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View Full Version : How's about a yearly point update? (Abit of a rant)



petribird
07-09-2009, 01:19
I'm sure I'm not the only one to think this but what if GW once a year updated the base cost of units? As in, just like a FAQ each army was updated (say first week of March), but just the base points of each unit. So for example Ork boys go from X to Y points, no change in special rules, weapon costs etc, just the base cost. It would seem to me this would have all sorts of uses.

-A once a year update in this day and age on the web I don't think would be a hardship for anyone like the old days where different FAQs, copies of WD etc caused issues, just do you have the point cost for 2010?

-Armies could be updated to keep armies relevant and not boxed up until the new codex/armybook (A good example are my Necrons who've been collecting dust since 5th ed).

-Specific units in each army could be updated if underpriced (cough Nobz cough Boyz) or overpriced (cough Vanguard cough Pariahs). Its not like every unit would need an update each year, just the ones that are obviously off, think of it, everyone can think of a unit in there army they always/never take. While special rules have huge impacts, costs would at least make it more likely you'd take it.

-Finally, GW think about the possible increase in sales? Each year slight tweaks to unit effectiveness could actually spread out sales? How many units don't currently sell because frankly they're ineffective? If each year the points changed such that some units are a little more effective you know the powergamers are going to pile on that unit (the list here is endless, Gargoyles, Pariahs, Vanguard, Skyray...).

-Last I don't think it would really hurt the current concept of releasing army books. All the special rules/weapons would still require the codex/army book and new minis would require people to buy the book. It might slow releases a little if there was a one month a year review of points updates, but I would think this even could be kept simple.

So any thoughts?

Edonil
07-09-2009, 01:24
Two problems with your suggestion- it makes sense, and would require GW to admit they make mistakes. However, it would be a long project to do each year, as they'd have to playtest the entire book over again to take into account the new prices of certain units. Do I think it's a good idea? Yes. Brilliant, actually. I'm a Witch Hunters player, I'd love to see my book adjusted. And for all the 'well, technically, you got an update with the new Guard and Marines...' I'd disagree. That doesn't correct some of the core things in my book that are off- 50 point rhinos are a big part of it. The fact that half of my wargear selection doesn't do anything. Or, my personal favorite, the fact that the Canoness has a BS of 5, WS of 4, and yet has no decent gun selections!

But I don't think it'll happen.

Sekhmet
07-09-2009, 01:33
I'm actually working on something like that right now... but it's not official

tacoo
07-09-2009, 01:41
i know what your talkin about with units i dont take, too bad i HAVE to take my necron warriors and C'tan. i know people are always complaning about how strong ctan are in combat, ibut c'mon, a Godling Being Incased in METAL and no 2+ armour save, rules as written a Storm Shield is stronger then a C'tan

Aries_37
07-09-2009, 01:46
I think they should scrap codexes altogether. Honestly if you compare how much money they make off of the 18 books compared to being able to constantly address imbalances and make all armies and unit choices viable (and therefore purchaseable) I think it could be a wise business move as well as making the game truly playable.

GW models/fluff with a privateer press level of support. We can only dream.

Edonil
07-09-2009, 01:58
I personally hate how privateer press does their support, I have to say. Not a fan. The Codex's aren't perfect, but that's because they don't have a schedule they stick to. If they would actually update the older books, instead of reprinting marines for the umpteenth time, it'd be a lot better.

Orktavius
07-09-2009, 02:22
everybody loves to make complaints and suggestions with no real concept of the work that would have to be put into them. If GW adjusted the points cost of units every year they'd have to spend every year playtesting new points costs instead of getting on with the job of updating codex's. You would never see a new codex if they did this. Nice pipe dream but utterly impractical and pretty much just whining. The new codex's are fairly balanced against each other, the trouble comes in with the older codex's based on 4th and sometimes even 3rd ed rulesets

Born Again
07-09-2009, 02:24
I disagree and think this is a really bad idea. Apart from the whole issue of them having to constantly be playtesting old books just for PDF updates, it causes problems for us, the gamers, as our army lists are constantly shifting not to try out different tactics but because of ever changing points values.
Your codex is your codex. Just make do with it.

Egaeus
07-09-2009, 04:06
everybody loves to make complaints and suggestions with no real concept of the work that would have to be put into them. If GW adjusted the points cost of units every year they'd have to spend every year playtesting new points costs instead of getting on with the job of updating codex's. You would never see a new codex if they did this. Nice pipe dream but utterly impractical and pretty much just whining. The new codex's are fairly balanced against each other, the trouble comes in with the older codex's based on 4th and sometimes even 3rd ed rulesets

Well I for one seriously hope that they are playtesting with old army lists while writing new Codexes. If the only way to test a new Codex is to play it against other "current" Codexes then you've got a pretty short list to test against. Which to me means that the older lists can only get worse as time goes on if this is the case. What would surprise me (as I have no idea how GW actually does things) is that they wouldn't take notes on other armies while writing new stuff if this gives them ideas on how they could be modified in the future to work better.

I would agree that a lot of the issue is that the Codexes are written for the edition of the game they are released with, so as editions change a number of the rules becomes obsolete. But at the same time, as the paradigm shifts the points costs can change significantly. With this edition we've seen a general lowering of points costs for many things. Which means again that older lists are worse off because they now pay a much higher cost then they will when their Codex is released. So some tweaking of points would go a long ways towards maintiaining some semblance of balance. Obviously the company has to maintain price lists for the things they sell...so why is it so hard to imagine that they couldn't maintain a "current points costs" list as well?

The main concern I would have with something like this is the fact that if they did start modifying points outside of normal channels (i.e. the Codexes) then there might be a lot more outcry against the points costs of units since the issue would then be that they are mutable costs. So even if was intially "once yearly" then someone might demand twice a year updates, then quarterly, then monthly...or even if it was simply "when a problem with cost is determined"...but who exactly is in charge of that?

I don't care for the system as it is with some Codexes going years without any kind of update but I do see potential problems with a system like this, although I would be willing to let GW give it a go if they wanted.

Mantis23
07-09-2009, 04:21
What don't you like about Privateer Press's support? They have official rules answers on their forums - that alone is huge compared to GW IMO.

Occulto
07-09-2009, 07:00
I disagree and think this is a really bad idea. Apart from the whole issue of them having to constantly be playtesting old books just for PDF updates, it causes problems for us, the gamers, as our army lists are constantly shifting not to try out different tactics but because of ever changing points values.

This.

Imagine working for six months to paint and build your next army, only to have to redo it shortly because half the points changed. Drop those options, add these, redo the squad markings and learn how to use a new list. Why? Because someone reckons the point costs are off.

Oh and as an aside, there's no guarantee that the new point costs will be better balanced.

As for promoting sales? It might. But you'd also have about three months or so before the new point lists came out when most people refused to buy much at all. It's similar to how anyone who's thinking of collecting an army that's about to be redone is told to "hold off until the new codex hits the shelves."

the1stpip
07-09-2009, 08:02
Not ever going to happen.

The big problem is, what if one player is using the 2008 ruleset, and one player is using the 2009 ruleset. Different points values. Plus GW don't like changing things on the 'net, cos even now, not everyone has access to the net.

grissom2006
07-09-2009, 08:58
Not ever going to happen.

The big problem is, what if one player is using the 2008 ruleset, and one player is using the 2009 ruleset. Different points values. Plus GW don't like changing things on the 'net, cos even now, not everyone has access to the net.

How very true and it constantly amazes me in the rules forum the shear number who inspite of being online don't actually have any of the FAQ's to the Codices. The number of times i or another points out the link to them can be frustrating at times. Let alone the numbers who turn up for games in a GW store games club or Tournie minus FAQ's or even knowing about them.

Durath
07-09-2009, 09:31
Not ever going to happen.

The big problem is, what if one player is using the 2008 ruleset, and one player is using the 2009 ruleset. Different points values. Plus GW don't like changing things on the 'net, cos even now, not everyone has access to the net.

Well, I agree it will never happen but for significantly different reasons.

To fully explore the current trend, lets jump in the way-back machine to 1993-1997... when 2nd edition was around. In this version of 40k, characters, small elite infantry, and skimmers (where possible) were the bread and butter of the army lists people were creating.

Why? Well, with things like Sustained fire dice giving up to 9 hits per Assault Cannon (avg 5-6) , Multi-Melta's using Blast Markers, Psychic powers which pretty much ate whole squads, and wargear like Vortex Grenades being normally selectable, the standard MEQ had a low survival rate on the battlefield. Vehicles arguably had even less of a chance (except skimmers, which had insane protective rules while in motion, and they were able to move and shoot fully).

With 3+/4+ invulnerable saves to dole out like candy to characters, and things like Terminator Armor saving on 3+ on 2D6, these squads and characters were who were the most protected also were the very units carrying these frightful weapons and abilities. It was a no brainer that HQ and Elites consumed most of your points and it made for very low-model-count battles many times. In fact, most people spent points on troops because they had to, and were often resentful about it.

After time, people began to give feedback to GW about the paper-thin-ness of the average genetically-enhanced-power-armored-super-trooper called "Space Marines". GW realized that not only were the complaints valid, but they weren't selling nearly as many boxes of generic troops like Space Marines and Ork Boyz as they had wanted to.

So, 3rd edition was born. This blasphemy of a rulebook was designed to address the complaints of the masses where troops were simply too weak, and drive bulk model sales. Well, it worked... sorta... the rules were such a knee-jerk reaction that in dampening these crazy HQ and Elite units, the proverbial plug was pulled on the flavor of the game. Many people left the hobby (myself included) because these vastly "troop and transport" heavy rules just felt like an attempt to force everyone into horde armies, and we were disgusted that all that money spent on these elaborate HQ and Elites were virtually wasted.

It wasn't long (3.5 years?) before 3rd edition saw the release of the trial assault and trial vehicles rules which began a slow rebound towards putting the flavor back into the game. And I can't say for sure what motivated GW at this time, but it seemed to me from reading their message boards that there was a large base of players displaced from the game because of the dislike of 3rd. Perhaps many new and loyal 40k gamers during that time also gave negative feedback, but GW had decided something had to be done. It was less than a year that 4th edition made it's debut.

The corresponding Codexes released around the same time as 4th edition's debut gave some power back to the Elite and Assault units out there. Additionally, some vehicles were much more viable all the sudden. The stores were emptied of these troops and vehicles that had sat there for years. Coupled with the boost from the Lord of the Rings sales, GW was on an all time high for revenue.

And I think this is where GW took a cold calculating turn. It seems that some number crunching "suit" realized over the course of 3 editions of 40k, that by slightly boosting the abilities of some underpowered units and slightly reducing the abilities of the most powerful units in in a given army, either by core rules changes or codex changes, stale and new inventory can be moved. While this sounds great for their bottom line, it forces us, as gamers, to renovate or enhance our collection with models on a constant basis. Thus we are constantly "swapping out" our awesome existing models that become "less-capable" with even "better" models because of a rules change.

It's the $50 for the new tank that sprays death and destruction, or $45 for the new unit that has nifty special rules, or $30 for another unit you already had that all-sudden-became-godlike, or the $15 for that special character you never bother to collect that's the driving factor for a Codex release. Not game balance. Multiply these sales times the number of people that play the army that got a Codex, and you'll see much more reason for Codex changes than the mere cost of a book. Notice that Vanilla Space Marines have gotten a new Codex following every version release. And Dark Eldar sit idly by... since 3rd edition.

Of course, the OP says "yearly" changes would drive more business. But GW is smart.... they know if they did that, they would risk consumer backlash. Who wants to retool their army every year? I sure don't. And if GW forced me into doing that, I'd probably store my stuff, or Ebay it. Many people would feel the same.

So there you have it. If you play 40k, you're simply a cog in the revenue wheel of GW. They have been making 40k since 1987. That's 22 years of writting rules. They know what they are doing. Don't expect them to 'balance' the game for a given army. In fact, don't expect balance period. Just be glad when they finally come around to "boosting" your army to move that old inventory. You'll reign supreme for a time. Just be prepared to fork out some cash to get the new and dangerous unit that everyone complains about on the forums.

In fact, they've kind of thrown us a bone with 'The most important rule' in the new edition. Basically they are telling us, if you don't like the rule, change it, and convince your opponent to accept the change. Of course we know how well that works in a competition environment, when we play against complete strangers...

Here's the sad irony to all this... they already have mechanisms by which to drive unbelievably more sales. But they don't support them fully... Apocalypse and Planetary Empires...

If they gave Apocalypse a measure of balance, where people could actually PLAY pick-up games and not have them potentially devolve into a Chaotic one-sided affair (like base limits on % of points on Super Heavies, Elites, Characters, etc), largish games of say, 4000 points could come to dominate the non-tourney scene. Right now everyone runs 1500-2000, and plays tourney style. Mostly because this is the most balanced "fun" type game you can play. I don't know of a better way to get more model sales than double the points cost for a game where people feel that a "balanced" type game is accessible to them.

And Planetary Empires, while a novel concept to drive a store-level campaign, is woefully written. The rules are just so shallow. Granted, they have come out with Strategy Cards you can download. But really, for the price, should the rules have been so... thin? They should also make some sort of "tray" you can place the tiles on, so you can make "islands" or what-not.

My parting thought... I hold a small amount of disdain towards GW's current modus operandi of income generation via rules manipulation. But I understand that the people that work for that company want to eat, and have clothing and housing, and all the good things that make them happy in life. So, I can't fault them for doing what they do. I just wish they could find a way to attain sustainable income, without being rules hustlers. I crave a balanced, fair, 40k for all armies. I just know it's not ever going to happen, unless GW closes their doors, and someone else re-writes the Codexes.

Lord Damocles
07-09-2009, 09:48
Two thoughts from me:

1) I rarely ever see other players even bring FAQs to games as it is. Asking people to bring along documents to show that the points values of their units/weapons/wargear have changed might be a bridge too far ('Yeah, the cost of [insert uit here] was dropped in the last change. Honest. But I've left the update at home'...).

2) Often it's not the points costs of units which are the problem. It's the units rules.
For example, Nob Bikers aren't broken because of the cost of Nobs or the cost of the Bike upgrade(s). It's the interaction of all the various weapons and wargear which cause the problem. You could crank up the cost of Nobs, or of the Bike upgrade, but then you risk making non-wound-allocation-abusing Nobs mobs over costed and achieve nothing.

Tarax
07-09-2009, 09:56
I think it could work. Perhaps not in the grand scheme of things, but it has potential.

'A Space Marine Tactical Squad costs now 90 points for 5 models and 16 points for each extra model. The publish that the points cost have changed to 85 for 5 and 15 for each extra.
Imperial Infantry Squad goes from 50 to 45. Ork Boyz go from 6 each to 75 for 10 and 7 for each extra.'
(Disclaimer: Points cost may not be accurate.)

Although they should publish it not only on the website, but also in WD, or at least a reference to a new FAQ. (Which they do not even do that now.)

lanrak
07-09-2009, 10:14
Hi all.
I would just like to point out GW PLC are NOT interested in game play or game balance issues.
They are '..in the buisness of selling toy soldiers to kiddies...'(According to Chairman Mr Kirby.)

And the Games are '...just the icing on the cake...' according to Jervis Johnson.

GW are a minatures company first and formost.(The studio staff do the best with the games ,but with limited resources.)

If you want great game play to rules ratio, and ballanced game support , GWs 40k is a far from ideal.

I am sure that the if 40k players looked at other rule sets developed for game play, (NOT marketing the latest minature releases), the differneces would be obviuos.

If games are going to use points values, they should make it absolutley clear how they are arived at, and how 'accurate' they are.

EG
Thane Games AoA s 'creature creation' formula has been the result of 8 years game development and playtesting by thier gaming community.And therfore is as 'provable' as could be achived .

GW assign a inital PV based on general opinion.
Then after limited playtesting (usualy only taking 1 or 2of each unit, ) revise individual PV based on army performance, taking about 3/4 of optimal performance as a 'guideline for pick up and play games'.

Ground Zero Games did not bother assigning PV at all in StargruntII, its purley a game to enjoy narrative gaming with , and can not be summerised by W/L/D:D .

GW feel compelled to put out PV to help with pick up and play games .
The problem is 40k was more of a 3D RPG game. But as GW have 'streamlined' it , they have removed all most of the narrative, and so all that is left is simple to work out in game efficiencies.

This is where GW went wrong IMO.
Either devlop a solid PV allocation and army compostion method that can be seen to be used, OR make the game heavily narrative driven and not bother with PV.

Both options are far more 'acceptable' IMO.

TTFN
Lanrak.

Condottiere
07-09-2009, 10:51
It would be preferable if they got it right to begin with.

But, non-system specific, points should be adjusted, perhaps not annually and not every unit, but those books and units whose point cost have been proven to be egregiously miscalculated.

Petay1985
07-09-2009, 11:20
I disagree and think this is a really bad idea. Apart from the whole issue of them having to constantly be playtesting old books just for PDF updates, it causes problems for us, the gamers, as our army lists are constantly shifting not to try out different tactics but because of ever changing points values.
Your codex is your codex. Just make do with it.

in complete agreement!! i play Daemon Hunters, Blood Angels & Elysian Drop troops, thus all my codex's are out of date in one form or another, to varying degrees, does it bother me? No.


points should be adjusted, perhaps not annually and not every unit, but those books and units whose point cost have been proven to be egregiously miscalculated.
agreed, a white dwarf update (chapter approved anyone?) for the obviously out of date and impossibly dated units would be nice, but not all units across the board need adjusting every year!!

To reiterate: your codex is your codex, if it gets updated great, if doesn't be patient, i do however feel very sorry for those that are older than 4th edition, you guy's get screwed!!

Corrode
07-09-2009, 11:29
The problem with this isn't hard to see - the kind of codices that really need a point adjustment (the ones that are ancient and hilariously miscosted in a 5th edition environment) aren't the ones that are focused on - instead people want to re-adjust codices less than 2 years old which they feel are 'imbalanced.' That's great, but those tend to be much less a case of 'we can empirically state that the Ork Boy is undercosted' and more 'OMG ORKS IS TEH POWERFUL NREF THEM SO MY SPESS MEHREENZ CAN KILLS MOAR'. Not to mention that there's a distinct difference of opinion depending on whether you're a hardcore tournament player, a casual tournament player, a casual gamer, a fluff-driven narrative player, etc.

Also: for god's sake stop whining about wound allocation, I already prove elsewhere that it really isn't the problem with Nob Bikers (particularly compared to a Carnifex, which I even miscalculated because apparently those can get up to T8?)

ashc
07-09-2009, 11:29
GW books are never wrong.

As far as GW are concerned...

grissom2006
07-09-2009, 11:54
GW books are never wrong.

As far as GW are concerned...

Anything and everything they do is for a reason.

I only think i've ever seen one FAQ where GW has ever admitted to getting it wrong.

Condottiere
07-09-2009, 11:55
It's not a product recall, you don't send your codex back for them to paste on new text in your book and they mail it back, so it can't be the cost.