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View Full Version : Just a random idea I had... "beta" codexs?



unclejimbo827
18-10-2007, 00:20
For as long as I can remember, people have been bitching about new codices, about how some things are overpowered/underpowered or 'no-brainer' options. Basically, the sentiment seems to be that many codices could use a little more play testing. So I got an idea:

You guys remember the Trial Assault Rules we had a few years back (which basically became the 4th ed rules)? Well, seeing that GW has codices all but done roughly 6 months prior to release (or so I've heard), why couldn't they release a 'preview' version of say, the Ork codex online in PDF form a few months before release? That way, we could test out the new rules and see what's turned out to be overpowered, underpowered, etc. - basically, the public functions as additional playtesters.

What do you think?

RexTalon
18-10-2007, 00:22
I think that's an awesome idea, and therefore, I'm surprised I didn't think of it.

Imperialis_Dominatus
18-10-2007, 00:23
Best idea ever. Take notes GW!

Amnar
18-10-2007, 00:34
I agree, fabulous idea. Since they have very few playtesters, we could act as the playtest base, and they can nip cheese in the bud.

RavenMorpheus
18-10-2007, 00:34
For as long as I can remember, people have been bitching about new codices, about how some things are overpowered/underpowered or 'no-brainer' options. Basically, the sentiment seems to be that many codices could use a little more play testing. So I got an idea:

You guys remember the Trial Assault Rules we had a few years back (which basically became the 4th ed rules)? Well, seeing that GW has codices all but done roughly 6 months prior to release (or so I've heard), why couldn't they release a 'preview' version of say, the Ork codex online in PDF form a few months before release? That way, we could test out the new rules and see what's turned out to be overpowered, underpowered, etc. - basically, the public functions as additional playtesters.

What do you think?

Hmm sounds good in principle, probably some reasons GW don't already do that, money, organisation of the feedback etc, but it sounds good all the same.

blackroyal
18-10-2007, 00:38
I think GW would be afraid that some people wouldn't bother to buy the "new codex" once they were able to use the beta.

Tulun
18-10-2007, 00:39
There are logistics to it, but it sounds like a sound idea. They could do in house testing, and out of house testing, and compare commentary.

Of course, the problem they may have is cutting through the bullcrap :)

Thorisian
18-10-2007, 00:41
For as long as I can remember, people have been bitching about new codices, about how some things are overpowered/underpowered or 'no-brainer' options. Basically, the sentiment seems to be that many codices could use a little more play testing. So I got an idea:

You guys remember the Trial Assault Rules we had a few years back (which basically became the 4th ed rules)? Well, seeing that GW has codices all but done roughly 6 months prior to release (or so I've heard), why couldn't they release a 'preview' version of say, the Ork codex online in PDF form a few months before release? That way, we could test out the new rules and see what's turned out to be overpowered, underpowered, etc. - basically, the public functions as additional playtesters.

What do you think?

The cynical answer - why do that when they could make people pay $22 to beta test it for them ;) ...I kid I kid...

I don't know how GW operates currently, but up to a few years ago I know for a fact they did play test quite a bit :eek:, I was in on the previous Chaos, Witch Hunters and Tau 1.0. I'm sure they still do now, but maybe completely 'in house' these days (pure speculations, I've been out of the loop for sometime). Its just that sometimes I'm amazed that despite the feedback, certain broken things made it into the dexes *cough* IW *cough*.

Invader Nails
18-10-2007, 00:41
Whoa, now Unclejimbo. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on just a minute ...

That idea makes waaaay too much sense. What are you doing even suggesting this crap fer, anyway? This is Games Workshop we're talking about here!

Xenocidal Maniac
18-10-2007, 00:46
Better than that, I think what GW should do is make all of their codexes available online in pdf format. They could charge a fee for access or whatever if they wanted, but I think that codexes, on the whole, should be much more maleable things. Points costs should shift over time. Rules should be clarified / adjusted as issues arise.

Putting the rules online would allow them to do that.

I mean, think about it - how much would an RTS like Dawn of War suck if they just plunked the game down, said "ok, we're done!" and then you had to just play it like that for the next 5 years, balance bugs and all. Instead, what we have is a game that is constantly being tweaked via online updates to get closer to a more perfect system.

Of course, I don't think this will ever happen. But I've been thinking this would be the ideal scenario for quite some time now.

unclejimbo827
18-10-2007, 00:49
I think GW would be afraid that some people wouldn't bother to buy the "new codex" once they were able to use the beta.

I don't think so. I think most everyone would be pretty good about making sure to buy the Codex. For one thing, knowing the flaws people exploit with every codex the final list would wind up a fair bit different form the real thing. For example, people would seem awful suspicious if you showed up with a chaos list with 8 lashes instead of the single lash allowed in the "actual" codex (to use a theoretical of something people seem to consider OP). Most people also want the shiny pictures and fluff. Third, the "beta" lists would not tourney legal when the real thing is out of course. Fourth, anyone dead set on not buying a codex already can play a legal list without unnecessarily do so (unfortunately - go look at any file sharing internets thing :()

Thorisian
18-10-2007, 01:19
Putting the rules online would allow them to do that.

I mean, think about it - how much would an RTS like Dawn of War suck if they just plunked the game down, said "ok, we're done!" and then you had to just play it like that for the next 5 years, balance bugs and all. Instead, what we have is a game that is constantly being tweaked via online updates to get closer to a more perfect system.


Well one problem with tweaking the rules on a physical game is that each person has invested time and money into it, not like DoW where it doesn't really cost your $35 a pop to requisition a tactical squad. And its not like there aren't people complaining about changes in DoW either, there always a few who would get angry on Relic's forums, but at least they haven't invested actual money to the units in the game. If we look at established MMORPG's like WoW there's even more complaining with every patch, because unlike an RTS people did invest more time (if not money) to build up their characters.

Imagine tweaking the rules to Tabletop 40K like they do in DoW, you don't know how your squad is gonna fare from week to week after each patch. There's quite a bit of complaining that occurs already (some of them legitimate) when GW changes codices every 4-5years, imagine that happening every few months. The main complaint is not having to shell out another $22 to get a new edition of the codex, its focused on the new codex 'removing' models they spent time and money establishing because it was legal in the previous codex...now the horror of that if this happens every few months.

Beta codices are an interesting idea, but giving it to everyone will create a different set of problems. For one thing they can't please everyone, suppose stuff you liked in the beta didn't make it to the retail version, or the broken stuff gets made more broken due to slanted feedback (such have happened before, at least in several mmorpg's I played). All we could hope for is GW does more playtesting, preferably setting a group of people aside who are not part of the design team, and preferably impartial, tasked with 'breaking' each codex (the true essence of beta-testing).