for it, and it sells models.

Tournaments only came into being once GW started to take off in the States, as far as I can recall. They were unheard of until around the release of 3rd edition 40k.

The thing is if you look at the people who work in the studio, pretty much none of them are tournament type players. It honestly wouldn't occur to them to try to abuse the rules because it's not sporting. Tournaments only affect a small minority of players - I have no figures, but I bet it's no more than 10%, yet those players are the most vocal, and the ones most likely to seek advantages in fuzzily written rules.

Re: studio types playing tournaments - last year my mate played against Phil Kelly, Christian Byrne made it to the finals. A Will Hayes (don't know if the Forge World one) was in a heat as well.

Zerosoul
24-09-2007, 19:28
People keep saying that yet GW puts on tournemants. What a wonderful little paradox this is.......

I went into a McDonalds yesterday and saw that they rent videos. They didn't have the one I wanted, though, so McDonalds is a crappy video store.

Guess what? Of course McDonalds is a crappy video store, because they're primarily a restaurant, and rent videos because their customers will do it.

Less sarcastically. Of course GW puts on tournaments. They're a business, and despite shrill internet people whining(present company excluded), they're pretty good about giving people what they want. Doesn't mean their system is tournament-worthy. It means they give people what they want.

Vaktathi
24-09-2007, 19:32
Maybe GW doesn't do the "mass testing" because they don't want the rules for their future armies to be heavily leaked on the Internets? The more people you involve, the harder it gets to tighten security.

*shrugs*

I don't know... I'm just kinda throwing that out. My own experience is with digital software, and while we would love to have hordes and hordes of play testers during the beta stage fact remains that we have to keep it a limited group to avoid IP theft, game leaking, and other general chaos.

For example Blizzard managed to keep Starcraft 2 secrets for years. However, they could only begin "tweaking" the gameplay balance after it was public announced, because they needed to get hordes and hordes of play testers and it wouldn't have been a secret anymore: someone would have ratted it's just how people are.

So perhaps GW is the same?

The problem with GW is that they cannot keep things secret now, the Chaos codex was leaked on the internet in early July, more than 2 months before it was released, which when in context of the development time, is pretty bad (12 month development time for a codex as opposed to 3-6 years for a video game, while Blizzard had everyone looking at WoW for 2 years straight to keep them occupied as well).

jon23516
24-09-2007, 20:12
The thing is if you look at the people who work in the studio, pretty much none of them are tournament type players. It honestly wouldn't occur to them to try to abuse the rules because it's not sporting.

We came to this same conclusion in an online discussion with Graham McNeill, author of the new Empire army book. He "played with his mates" and thought it would be fun to include XYZ in the book. So we got a robo-horse, pigeon bombs and the engineer is still a waste of points.

Our second conclusion was that the main reason the new Empire book wasn't worse was because they merely tweaked a pretty solid book to begin with.

As for "we can't get playtesters because there will be leaks"; these aren't state secrets here, besides, whole industries exist because upcoming products are shown to developers and/or customers who must sign non-disclosure agreements. These seem to work for the rest of the world. You just need to follow through with the NDA and prosecute those who leak.

Jon

Eldanar
24-09-2007, 20:26
A couple comments:

1. I told you so (to those who thought you could use it on a unit in CC, etc.). ;)

2. GW's playtesting has been in flux recently due to them firing almost all of their playtesters due to leaking info early, etc.

3. As for the speed of FAQ's...see my sig...

bigred
24-09-2007, 20:31
You also need to hire professional testers. Going out and throwing a set of in-development rules into the hands of regular players who will test them out in the standard club scene (which did happen) is just asking for leaks.

But, those guys will play-test for free, so its a double-edged sword for GW. Ultimately it seems they would rather have some hazy areas in their rules instead of shelling out the money for professional testers. As soon as you get someone under contract and money is involved, you see leaks dwindle to nothing across various industries, as their paying job is on the line.

Sovereign
24-09-2007, 20:33
I cant, its their damn job to provide play tested rules that have been reviewed. the key word is play TESTED! That is to TEST the rules, to make sure they are fully compatible and not abuseable.
When the Chaos Codex went to print, I'm sure they felt they had done considerable playtesting of the rules and options. That's why it's far more even than the previous book.

It is hard to imagine the amount of rules-twisting that is being done in the name of RAW to "break" Lash. A lot of Lash "brokenness" stems from people using Lash, but ignoring the other requirements / restrictions, much like the whole "Assault move from Drop Pod" nonsense.

Sovereign
24-09-2007, 20:49
Powergamers make for the best playtesters.
I disagree.

I used to think this, but have more recently decided that this line is flawed. What Powergamers do is find the "best" sublist within a list. If something is even a hair better, powergamers will find it. That's good if you're trying to find the "optimal" build. And that optimal build will always exist - the notion of perfect balance is entirely flawed because complexity will always have things that are situationally better or worse.

Powertesting tells you very little about how good or balanced a sub-optimal build might be, much less a "bad" build. That power build might only be 1% better than the standard build. And that 1% advantage might only be focused on a narrow subset of gaming conditions (i.e. Tournament-style even points "Pitched" Battle line-up-and-charge). Powertesting is further exacerbated by risk-adversion - things that, nearly always fun, and on average, work out OK are of no interest to a Powergamer.

Powertesting is is actually of very limited usage and applicability, given that most players don't do Tournaments, and are playing to have "fun".

So when you look at the new Chaos Codex as a whole, overall, it is very solid. Apparently, only Lash is broken, with relatively few true weaknesses or totally useless things. This is a far cry from the previous book. This means that GW did a good job of playtesting.

And indeed, if people played the way that Jervis and Alessio played, it is entirely possible that the Codices are actually perfectly balanced.

Where GW really falls down is getting the Tournament scene to replicate their in-house gaming scene. In other words, GW really ought to mandate that people follow the same terrain, measurement, cover, etc. standards that they use in house. Any deviation should be taken as non-standard "house rules". This would make balance a lot more transparent.

Durath
24-09-2007, 21:00
Right now it's clearly not shooting so I wonder where that line is going to be drawn when they FAQ it?

Yup, wondering is all we can do, and have done thus far.

Till then, treating it with shooting rules, per the rule on pg. 52 of the BBB is the only approach.

Durath
24-09-2007, 21:24
Where GW really falls down is getting the Tournament scene to replicate their in-house gaming scene. In other words, GW really ought to mandate that people follow the same terrain, measurement, cover, etc. standards that they use in house. Any deviation should be taken as non-standard "house rules". This would make balance a lot more transparent.

This has been the problem with GW for as long as I have been playing their games (14 years). Just from taking the time to read the Preface in ALL of their published game system's core rule, its not hard to see that their assumption has been that wargaming is a 'lightly competative' event.

Because of this assumption the rules are written in a context that a quarter inch here, or a rules vagary there is harmless. When you are sitting around with your buddies, having a brew, throwing dice, this is the case of course.

Unfortunately, this falls flat on its face when things like 'tournaments' and
'rankings' are involved. The Rules As Written become shakey ground when the answer given for rules disputes at the front of the book is "Just throw a D6, and the highest dice roller makes the rule!"

Don't get me wrong though. GW has made great strides towards consolidating their rules into simple easy gameplay. And their rules have become much more clear and straight-forward than they were back in the 1st edition.

Still, with more and more people becoming interested in this hobby, they are only shooting themselves in the foot by leaving stuff like Lash out there. Vague rules are no less appealing to most people than hard to understand rules. And the more vague, the more frustrating, and potentially upending for gameplay in a tournament.

Pharon
24-09-2007, 21:27
Actually Sovereign,
They type of discussion and such that has gone on in the last several Lash threads is exactly the type of discussion that needed to have been taken place during the play testing phase. Those types of discussions don't happen without people evaluating things from sometimes extreme perspectives. When you test things you don't test them under median cases you test them under extreme cases and that has been a failing of GW testing for as long as I can remember.

The 9 oblit 4 heavy IW force of old was allowed to move to print because the codex author couldn't conceive of someone actually building a force like that.

People that just play 'fun' games are going to play regardless of the state of the rules but a poor rule system tends to discourage the tactical wargame aspect of the hobby. Having a good competitive game is a big aspect of the hobby IMO.

Fact is a healthy tourney scene is a benefit to everyone as not only does it bring visibility to the hobby itself but also can provide valuable input for GW to move the game in a direction that their customers would like to see it go...if they choose to do so.

shartmatau
25-09-2007, 02:27
I just want to make it clear that GW does do playtesting outside of internal testing. I happen to know some of the guys who playtested WIP rules for Orcs and Goblins Fantasy book and are currently reviewing rules for a codex due out next year, although they won't tell me which one. (these guys are actually good at keeping their mouths shut, especially early on)

Another note about leaks, most often leaks aren't out in the public until 95% of the work is done. The leaks at GW often happen with near finished codexs when handed around GWs own offices and or when it goes to press. A little side note about production lines, the codicies are done about 2 1/2 to 3 months before release, then sent for printing which takes several weeks and then packaging and distribution. And of course all of this must line up eventually with the packaging of other products which is even more involved. Its no coincidence that leaks happen after almost all the work is done, a few months before release. Thats my rant. Cheers.

Edit one more thing.
Its also easy to say 'oh well they didn't playtest it'. You must understand that they don't write a whole codex then play it, then make changes. Its an ongoing process of write, play this specific part, ok write the next thing and this thing and then play again. And its often not whole games being played it only the relevant section. This also brings up that they could easily have thought the Lash to totally acceptable when playing and then in final playtesting because they had the knowledge of how they wanted it to work. The problem could very well be that it wasn't written to convey their intentions of it. So the rule they thought of is fine, its the writing of it in the book that got botched up. Just another thing to consider.

Ravenous
25-09-2007, 02:41
I just want to make it clear that GW does do playtesting outside of internal testing. I happen to know some of the guys who playtested WIP rules for Orcs and Goblins Fantasy book and are currently reviewing rules for a codex due out next year, although they won't tell me which one. (these guys are actually good at keeping their mouths shut, especially early on)

Another note about leaks, most often leaks aren't out in the public until 95% of the work is done. The leaks at GW often happen with near finished codexs when handed around GWs own offices and or when it goes to press. A little side note about production lines, the codicies are done about 2 1/2 to 3 months before release, then sent for printing which takes several weeks and then packaging and distribution. And of course all of this must line up eventually with the packaging of other products which is even more involved. Its no coincidence that leaks happen after almost all the work is done, a few months before release. Thats my rant. Cheers.


And models are ready at least a year before the release, the plastic dreadnought made its first appearence during the armageddon campaign in one of the studio guys salamander army. It was a year and some months before it hit stores.

As for play testing, they did cut away much of it from what they used to have for what every reason, be it leaks or time/effort managing.

mkerr
25-09-2007, 04:27
1. I told you so (to those who thought you could use it on a unit in CC, etc.). ;)

Actually, all we found out is that he wrote it poorly (what he intended to write as oppsed to what he wrote). None of us were trying to read his mind; we were trying apply the rules as written most correctly.


2. GW's playtesting has been in flux recently due to them firing almost all of their playtesters due to leaking info early, etc.

GW doesn't employ playtesters. As far as I'm aware, they have never used more than internal games and "the Ancient and Honourable Order of Techpriests" for testing. And, as of recently, there were only a small handful of Techpriests.

I'm not complaining about the products or the design. All of the headaches the rules have caused have at least given me interesting conversations like this one to make up for it.

In general, the rules are pretty good. Would I like additional playtesting, especially in the United States? Of course. Would I like the designers to consider the tournament metagame when they write rules? Sure. But is anything really broken with what they've given us in 2007? Nope.


What Powergamers do is find the "best" sublist within a list. If something is even a hair better, powergamers will find it. That's good if you're trying to find the "optimal" build. And that optimal build will always exist - the notion of perfect balance is entirely flawed because complexity will always have things that are situationally better or worse.

I don't think you understand power gaming. Even when the game was relatively stable (after the release of the Space Marine codex), the tournament circuit continued to change and evolve to react to new lists and tactics. Mech Lists begat Drop Pods. Drop Pods begat Big Bugs. Big Bugs begat Stealer Shock. Stealer Shock begat, well, we'll see in Baltimore.

However, "powertesting" can't tell you enough in a vaccuum. It can tell you where things are under/over-powered and where things are priced badly (too high or too low). But you also need (what we call in the gaming industry) "monkey testing". In this case, players playing broad combinations of armies against broad combinations of enemies. But as the game evolves, this because even more difficult (especially when you factor in the differing skill levels and luck into the mix).

GW is using the best defense they can in this case -- good game design. Sure, things like Lash will slip through. But they've done a good job with the Chaos Codex and I'm looking forward to Orks. They give us enough "codex inflation" to make us excited about the product, but don't give us so much that it breaks the game. Well done.

BrainFireBob
25-09-2007, 07:15
2ndCompanyVeterans - unfortunately you are very wrong, and when it comes to testing I know what its like as its my job.

When you look at a system such as 40k and what is actually in an armybook there are a finite number of army books and a finite number of things that can impact and be impacted by a new army book release.

If it were someone's day job to review this it could be done very quickly via a database or spreadsheet system, along with the normal manual testing and experienced users knowledge.

40k is like a programme, with lots of 'if then' commands, it just requires someone to look through it logically to spot the problems that could arise.

This would eliminate all but the smallest of defects, typo's and the like and would provide a much more solid system than there "release...wait...release FAQ" approach.

Hindsight is 20*20 but thats not the point, they could do more but they dont, and its RUBBISH!

Gman

You're assuming they're playtesting the same permutation the entire time, which is part of the problem they have. They playtest hundreds of games with an ever-evolving rules-set, so by the time they're "tuning" the final product, they only have effectively a fraction of their games with it- and you're underestimating the "Grandfather effect" this will have on bugs entering the system. They playtest something, it's fine- then they change something else, and because they already playtested item A, they don't think to test it again.

Mistake, since Item A and Change B combine to one broken combo.

I'm honestly of the opinion that's what happens to their books, when the summary sheets don't match the armory, or like in the last Chaos book, when the fact the Statured Prince could use a Kai Gun one-handed was only recorded on the summary page. Perhaps they decided to dump that rule, and missed one of the places it was listed.

They're not debugging a program in a lab- they're debugging Windows while it's already on the market.

Geetarman
25-09-2007, 07:39
Some people here are saying powergamers make the best testers, I disagree.

Some people here are saying that non powergamers make the best testers, I still disagree.

The best kind of tester is someone who is neutral to the game but can review it with an analytical mind, checking as much as possible in the timeframes possible.


You're assuming they're playtesting the same permutation the entire time, which is part of the problem they have. They playtest hundreds of games with an ever-evolving rules-set, so by the time they're "tuning" the final product, they only have effectively a fraction of their games with it- and you're underestimating the "Grandfather effect" this will have on bugs entering the system. They playtest something, it's fine- then they change something else, and because they already playtested item A, they don't think to test it again.

Mistake, since Item A and Change B combine to one broken combo.

I'm honestly of the opinion that's what happens to their books, when the summary sheets don't match the armory, or like in the last Chaos book, when the fact the Statured Prince could use a Kai Gun one-handed was only recorded on the summary page. Perhaps they decided to dump that rule, and missed one of the places it was listed.

They're not debugging a program in a lab- they're debugging Windows while it's already on the market.

No I wasn't, believe me I know what testing involves.

I was stating that they need someone whose day job it is to run through a regression set of test data on each book in comparison with all re-existing rules.

This is standard testing protocol and, whilst its boring, regression testing (rechecking already tested area's the minute a new version appears) is absolutely necessary due to the "grandfather effect" that you made up...

You can't make a change, test one thing then go live. You change 1 thing, test that one thing then run through the regression test sets you have already determined to recheck nothing else is broken.

This is much more pen and paper stuff rather than playtesting the rules on a table and so is much easier to repeat over and over...

Gman

BrainFireBob
25-09-2007, 07:44
Wasn't made up, I was borrowing the term from politics.

And in a nutshell, that is why the recent set of codices has been "streamlined"- fewer hidden Easter eggs.

Powergamer testing I personally see as a necessary final "what did we overlook that we shouldn't have released" period, more than using them as your regular playtesters.

Geetarman
25-09-2007, 08:18
BrainFireBob - I didnt mean the term was made up, but as far as testing goes its not a legitimate term, sorry.

I think the main reason the recent codecies have been streamlined is part of GW's concious effort to make the rules and armies more standardised so that they can be used effectively for pickup play. Easter eggs are still being found though.

I agree that powergamer testing has its uses but shouldn't be the be all and end all, testing should involve standard static testing, gameplaying, powergaming, general fluff and reality checks etc, regression testing on existing rules etc etc, its a very varied process that takes a lot of effort to do properly and is something GW is not investing enough in IMO...

Gman

Stingray_tm
25-09-2007, 08:38
So GW produces rules, that are not tested or thought through. Well, that happens. It's not good, but it would be managable, if GW did the only reasonable thing:
publish sane FAQs frequently

But GW reaction usually is:
1. The FAQ comes out two years after the codex release, if at all.
2. Half of the FAQ consists of: "Oh well. Yes. We really mean it that way. It's stupid and unbalanced, but we never make errors, so use RAW."

That is the real problem, not the codex slip-ups.

Eulenspiegel
25-09-2007, 08:38
Interesting concession by Alessio, and much more interesting discussion going on here ...

After reading the entire thread in one go Ill have to point out that the original statmend was "Powergamers are best at rooting out abusable loopholes", not "Powergamers are the best playtesters".

That statement is correct, as noone will disagree.

As loopholes are always a problem in tournaments, pick-up games in your local GW and sometimes even in gaming groups, I think noone can disagree either, that it is good to have a few powergamers skimming through a finished Codex pre-publishing an pointing out potentially abusable combos or rules.

That should solve the leaking-problem, too. You never can be sure those rules youve read on Warseer 5 months before publishing are still valid when the Codex is finally released.

BrainFireBob
25-09-2007, 08:47
Geetaman:

Next you'll be telling me the sky is blue. I realized it's not an official term, being as how I found it under the left cheek . . .but it communicated my point, which is the purpose of language.

Geetarman
25-09-2007, 08:54
Next you'll be telling me the sky is blue. I realized it's not an official term, being as how I found it under the left cheek . . .but it communicated my point, which is the purpose of language.

Sorry, I apologise, I was being a bit too lateral with things there and it was an unnecessary nit pick, my bad. :)


[COLOR="Orange"]After reading the entire thread in one go Ill have to point out that the original statmend was "Powergamers are best at rooting out abusable loopholes", not "Powergamers are the best playtesters".

That statement is correct, as noone will disagree.

As loopholes are always a problem in tournaments, pick-up games in your local GW and sometimes even in gaming groups, I think noone can disagree either, that it is good to have a few powergamers skimming through a finished Codex pre-publishing an pointing out potentially abusable combos or rules.

I agree, powergamer testing would be a good addition to the playtesting that GW current has...


So GW produces rules, that are not tested or thought through. Well, that happens. It's not good, but it would be managable, if GW did the only reasonable thing:

The reasonable thing would be GW testing the products they release in the first place, not patching them up 1, 2 6 or 36 months later...

Gman

Lastie
25-09-2007, 08:54
You'd think after the Skaven Army Book Alessio would be more careful, but it seems wonderfully broken mechanics still pass him by. Poor chap. :p

leonmallett
25-09-2007, 09:12
You'd think after the Skaven Army Book Alessio would be more careful, but it seems wonderfully broken mechanics still pass him by. Poor chap. :p

But he always looks reasonably contented in photos, so maybe it is a good thing...? Just kidding!


To be fair, I don't think it is a matter that one designer be singled out. Since the (in my view) wreck of a list that was iron Warriors, things have seemed to get better. Qulaity control (which includes rules) should be caught by anyone involved in the process in my opinion, not just the lead writer(s), which I imagine includes anyone playtesting with the revised rules. However iIwould say it goes further, maybe the studio (or rather GW management) does need to bite the bullet and employ someone whose job it is to track rules (across all systems). Someone who isn't directly involved in writing any army books, and therefore not subject to bias. Someone who can monitor and maintain rulings and issues, manage FAQ's, and so forth, and whose job it is to nitpick.

Killmaimburn
25-09-2007, 09:30
After reading the entire thread in one go Ill have to point out that the original statmend was "Powergamers are best at rooting out abusable loopholes", not "Powergamers are the best playtesters".
That statement is correct, as noone will disagree.
However in its proper context the 2 quotes merge much closer together e.g.

.... power gamers being the best playtesters as grimtuff has said, is because at that point you expose what can happen,You say Tomayto and I say Tamahto, but I think I'm juggling semantics, when basically we both are, as you say, stateing the same thing.:D

You know if we all wish hard enough (and double lash everywhere) maybe santa alessio will bring us a faq for christmas:D

Geetarman
25-09-2007, 12:14
However Iwould say it goes further, maybe the studio (or rather GW management) does need to bite the bullet and employ someone whose job it is to track rules (across all systems). Someone who isn't directly involved in writing any army books, and therefore not subject to bias. Someone who can monitor and maintain rulings and issues, manage FAQ's, and so forth, and whose job it is to nitpick.

First rule in development, those doing it should not test it, they WILL miss things. Have group A developing and group B testing, its the only way you can do it without defects going unnoticed...

Gman

Eldanar
25-09-2007, 14:07
BFB, in post 63, hit the nail on the head.

@mkerr: I never said GW "employed" playtesters; I just said they went and cleaned house about a year or two ago. Whether you are an actual employee or a volunteer, "fired" is an appropriate term for being dismissed.

There is also a distinction to be made between playtesting and proofing their work. While the two are somewhat related, they are by no means mutually inclusive of one another. Bad proof reading and editing has led to as many problems in rules interpretations, and possibly more, than inadequate playtesting. Lash is a perfect example: Alessio knew what he wanted it to do, it was just worded poorly. This is more a function of poor proofing and editing rather than playtesting.

jesusjohn
25-09-2007, 19:57
lol, i'm terrified about apocolipse! Can you imagine the loopholes that will turn up there! ;)

zealot!
25-09-2007, 20:25
dont post in yellow. some people have a different skin than you homie.

DoctorTom
25-09-2007, 22:14
lol, i'm terrified about apocolipse! Can you imagine the loopholes that will turn up there! ;)

What loopholes? The book's all about throwing out the rules we already have! :)

Nurglitch
26-09-2007, 01:36
First rule in development, those doing it should not test it, they WILL miss things. Have group A developing and group B testing, its the only way you can do it without defects going unnoticed... Thank you for stating the facts with regard to conventional methods of testing and proofing.


What loopholes? The book's all about throwing out the rules we already have! If only that were true...

toxic_wisdom
26-09-2007, 01:56
"...I mean, can anyone provide a real reason why you SHOULD be able to lash someone out of combat?.."

To give Necron players a taste of their own medicine. How many times have a squad of Necrons been ported via the Lith from close combat, then Rapid Fire at the confused assault team?

Now Slaanesh Sorcerers could whip Flayed Ones right out of close combat and put them in range of their supporting KSons with Inferno Bolters.

Vaktathi
26-09-2007, 02:02
To give Necron players a taste of their own medicine. How many times have a squad of Necrons been ported via the Lith from close combat, then Rapid Fire at the confused assault team?


you say that as though someone killed your dog that way...


Now Slaanesh Sorcerers could whip Flayed Ones right out of close combat and put them in range of their supporting KSons with Inferno Bolters. and THAT isnt broken....:rolleyes:

Halfpast_Yellow
26-09-2007, 11:33
To give Necron players a taste of their own medicine. How many times have a squad of Necrons been ported via the Lith from close combat, then Rapid Fire at the confused assault team?

Now Slaanesh Sorcerers could whip Flayed Ones right out of close combat and put them in range of their supporting KSons with Inferno Bolters.

Oh please. If you think it's fair that a 20 point power is practically an automatic win against a complete codex, then you're a little confused yourself.

Necrons are absolutely boned by this power and I'm shelving them from tournies and don't play friendly games vs Chaos Lash lists.

Voodoo Boyz
26-09-2007, 11:35
To give Necron players a taste of their own medicine. How many times have a squad of Necrons been ported via the Lith from close combat, then Rapid Fire at the confused assault team?

Now Slaanesh Sorcerers could whip Flayed Ones right out of close combat and put them in range of their supporting KSons with Inferno Bolters.

Hey hey now, you've done it to my Orks with your Necrons, and I've done it to your 1kSons and Eldar with my Necrons. :p

I don't agree with the notion that the Lash can nail things in CC or even IC's, I would assume it targets like shooting, but the rules in the book don't support that idea.

Oh well, go go GavT!

shartmatau
26-09-2007, 12:18
Oh please. If you think it's fair that a 20 point power is practically an automatic win against a complete codex, then you're a little confused yourself.

Necrons are absolutely boned by this power and I'm shelving them from tournies and don't play friendly games vs Chaos Lash lists.

wow of all the lash threads that is the most exagerated of comments I have seen.Necrons should be happy, at least they can attempt to shift a bunch of their units back into place or away. Honestly if you can't play against an opponent because of one piece of wargear then you might want to think about a different game.

agio65
26-09-2007, 15:16
Why the hell do they run tournaments if they say their games were never designed to be played like that?

mostly because other companies do;)

Eldanar
26-09-2007, 15:40
A lot of people enjoy tournament play as well. It is its own style of play, and is perfectly acceptable within the confines of the tourney.

Reinholt
26-09-2007, 19:30
Speaking as someone who has been involved in product development in a past job, I would say this:

GW has the right kind of people designing their games.

The problem is that you want very different people testing their games.

Don't let designers do testing! This violates virtually every industry standard where design quality matters. You have a separate testing group, who will absolutely demolish whatever is given to them by the designers to find all flaws, then kick it back. Hire some professional testers already.

I am not surprised GW has this problem , but I am disappointed that they have this problem and are, seemingly, unaware of it. The absolute best thing they could do is hire a few gamers and a few non-gamers who understands technical writing to be in charge of QA for language (because non-gamers will get very confused quickly with unclear wording, so that's one of the best ways to find it), and also have a group of fire-breathing tactical geniuses to find every single flaw in each new codex.

I would even go so far as to say the vast majority of rules issues stem from unclear wording for GW. Simply having some standardized definitions of how basic functions work would do wonders.

Obviously, in the end, things will not be a perfect equilibrium, but it should never be the case that 90%+ of players are all using the same lists. Why does nobody take a heavy flamer with terminators? Why is lash so abusive, or worse, two? Things like that can be easily fixed.

You would have more regularity of points values, explicit language, less need for FAQs, fewer arguments during games, and more confidence on the part of gamers that their army is balanced, functional, and stable.

Also, to the arguments that 40k is not a tournament-based game... that's fine, but should it be tournament incompetent? For instance, my BMW is not an off-road car. But if I were to take a brief jaunt across a dirt path due to construction, should the car immediately catch fire, explode, and kill everyone within a 100' radius? Or should, maybe, it have been designed well enough that there's no major issue, even though that's not the focus of the car?

Not being tournament focused is not the same as being tournament blind.

Hellfury
26-09-2007, 19:52
In short: Allesio and Gav failed as designers who cannot spot a simple and quite powerful abuse.

110% fail.

nojinx
26-09-2007, 20:04
Two things I would like to mention:

1. The best play testers will be those who apply every rule in every way possible. Such things as beardiness and power gaming are social concepts and, while freely available to those who are customers of GW, should not be a determining factor in whether or not to test some dynamic of a game system.

2. I am generally disappointed and frustrated with the amount of time I have to spend in a game due to ambiguity in GW's rule system for 40K. As my primary comparison, Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro has (I think) the most thorough system of providing solutions for rule ambiguities, which I experience primarily via Dungeons and Dragons. Their FAQs and Errata are provided in a timely fashion, and the main rule FAQ is regularly updated in such a way that new additions can be quickly scanned for. They have raised the bar in the game industry for those who publish game rules as complex as GW's and WotC's. I invite anyone familiar with both games to compare and comment.
My general point is, given that GW is a smaller scale both in the amount of published rules, the general size of the company and the size of their customer base (compared to DnD and WotC), they still lag far behind many other game companies in terms of solid play testing. They are one of the largest game companies in terms of sales, I can only speculate on the margins they make given the ratio of models to text they sell (compared to pen and paper games), but their prevalence in the industry leaves me expecting more. When it comes to rule sets, they seem to have a "blow and go" attitude. Their provision of updates and errata ranks with the amateur game companies of the world.

Marinox
26-09-2007, 20:15
My general point is, given that GW is a smaller scale both in the amount of published rules, the general size of the company and the size of their customer base (compared to DnD and WotC), they still lag far behind many other game companies in terms of solid play testing. They are one of the largest game companies in terms of sales, I can only speculate on the margins they make given the ratio of models to text they sell (compared to pen and paper games), but their prevalence in the industry leaves me expecting more. When it comes to rule sets, they seem to have a "blow and go" attitude. Their provision of updates and errata ranks with the amateur game companies of the world.

quoted for truth.

maybe it's just the guys in my area so i might be alone. to the guys i and others have managed to lure in from magic, DnD, even most of the board gamers the GW rules are a joke.

Bob5000
26-09-2007, 20:28
I am getting more and more hacked off with GW over their poor rules support .

Make a mistake ? didn't spot something ? oh well , we are all human , and possibly to be expected in such a complex game , but get off your backsides and do something about it NOW !

If there is a fault with a product , and Alessio surely has accepted that there is a fault , then fix it !

LOTR , perhaps being a newer and simpler rules set does not seem to suffer from as many glitches , and some specialist games are very good rules - wise , so GW can do it if they try .

I think this is the first time I have posted such an intemperate post , but this subject has been building up inside me for some time now , and spoils an otherwise great game . Its the annoyance that GW dont seem to be making any real effort in customer rules support .

Axel
26-09-2007, 21:58
Agreed.

The problem is not that there are faults, but that faults are not fixed or even admitted. A system of sensible FAQs with regular updates would mend most problems. That major problems and abuses are ignored is the real itch.

grickherder
26-09-2007, 22:16
I am not surprised GW has this problem , but I am disappointed that they have this problem and are, seemingly, unaware of it.

GW's corporate culture rewards being a yes-man. Even in the face of massively declining sales, store closures and whatnot, they still maintain the "yes-man" culture where people pointing out problems are shuffled off or ignored.

Brother Siccarius
27-09-2007, 01:03
They may not have thought of moving things out of combat, because frankly it's one of those "It should be a give in that it doesn't work that way". I've had plenty of games against complete powergamers who could turn the rulebook upside down and tell you've been reading it wrong the whole time. Then later you look back on it, and you realize that it doesn't work that way.

Something tells me that that's what the GW Employee was going through when approached by the OP and having it explained to him. With the way the OP is attacking the actions of the developer in just the first few lines of this post something tells me it wasn't a friendly conversation, probably with a bad tone and some sarcastic comments. The kind of conversation with raving people that I avoid at work all the time. Doesn't surprise me he seems to have blown you off.

I get this feeling from a lot of the people who post snippets of conversation with GW employees and immediately begin tearing them apart. It's not that it's a fanboy thing. It's that when you go into a conversation with a bone to pick or a complaint to register, it's usually immediately obvious (Often times just by looking at you). In a place like a Games Day where your assured to be mobbed if you're wearing "Games Workshop" on your shirt, they're going to give you short, non-committal answers that really say nothing about the problem or guarantee a solution. For one reason, it's not up to that one person you talked to to change a rule or issue a FAQ, so they usually aren't going to give you any guarantees on it. For another, they're going to want to end the conversation as soon as possible, because people who start a conversation upset (With a bone to pick, with a problem that they assume you can fix with a finger snap, ect.) usually aren't going to end one in any kind of happy mood, and dealing with dozens of those conversations a day is tiring on the mind and body.

Halfpast_Yellow
27-09-2007, 06:09
wow of all the lash threads that is the most exagerated of comments I have seen.Necrons should be happy, at least they can attempt to shift a bunch of their units back into place or away. Honestly if you can't play against an opponent because of one piece of wargear then you might want to think about a different game.

How is it exaggerated? I should be happy that I have no psychic counter, Resurrection Orbs become useless, and I'm getting smashed in combat more often, because after that I can maybe move the two warriors left out of the squad around if I'm lucky? :rolleyes:

Maybe if it's not worth playing a game against an opponent because of one piece of wargear, there is something wrong about that piece of wargear?



:rolleyes:

Way to beat the minimum character requirement for posting, with a quote :rolleyes:

Hoagiex
27-09-2007, 10:06
For the lash and all other oversights of GW in the past couple of decades:

A) GW employee's/testers are either so incredably 'fluffy', that they are blind to exploits (which is not that hard to believe, when you look at the lists they use to playtest) OR they are illiterate retards...

B) "We have a problem, we need to fix NOW... hmmm .. a FAQ will appear in a year or so". This bugs the hell out of me. Who says you need to address 'all' issues at once. Just fix one or two bugs, create a/add to the FAQ and tadaaaah, more problems solved. Everytime you come across a new problem, solve it, test it and release a FAQ version. It would seriously take about 10 minutes to fix the lash problem and to create a new FAQ document with Adobe's startup time being the biggest time sink. They don't even have to be creative themselves. Some GW guy posts a problem on several boards at 9:00 AM and at about 15:00 PM he can harvest about 200 possible solutions and pick the one he likes best and go have a short meeting about it. At 17:00 there would be a new FAQ up with the added problem+solution.

The whole 'role a dice about it' is the biggest crap in the world. People make armylists, buy models, paint them and field them in competative tournaments because they want to field a solid army with solid tactics. Not to 'roll a dice' in game-deciding situations.

And this is not just about 'exploits'. I'm talking about all 'changes' like rulebook and codex changes (where your 40 expensive metal models become rubbish, because GW has decided that some other model has to be sold more so screws your point-value ratio and ups it's point-value ratio).

GW's focus is on sales, nothing more. Anyone that dares to contradict me...:
- Look at which armies get redone first (heavy selling vs non heavy selling)
- Look at the effort put into testing vs. the effort of simply releasing new products as fast as possible
- Look at the time it takes to build a one page FAQ compared to the time it takes to create a full, untested, codex and look at the speed GW pumps both types out.
- etc etc etc.

No I don't mind them wanting to sell stuff... they're a business.... it's just too bad the ratio of attention is about 99.99%-00.01%.

Ravenous
27-09-2007, 10:14
I cant believe that the Games developers can write a rule and then read it and say "I dont think that can be abused, no loop holes or vagueries here". Then send it through proof readers for publishing.

You have to have your head in hole to miss some of these things.

So what can we expect then from the FAQ?
- Lash works as shooting with all of its restrictions
- No double lashing

Zerosoul
27-09-2007, 14:05
I cant believe that the Games developers can write a rule and then read it and say "I dont think that can be abused, no loop holes or vagueries here". Then send it through proof readers for publishing.

You have to have your head in hole to miss some of these things.


Ever written rules? As people have already said, it's easy to be blind to the flaws in your own rules, since you know how you expect it to work.

I don't think there's much excuse for GW's slowness to produce FAQs. They're the big boys on the block, and if Privateer Press can produce a model-by-model FAQ as the models are released, there's no reason GW can't do a one-page FAQ in a reasonable time period. I think that's one of GW's major failings as a company. But I have a hard time faulting them for their rules - and at the same time, they rarely have the glaring, gamebreaking interactions that some other systems have(Privateer is infamous for some of their gamebreaking exploits, and even Magic, the paradigm of tournament-caliber rules, has had to ban cards from tournaments to avoid setting up infinite loops or because they're too powerful). They're written in a conversational style. They expect people to be reasonable people and draw inferences. Could they be clearer? Sure. Are there embarassing editing errors and places where they just aren't clear? Sure. But they're not written for the types of nitpicking lawyer wannabes that are your stereotypical powergamers. The rules are just fine for throwing down some minis with your buds and some beers. They're even just fine for tournaments, since the organizer sets their own house rules. But on their own, they're clearly not written for tournament-level play or to be picked over by people pretending to be lawyers.

Marinox
27-09-2007, 16:02
then as a member of the global gamer community, having been brough up with games and systems where one is generally rewarded for putting the most thought and practice into a tactic or design. i would like to see some sort of warning label or preface in the rule book stating:

"This game system is not designed and will not stand up to any degree of rules scrutiny. Do no purchase this book if you intend on playing with any level of competition or seriousness."

Durath
27-09-2007, 16:33
then as a member of the global gamer community, having been brough up with games and systems where one is generally rewarded for putting the most thought and practice into a tactic or design. i would like to see some sort of warning label or preface in the rule book stating:

"This game system is not designed and will not stand up to any degree of rules scrutiny. Do no purchase this book if you intend on playing with any level of competition or seriousness."

I guess you haven't read the preface to any of the 40k main rule books.

I'm gonna paraphrase some because I don't have the book right in front of me, but almost every one of them has stated:

"If a rule we made doesn't make sense or contradicts another rule with no explanation, work it out with your opponent through a friendly discussion. If that doesn't work, try the 'high-die-wins' method. Roll two dice, and use the rule the way described by whomever has the highest dice roll. Remember to always have fun when playing this game."

So in essence, they make an admission that they expect rules contradictions and vagaries, and they don't consider the game system one that supports a neutral competitive atmosphere.

Whats bad is when you have someone purposefully trying to exploit one of these rules and getting combative about it. It actually one of the most frustrating things in the game, and if they start getting overtly immature about it, I usually wind up just acquiescing to their insistance. Winning a 40k game isn't the pinnacle of accomplishments for me, nor is losing one the end of the world.

Zerosoul
27-09-2007, 19:01
then as a member of the global gamer community, having been brough up with games and systems where one is generally rewarded for putting the most thought and practice into a tactic or design. i would like to see some sort of warning label or preface in the rule book stating:

"This game system is not designed and will not stand up to any degree of rules scrutiny. Do no purchase this book if you intend on playing with any level of competition or seriousness."

Of course it stands up to rules scrutiny. Simplest thing in the world - roll a d6. It doesn't stand up to the level of sheer nitpicking some people are capable of because it's written conversationally.

The rulebook is not intended to be read as a legal document. Very few rulebooks are, in fact, as reading legal documents is exceedingly unpleasant. It is also not a technical document, as those are likewise unpleasant to read. It is set up to be a fast, easy read so people can get a game going. That's all. I'm not sure why it bothers gamers so much that there's no One True Answer besides "Come up with something with your buds". I have theories, but I don't want to get banned, so I won't say any of them here.

Very few games are tournament-ready to the level that, say, Chess is tournament-ready. 40k is actually better than some of the competetion. Magic, for example, outright bans cards rather than trying to make them work, whereas Privateer's response to outright gamebreaking scenarios (such as the infamous case in Hordes of being literally unable to win by scenario against a certain Circle caster in a certain scenario if the Circle player goes first) is to essentially shrug and say "PAGE 5! WOOOOOO!". That doesn't excuse many of 40k's inherent problems, of course - I simply think it's endemic to most wargames of this style. The problem really comes in with the allergy that many gamers seem to have to house rules. If people would get over the notion of having the One True Answer to their rules questions, then 3/4ths of the reason for this very forum to exist would vanish overnight.

Hoagiex
27-09-2007, 20:26
Of course it stands up to rules scrutiny. Simplest thing in the world - roll a d6. It doesn't stand up to the level of sheer nitpicking some people are capable of because it's written conversationally.


No it is written and barely playtested... so any 'normal', non-nitpicker can find a lot of things wrong with it, without lawyering.




The rulebook is not intended to be read as a legal document.


It's a 'rulebook', ... rules ... also know as 'laws in a smaller universe'. Laws/rules need to be (near) absolute in the universe they are in.



Very few games are tournament-ready to the level that, say, Chess is tournament-ready. 40k is actually better than some of the competetion. Magic, for example, outright bans cards rather than trying to make them work...


Magic recognizes a problem and bans a card within the week/month, whereas GW takes a year to put out a FAQ. That little difference makes Magic tournament ready and disqualifies 40k.



The problem really comes in with the allergy that many gamers seem to have to house rules. If people would get over the notion of having the One True Answer to their rules questions, then 3/4ths of the reason for this very forum to exist would vanish overnight.

I'm severely allergic to house rules. The frustration that one gets, when confronted with some rules-retard, that broke free, for the first time, from his isolated-rule enviroment (also know as a 'club'), at a tournament is staggering. They are convinced they 'know' something, when it is merely just a house rule.

And also, 'house rules' are permanent 'non-solutions'. They do not address the issues, they work around them, permanently screwing one side out of their (possibly rightful-) tactic/trick/rule.

Every situation does have 'one true anwser'. it's a game with stats and rules... not real life, where you have 'opinions'.

Chaos and Evil
27-09-2007, 21:17
GW can produce well balanced rulesets, for example EPIC, which is incredibly tactical, huge in scope and also well balanced at the same time.

40k however, as a basic rules system, is inherently unbalanced. (But then, isn't that part of the fun?).

Bob5000
27-09-2007, 21:43
I guess you haven't read the preface to any of the 40k main rule books.

I'm gonna paraphrase some because I don't have the book right in front of me, but almost every one of them has stated:

"If a rule we made doesn't make sense or contradicts another rule with no explanation, work it out with your opponent through a friendly discussion. If that doesn't work, try the 'high-die-wins' method. Roll two dice, and use the rule the way described by whomever has the highest dice roll. Remember to always have fun when playing this game."



I know its a paraphrase but It does not say any thing near this this that I can find in the 40K rulebook , Edit : or the first two recent codexes I picked up ( Eldar and Chaos Space Marines ) end Edit : apart from the 'having fun' bit in the BRB. You may be thinking of the GW website errata page ?

The rule book is not a " Roll a D6 to decide rules " book .

Its the lack of a fix or a FAQ to a recognised issue with a rule that is the failing .

Maximillianus
27-09-2007, 22:00
Two things I would like to mention:

1. The best play testers will be those who apply every rule in every way possible. Such things as beardiness and power gaming are social concepts and, while freely available to those who are customers of GW, should not be a determining factor in whether or not to test some dynamic of a game system.

2. I am generally disappointed and frustrated with the amount of time I have to spend in a game due to ambiguity in GW's rule system for 40K. As my primary comparison, Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro has (I think) the most thorough system of providing solutions for rule ambiguities, which I experience primarily via Dungeons and Dragons. Their FAQs and Errata are provided in a timely fashion, and the main rule FAQ is regularly updated in such a way that new additions can be quickly scanned for. They have raised the bar in the game industry for those who publish game rules as complex as GW's and WotC's. I invite anyone familiar with both games to compare and comment.
My general point is, given that GW is a smaller scale both in the amount of published rules, the general size of the company and the size of their customer base (compared to DnD and WotC), they still lag far behind many other game companies in terms of solid play testing. They are one of the largest game companies in terms of sales, I can only speculate on the margins they make given the ratio of models to text they sell (compared to pen and paper games), but their prevalence in the industry leaves me expecting more. When it comes to rule sets, they seem to have a "blow and go" attitude. Their provision of updates and errata ranks with the amateur game companies of the world.


I can't begin to describe how much I agree. As a loyal customer of both TSR/WotC/Hasbro and GW for many many years, I can certainly compare and contrast. But alas! No comparison can be made! :p WotC/Hasbro is light years ahead of GW in such things. Compared to them GW seems like a tiny, backwater workshop trying desperately to sell their pitiful excuse of a ruleset. (The models are great though, I 'll give them that. ;))

My apologies if the above seems too harsh, or even insulting. I am just fed up with GWs inability to pay proper attention to their games rules-wise.

Zerosoul
27-09-2007, 22:07
No it is written and barely playtested... so any 'normal', non-nitpicker can find a lot of things wrong with it, without lawyering.

And yet, every night I go to my game store, I see people playing it, and, gasp, having fun. I know, it's shocking - they have fun without having a one hundred percent immutable answer!


It's a 'rulebook', ... rules ... also know as 'laws in a smaller universe'. Laws/rules need to be (near) absolute in the universe they are in.

In a competitive setting, sure. Otherwise, why? If I sit my friends down to play Smash Brothers at my house with the agreed-upon rule "Nobody pick Ness", then somebody does, indeed, pick Ness, am I wrong for allowing them to continue playing? Of course not, because there are different levels of strict adherence to the rules depending on situation. They aren't laws, and they shouldn't be written like them. I read legal documents for a living. It isn't enjoyable. I would rather have a rulebook that's not a slog to read through than one that's airtight - because most of the people I play are my friends, so we can be reasonable human beings when the situation presents itself. If you aren't playing your friends most of the time, well, get some friends.


Magic recognizes a problem and bans a card within the week/month, whereas GW takes a year to put out a FAQ. That little difference makes Magic tournament ready and disqualifies 40k.

Uh, no, this is bad. See, Magic's solution is to ban something outright. This would be akin to GW saying "Nobody can take Harlequins in their army anymore".


I'm severely allergic to house rules. The frustration that one gets, when confronted with some rules-retard, that broke free, for the first time, from his isolated-rule enviroment (also know as a 'club'), at a tournament is staggering. They are convinced they 'know' something, when it is merely just a house rule.

No, it certainly isn't staggering as a general rule. Me? I don't care. If someone screws up a rule, why should it frustrate you? This is the attitude that tournament players bring to the hobby, and it's a crappy, destructive one. Oh no! You had to correct someone at the tourney you spent ten bucks to enter! You might not get the plaque!


And also, 'house rules' are permanent 'non-solutions'. They do not address the issues, they work around them, permanently screwing one side out of their (possibly rightful-) tactic/trick/rule.

Oh, please. That's not even worth a response.


Every situation does have 'one true anwser'. it's a game with stats and rules... not real life, where you have 'opinions'.

Okay, ace. What's the one true answer for how Lash works?

Bob5000
27-09-2007, 22:15
Okay, ace. What's the one true answer for how Lash works?

Thats what we are trying to get GW to tell us :eyebrows:

DEADMARSH
27-09-2007, 23:18
Look at this from a business perspective for a second.

QA or playtesting or whatever you want to call it AS A FULL-TIME POSITION inside of GW is unnecessary. Nobody is dying because these rules aren't always written perfectly. Governments around the globe aren't demanding safety recalls. I highly doubt any gamer, no matter how frustrated he seems on an internet forum, has ever demanded their money back on a "broken" codex. I also doubt any gamer has ever NOT bought a codex because they'd read somewhere that the rules were too broken.

So what does that all mean?

QA/ testing for something like this doesn't actually add any value to the VAST majority of the people using the product, so from a company point of view, if the designers get the rules right 98% or 99% of the time while also keeping up with all their other duties, why waste money on hiring or outsourcing? It won't make them any more money and it isn't losing them money currently.

So maybe, maybe 2% of your customer base is frothing at the mouth for a FAQ or rules clarification or whatever while the other 98% are happily chugging along buying your product and working out rules discrepancies themselves with house-rules, RAW or RAI, dicing for it, etc.

What would you do?

grickherder
28-09-2007, 03:46
Use the same model that Specialist games does for their living rulebooks-- bring in the volunteers! Make something like the Blood Bowl Rules Council made up of trusted gamers from around the world who know the rules cold. For anything that's not immediately obvious to these people, they can email the designer who wrote the rules asking for an example of play or something like that. Nothing communicates the intention of a given rule like an example. The volunteer team can then run with it and produce the PDF for the codex.

The cost to GW would be negligible and the quality of the Specialist Games rules sets and army lists are fantastic as a result-- it's already been proven to work.

Lastie
28-09-2007, 07:42
I highly doubt any gamer, no matter how frustrated he seems on an internet forum, has ever demanded their money back on a "broken" codex.

Now there's an idea, I might be able to afford a Baneblade when I've finished.

Bob5000
28-09-2007, 13:08
So maybe, maybe 2% of your customer base is frothing at the mouth for a FAQ or rules clarification or whatever while the other 98% are happily chugging along buying your product and working out rules discrepancies themselves with house-rules, RAW or RAI, dicing for it, etc.

What would you do?

And your source for these fugures are ? or is it a guess ?

I could not give a monkeys what proportion of gamers this is , I am 100% of gamers intrinsically that want speedy FAQ's for rules cock-ups .
I pay good money for GW products , and I want them to work .

Its because no-one dies when there is a mistake that they can affford to be lax

Slaaneshi Slave
28-09-2007, 13:37
They obviously can afford to be lax, since they earn (as a company) more money than you (probably) do.

nojinx
28-09-2007, 15:09
So maybe, maybe 2% of your customer base is frothing at the mouth for a FAQ or rules clarification or whatever while the other 98% are happily chugging along buying your product and working out rules discrepancies themselves with house-rules, RAW or RAI, dicing for it, etc.

What would you do?

While you make some valid points - certainly, it is a business decision - the real question is: Why doesn't GW do what WotC and other game developers do? Why do the backers of DnD choose to do what GW does not? GW does not seem to make efforts that other companies do when it comes to support and follow-through.


Use the same model that Specialist games does for their living rulebooks-- bring in the volunteers! Make something like the Blood Bowl Rules Council made up of trusted gamers from around the world who know the rules cold. For anything that's not immediately obvious to these people, they can email the designer who wrote the rules asking for an example of play or something like that. Nothing communicates the intention of a given rule like an example. The volunteer team can then run with it and produce the PDF for the codex.

The cost to GW would be negligible and the quality of the Specialist Games rules sets and army lists are fantastic as a result-- it's already been proven to work.

Right on, grickherder. I had hoped someone would hit on this.

GW has their best resource for finding issues and resolutions available to them every hour of every day: YOU. You put in the time to raise questions you post, you follow with solutions and discussion of others' issues. A GW intern spending two hours a day scouring the various boards for contentious rules and possible answers, followed by a few minutes chasing designers for answers, could raise the level of FAQ and errata support tenfold.

I think GW could achieve a level of support equal to other gaming companies of similar volume. But they choose not to go to that effort as a business decision. Other companies do. I wonder, now, how passionate the employees of GW are about their product. Less so than their margins, methinks.

I feel it is important to also mention that my (and your) willingness to continue playing and modeling GW products despite our frustration with poor support is a testament to the ecstatic joy we take in playing their games and the success of their business model. GW also provides great support in other ways not specific to rule sets. The various modeling and story-based articles are the best example.

Marinox
28-09-2007, 15:49
Look at this from a business perspective for a second.

QA or playtesting or whatever you want to call it AS A FULL-TIME POSITION inside of GW is unnecessary. Nobody is dying because these rules aren't always written perfectly. Governments around the globe aren't demanding safety recalls. I highly doubt any gamer, no matter how frustrated he seems on an internet forum, has ever demanded their money back on a "broken" codex. I also doubt any gamer has ever NOT bought a codex because they'd read somewhere that the rules were too broken.

So what does that all mean?

QA/ testing for something like this doesn't actually add any value to the VAST majority of the people using the product, so from a company point of view, if the designers get the rules right 98% or 99% of the time while also keeping up with all their other duties, why waste money on hiring or outsourcing? It won't make them any more money and it isn't losing them money currently.

So maybe, maybe 2% of your customer base is frothing at the mouth for a FAQ or rules clarification or whatever while the other 98% are happily chugging along buying your product and working out rules discrepancies themselves with house-rules, RAW or RAI, dicing for it, etc.

What would you do?

so what your saying is because the product is for the most part "ok", there's no point in trying to improve the product?

i wanna come work for your company

Democratus
28-09-2007, 17:56
The rulebook is not intended to be read as a legal document. Very few rulebooks are, in fact, as reading legal documents is exceedingly unpleasant. It is also not a technical document, as those are likewise unpleasant to read. It is set up to be a fast, easy read so people can get a game going. That's all. I'm not sure why it bothers gamers so much that there's no One True Answer besides "Come up with something with your buds". I have theories, but I don't want to get banned, so I won't say any of them here.

Very few games are tournament-ready to the level that, say, Chess is tournament-ready. 40k is actually better than some of the competetion.

Star Fleet Battles
Flames of War
D&D Minis
Squad Leader
Tide of Iron
Wooden Ships & Iron Men
East Front
Burning Blue
Combat Commander
Wings of War
Paths of Glory

Yeah...you're right. Nobody makes solid rules-based games. 40K stands head and shoulders above the competition. :rolleyes:

nojinx
28-09-2007, 18:30
I think comparison with chess is valid. I have often considered 40K (and other table-top battle games) to be forms of chess. In fact, when someone unfamiliar with 40K or table-based wargames in general asks me about 40K, I succinctly describe it as "a very complex version of chess with little army men". In hindsight, chess itself uses little army men, so I suppose that is redundant. Perhaps I should say "with model kits".

It is a system/rules set that provides a defined field of play, rules for moving pieces and rules for attacking and removing pieces. The complexity of the rules takes the game to another level, but it is the subjective judgments that the game requires that really set it apart. For example, one never has to judge with the naked eye whether a model has line of sight to another in chess.

People will have questions about games with rules as simple as chess (I dare not call chess "simple" as a chess match can be as complex as a 40K match - only the rule set is simple). I still get confused when trying to castle - is it the rook moving to the king, or the other way around?

I don't think it is unreasonable to expect GW to actively work to reconcile the rules concerns of their customer base. It's not easy - unlike chess, they work with a constantly evolving rules set. Perhaps our tolerance of the problems leads them to be less concerned. Our enjoyment of the game certainly leads us toward tolerance and self-sufficiency with rules conflict resolution.

Are we veering too far off the topic here? Since the sudden disappearance of Lord Malek, I am paranoid of administrative retribution should I break a rule.

Bob5000
28-09-2007, 18:36
I feel it is important to also mention that my (and your) willingness to continue playing and modeling GW products despite our frustration with poor support is a testament to the ecstatic joy we take in playing their games and the success of their business model. GW also provides great support in other ways not specific to rule sets. The various modeling and story-based articles are the best example.

QFT

This is what keeps me playing , the other aspects of the game , and the other types of customer support which are very good .

I am baffled that there seems to be an attitude amongst some that the rules and support dont need any improvement , or that speedier FAQs would not enhance the experience .

DoctorTom
28-09-2007, 19:22
Uh, no, this is bad. See, Magic's solution is to ban something outright. This would be akin to GW saying "Nobody can take Harlequins in their army anymore".

Or "There won't be a Squat Codex"? ;)


Okay, ace. What's the one true answer for how Lash works?


The true answer - the Lash works the way that Alessio and the GW designers intended for it to work. Now, it shouldn't normally require us to personally talk with them or dial the psychic hotline to divine the specifics of that that answer means, but in this case.....:)

Sovereign
28-09-2007, 20:22
Magic's solution is to ban something outright. This would be akin to GW saying "Nobody can take Harlequins in their army anymore".
Not exactly. The number of cards that are banned in Type 1 competition is vanishingly low compared to the total number of cards that have been printed. Further, the overwhelming majority of these banned cards are Ante-based, from the first few years of the game.

In 40k terms, it's like saying: "OK, nobody can take Orguss Flyers in their army anymore".

The rest of the bans are equivalent to removing lists from UK GT eligibility.

If you compare lists and legality, Magic wins hands down in terms of total amount / ratio of things playable. At this point, none of the 40k RT or 2E-era lists are even close to being compatible. And even most of the 3E lists have become "invalid" with the new printings, aside from Apocalypse.

Sovereign
28-09-2007, 20:25
Star Fleet Battles
Squad Leader

Yeah...you're right. Nobody makes solid rules-based games. 40K stands head and shoulders above the competition. :rolleyes:
SFB and ASL are hardly the best examples of good rules sets. ADB constantly tweaks SFB to the point it's hardly possible to keep up with rules without a small wall of rulebooks that override each other.

bigred
29-09-2007, 02:36
I do have to say that Flames of War has a very tight and well laid out rulebook. Even thought its only on its still youthful 2nd edition, GW could learn a lot by taking a gander at their rules layout. In particular I was very impressed by their clear visual delineations within a rule on :

Fluff sections
The actual rule
Illustrations of the rule being applied in simple and complex cases.

These are all things that GW likes to just "mix together" often within the same paragraph in a rules section leading to our eternal RAW vs Intent arguments.

-bigred

killa kan kaus
29-09-2007, 03:39
sigh another lash thread

Brother Siccarius
29-09-2007, 05:32
sigh another lash thread

Yes, another one, and once the problem is fixed or the power gamers release their way of defeating this, we'll have a multi-topic running rant*/GW bash on our hands.
It's the great cycle of forumized Warhammer.



*Can't call it a discussion when one side ignores the other

Killmaimburn
29-09-2007, 08:06
Yes, another one, and once the problem is fixed or the power gamers release their way of defeating this, we'll have a multi-topic running rant*/GW bash on our hands.
It's the great cycle of forumized Warhammer.

I think it stopped being about the lash somewhere in page 1, to summarise the last 7 pages, we want GW to support its products (the only lash involved is the one that we'd employ over the rules makers to write FAQs in a timely manner).
If you mean you want a power gamer to make the lash less effective. I'm not sure as to his gaming status (power and or otherwise) but it should be noted that Mkerr has written another fine document (http://belloflostsouls.blogspot.com/2007/08/tactica-lash-of-submission-part-2.html) at the bell of souls site about how as an opponent you can beat the lash, without having to try to argue around it.
hope it helps
KMB

Midknightwraith
18-10-2007, 22:13
Read through the first page and post 125. One of the things that occured to me was there are plenty of games for which the rules are available online and what not for free. Most of these are Card Games admitedly, but it does seem to me that GW games tend to fall into this category. You have to buy the pieces to play, and you get to customize your models and units.

In this type of environment it makes bucket loads of good sense to publish the rules online, and allow play testing, with no cost. Magic, L5R, Vs all have a comprehensive rule site for their respective rules. Why does GW not do this as well? The answer is pretty obvious, they expect to get paid for the rules and the pieces, not just the pieces. It's the same reason you have to agree to that silly not to reproduce agreement when you download a FAQ. :wtf: It's as if GW doesn't want people to know the rules deliberately.

I wish they would get off their high horse and get with the program. Then maybe the rules wouldn't be so ridiculous and take so long to be released, and FAQed. Ahh, pipe dreams.

DoctorTom
18-10-2007, 22:29
Read through the first page and post 125. One of the things that occured to me was there are plenty of games for which the rules are available online and what not for free. Most of these are Card Games admitedly, but it does seem to me that GW games tend to fall into this category. You have to buy the pieces to play, and you get to customize your models and units.

In this type of environment it makes bucket loads of good sense to publish the rules online, and allow play testing, with no cost. Magic, L5R, Vs all have a comprehensive rule site for their respective rules. Why does GW not do this as well? The answer is pretty obvious, they expect to get paid for the rules and the pieces, not just the pieces. It's the same reason you have to agree to that silly not to reproduce agreement when you download a FAQ. :wtf: It's as if GW doesn't want people to know the rules deliberately.

I wish they would get off their high horse and get with the program. Then maybe the rules wouldn't be so ridiculous and take so long to be released, and FAQed. Ahh, pipe dreams.


On the other hand, it's not so common for miniatures games to have the rules free online. Warmachine still charges for their books. RPG's also charge for their rules (but then again, they'd pretty much have to if they want to make any money off of it :)). Play testing and FAQ support, however, can be somewhat faster at these other companies.

Durath
18-10-2007, 22:59
SFB and ASL are hardly the best examples of good rules sets. ADB constantly tweaks SFB to the point it's hardly possible to keep up with rules without a small wall of rulebooks that override each other.

:wtf:

Being an SFB veteran of at least 15 years, I am going to have say this is a rather backwards take on the reality of the subject being discussed.

First off, I will conceed that comparing SFB to 40k isn't a worthwhile pursuit.

SFB is, for lack of a better reference, a math exercise. It is almost completely abstract, as the positions of the models and their movement, and their weapons and defensive systems interactions could be (and have been) plotted entirely on paper. The counters and hex map are simply reference tools that speed up game play.

40k on the other hand requires physical manipulation, real-life line of sight, and variable measurements. About the only thing in common with the two games is six-sided dice.

However.... because SFB is such an abstract game, your statement that it isn't a "good rule set" can not stand up to any real argument.

The rules are written like computer code with detailed sectional and sub-sectional (and sub-sub-sectional, etc.) reference numbers. In full 8.5x11 page size with 10-12pt. text, its rule set (inc. advanced and modules) is a volume at least 400+ pages and measures almost 3 inches thick!

Almost EVERY contingency for interaction between the different races different systems is accounted for. What errata has been found is patched up easily by replaceable sheets for the pages involved, and is easily a negligible fraction of the rules volume.

It would be similar to GW producing an FAQ where all they said is that rhinos come with a dozer blade on it automatically.

Now... all that being said, SFB is not for the light-hearted fun-going gamer. Its a grueling book keeping process, and over time can lose its fun factor. I don't think I have played a game in years. 40k is much more fun imho.

But Games Workshop could learn a thing or two about rules support from Amarillo Design Bureau. They are a model company as far as that goes.

nojinx
19-10-2007, 02:50
Thanks for that comparison.

We have noted a few systems that compare favorably to 40K in terms of solid published rules and strong post-release support. I wonder: anyone want to present a case of a game or designer whose product are as erroneous or confounding as 40K, or whose support is as lacking?

Midknightwraith
19-10-2007, 15:23
Durath - I'm an SFB fan too, and your assessment is spot on. Good to see there are still people who remember. The problem is that ADB took 2 generations of their game to get it right. I think people who compain about the complexity of SFB remeber the early days. The Commanders edition of the game was good, but still had a lot of erratta. Captains Edition was the penultimate, and ADB did a great job with it. I too have not played in years, but I would say it is not as abstract as you claim. I would say 40k and SFB are about on par on that account. SFB is much more of a mental game though. Guessing what your opponent is doing because his record keeping is hidden from you. 40k not so much, you know pretty much know what your opponent is going to do once you see him deploy.

nojinx - I think the biggest problem with trying to find something like this is that most other games get this done by the third generation (or go out of buisness), and usually the generations are in terms of years, not decades. I'll also point out that Warmachine is a pretty solid system on it's own. There are some balance issues, but people didn't wait 10 years for things to get fixed either.

GW needs to figure out whether they are a publishing company or a miniatures company. If they are a miniatures company then they should drop the rulebooks/codexs and publish the rules on line for free with updates. If you take out the fluff and pictures the rules are just a few pages anyway. Notice that GW has to stuff a 100 page rulebook with lots of artwork and fiction, plus bigger than normal type to fill it up. Same with the codexes. People like that, and will pay for it, even if the rules themselves are available online for free. I know having the basic rules and codex data available online would not deter me from buying codexes, but it would however make me happy, assuming it was up to date and dealt with all the interactions. Am I alone in this?

It seems like GW is still living in the stone age of rules IP. What!?! give people rules for free to stimulate miniature sales and keep them up to date and make our customers happy and help grow our market? Bloody Nonsense!

Eldanar
19-10-2007, 16:21
I moved the thread to Other GW Discussion, because it has really morphed from a rules debate to commentary on GW's product support versus other companies, etc.

boogaloo
19-10-2007, 17:11
Maybe next time they will just decide to say tough thats how it's meant to work because that way they cop less flak. Just my 2 cents.


They already did that with the 'nids (synapse = immune to wraithcannon instant death) The GW official statement was that sombeody in Germany mistranslated the rule, so we had to make a ruling. Then when you read between the lines they sorta said it was easier and less costly to break the game, so we broke it.

Imperialis_Dominatus
24-10-2007, 07:33
In short: Allesio and Gav failed as designers who cannot spot a simple and quite powerful abuse.

110% fail.

Haha, makes me giggle.


GW's corporate culture rewards being a yes-man. Even in the face of massively declining sales, store closures and whatnot, they still maintain the "yes-man" culture where people pointing out problems are shuffled off or ignored.

Well, that would be a problematic load of *********. Not on you, grick, them.

Sovereign
24-10-2007, 18:31
:wtf:

Being an SFB veteran of at least 15 years,

SFB is, for lack of a better reference, a math exercise.

However.... because SFB is such an abstract game, your statement that it isn't a "good rule set" can not stand up to any real argument.

The rules are written like computer code with detailed sectional and sub-sectional (and sub-sub-sectional, etc.) reference numbers. In full 8.5x11 page size with 10-12pt. text, its rule set (inc. advanced and modules) is a volume at least 400+ pages and measures almost 3 inches thick!

Now... all that being said, SFB is not for the light-hearted fun-going gamer. Its a grueling book keeping process, and over time can lose its fun factor. I don't think I have played a game in years. 40k is much more fun imho.

But Games Workshop could learn a thing or two about rules support from Amarillo Design Bureau. They are a model company as far as that goes.
:wtf:

I played SBF 20 years ago.

SFB is *NOT* a math exercise - SFB is an *accounting* exercise. SFB is game in which you have to set your budget and re-balance your checkbook every turn. And the winner is the person who does the best job of keeping track of their half-pennies.

The notion that SFB is somehow a "good" ruleset is nonsense. It is incredibly boring and ridiculously tedious.

The rules are NOT written like computer code. They are written like accounting rules, which is dry and legalist. Being 400+ pages of rules is not a good thing, BTW. GW has done an admirable job of keeping their rules volume down, and the trend is toward further streamlining. This is a *good* thing, precisely because it avoids the notion of GW trying to track every single possible interaction within the game.

SFB isn't something that I would recommend to anybody who wants to have "fun". For essentially the same mechanics, they would do far better to dust off a copy of Car Wars and play that. Unless they are CPAs, then they probably would be quite happy.

And heaven help us if GW started to copy the ADB rules process. GW started down that road in 3rd edition, when we had the rulebook, then various WD articles to amend the rulebook, then a Chapter Approved book to compile the amendments, then additional WD articles to amend Chapter Approved, and finally Trial Vehicle Rules and Trial Assault Rules on top of that! I believe, just prior to 4th edition being released, the total rules volume had gotten to 3" worth of paper.

grickherder
24-10-2007, 20:36
I think the point of bringing up SFB was the referencing/indexing which immediately told you what rules are connected to the item at hand. While GW books have a table of contents, a reference system would be useful. I don't think the point went any further.