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The Anarchist
06-10-2009, 20:04
its all in the title, but do the collected minds of Warseer think that the power creep that is apparent in this eddition and the previous eddition are intentional.

my personal points aganst it being intentnonal are that they always try to balance the first few armies out; dwarfs, empire and orcs. and things then jsut go up bit by bit.
secondly some armies that come out later in the eddition arn't overtly unbalnced such as Chaos warriors being hard, but not unacceptable.

on the other hand; eacha rmy now is getting harder, and soem with new models are being very over powered such as Deamons.
ironicly the growing propensity of special rules seem to be introduvced just to give the new army soemthing special and hard to counter.

btw don't turn this into a bitching thread, or moan about how your army has been nerfed, and please don't start moaning about how deamons are broken.

so what are your thoughts everyone?

Ultimate Life Form
06-10-2009, 20:08
There's really only two possibilities: Either it IS intentional or the GW designers are a bunch of incompetent fools who have no idea what the heck they're doing. I find both alternatives rather unappealing. Pick your choice.

Maoriboy007
06-10-2009, 20:28
Chaos in general has always been the most overpowered army in every edition. In this edition, warriors have suffered a little from the separation of the DoC from their book, and they overcompensated a little :rolleyes: on the Demon book. WoC are by no means a weak army though (still have some of the best cavalry and Special characters in the game), just their focus has changed a little from a no brain combat steamroller.

Avian
06-10-2009, 20:40
After reading an interview with Phil Kelly, my distinct feeling is that the problem isn't that the games designers don't care about game balance or can't make it work, they don't actually understand the concept.

Seville
06-10-2009, 20:43
Avian, can you provide a link to that interview?

Grimstonefire
06-10-2009, 20:47
IMO it depends on the nature of the army in 6th.

Skaven were always cheesy, but by the nature of their unpredictable weapons they have the potential to be quite strong now. It would be easy to overcompensate with them. Empire, Dwarfs and HE have different powerful things, but they are constrained by the lists. DE were quite 'ard in 6th, but not so much that they couldn't have corrected any obvious errors.

VC I think they spent too long focusing on vampiric powers and not enough looking at the essentials.

Lizardmen always had stegs, and with a re-released model I guess that was easy to expand a little in the list... not too much though.

Daemons were new as a complete army, and this shows (power creep for a new army is almost predicable, bring on Chaos Dwarfs! :)).

Anyhow, to answer the OP I think it is intentional. The more they refine the lists the more they seem to be better at what was previously ok. I actually wonder sometimes whether GW intentionally makes lists harder, so you need to take more units (and buy more) to kill things, perhaps 2750pts or 3000pts would be the new average game size in 8th.

Ozorik
06-10-2009, 20:57
Its a combination of odd design decisions and the paucity of play testing. Half decent play testing would have at least identified some of the odd inclusions in recent releases, pendent of keleth, flamers etc. Yet they were included in the final army lists, which combined with the near total lack of post release support means that they are here to stay.

Its possible that there is a deliberate policy of army creep but I find this doubtful, firstly it damages the game and its reputation, secondly the unbalanced elements seem quite haphazard. If there was an ecconomic basis for power creep why is the pendant of keleth included in virtually every DE army yet costs no money?

More playtesting required.

dlantoub
06-10-2009, 21:00
Ooooh very difficult question.

I think the answer lies somewhere in between. I think sometimes it is intentional, sometimes it's forced, and sometimes it's accidental, sometimes it's perception and perhaps because of the lore focus. Lastly because Warhammer is a business.

EDIT: Sorry I had a much longer post but it was turning into a rant so I stopped and tried to rewrite it. However my opinions are still probably there. My examples are probably completely wrong, since evidence can be made to say anything.

Example of an accidental overpower causing power creep (perhaps) the Bretonnian army book a few years ago. No-one really understood the consequences of cheap, mounted, heavily armoured knights with special rules until too late.

Example of perceived overpower causing power creep (perhaps). The High Elf UASF rule. This caused other books to have ways of obtaining ASF easily or other methods of defending against the Elves WS.

Example of Lore causing power creep (perhaps). The Dark Elf book. Dark Elves are supposed to be the mirrors of High Elves lorewise, so if there weren't "equivalent" rules in the Dark Elf book, there might be trouble from the players.

Example of intentional power creep: Please don't hate me for this, but possibly the Daemons and the Vampire Counts. The Vampire counts was influenced by the perception that "Vampires are cool" so that's exactly what they made them. Cinematically cool. The Daemons posed a problem because there had not been a Daemon book for a while, if at all. So they just let themselves go with whatever felt daemonic. The whole purpose was to make these two cool, this then may have influenced the Lizardman book later.

Business causing power creep: A subset of intentional power creep, but it's less because of the hobby or love of the army, but simply because they need to keep selling models and keep selling armies.

EDIT 2: It took me a long time to type this so everything I've said has been said.

DDogwood
06-10-2009, 21:15
There's really only two possibilities: Either it IS intentional or the GW designers are a bunch of incompetent fools who have no idea what the heck they're doing. I find both alternatives rather unappealing. Pick your choice.

Game design is harder than it looks. Have you designed a full army book or a game system and balanced it? If you haven't, I suggest you try it. If you find it easy to design something that complex, and still have it both interesting and balanced, then feel free to slam other game designers as incompetent fools.


After reading an interview with Phil Kelly, my distinct feeling is that the problem isn't that the games designers don't care about game balance or can't make it work, they don't actually understand the concept.

I think they just don't have the same concept as you do. The GW attitude has always been about making it fun to throw down some minis and have a battle. Winning is not a significant concern; they're more interested in producing memorable results like a block of goblin infantry defeating a heavy cavalry charge, or a war machine blowing the crap out of its own side.

From that perspective, it makes sense that the game is so badly balanced. The game isn't meant to be a big competitive affair, it's meant to be an opportunity to show off some cool models. It's not a coincidence that there's no Golden Daemon for winning the most battles.

Avian
06-10-2009, 21:21
Avian, can you provide a link to that interview?
After a fair bit of digging, I found it. It was actually with Matt Ward, not Phil Kelly:
http://ogrestronghold.com/forum/index.php?topic=3935.10;wap2

selone
06-10-2009, 21:32
Eldacar: A question on the Snotlings - Can you explain why they were given LD4 and Stubborn? It looks a bit odd as a mix.

Mat Ward: the background for Snotlings has always been one of eagerness, rather than of competence - this comination of rules gives them a good chance of sticking around (particularly with a BSB nearby) regardless of whether they've lost be 1 or

:D

Daniel36
06-10-2009, 21:39
[QUOTE=DDogwood;4014281]
I think they just don't have the same concept as you do. The GW attitude has always been about making it fun to throw down some minis and have a battle. Winning is not a significant concern; they're more interested in producing memorable results like a block of goblin infantry defeating a heavy cavalry charge, or a war machine blowing the crap out of its own side.
QUOTE]

I am personally all about fighting memorable battles with an awesome background, instead of playing a game of Warhammer "chess" style... BUT!

I do think that GW should be reaching a point where they WILL start thinking about balancing. They don't have to create identical armies with just different looking units, but with the tournament scene growing ever stronger, they should really start thinking about it.

That, and while it's more fun to fight a themed battle, you can only enjoy yourself for so long losing every time, just because you picked an army that you like the look of but is weak.

So, my advice to GW is:
"Take your sweet time on 8th edition, and release it SIMULTANEOUSLY with an updated army book FOR EVERY SINGLE ARMY!"

At least the power creep will be gone then.

Yes, I understand that that would be an enormous amount of work, you don't have to tell me. Still, even if it's nigh impossible, it would be the best way to tackle a next edition.

theunwantedbeing
06-10-2009, 22:15
Yes its intentional.

Bretonnians,
Silver lance of the blessed, Virtue of Knightly tempar.
Or in the VC list
Dreadlance, Red Fury.

The same thing, albeit in the VC list, you get to have both on the same model.
A model with a higher set of base stats at that.

Clear cut power creep.
It's mostly based around allowing newer players to more easily get into the game as they are more likely to win with the newest army that GW is currently stocking.
They went a little overboard with the daemons list and have since toned things down a little after realising they went a little too far with them.

GW is there to sell you models, slightly power creeped rules help them do that.
With a bit of luck, nobody notices too much.

WarmbloodedLizard
06-10-2009, 22:28
a single A4 errata-page for every army and the BRB that get updated every 6-12 months would be much easier, cheaper and better than a simulataneous release of all the books. heck, I'd even pay for it. 10Euro seems about ok for those errata-pages (under GW standards). but they won't do it. (because, as we all know by now, they are evil.)

Aladin_sane
06-10-2009, 22:37
They could be aiming for an outcome so that each army has the ability to be so cheesy that no one has anything to complain about. Similar to PP's system. But who knows, they'll probably drop the pie at some point.

warhawk95
06-10-2009, 23:17
i have to agree that it was intentional , GW is a buisness and they need to make money, how do they do that they take some cool armys (this edition is VC DoC and DE) make them really good and then all the kids in the world want to play the cheesy army with the cool dragons, vamps, monsters, ect. plus i dont think that anyone in there right mind would not see the cheesyness (yes it is a word, as of now) of some of the DoC combos.......right?

Bregalad
06-10-2009, 23:27
Does this answer your question?

At Gamesday today, I was one of the brave few to talk to Matt Ward. We were chatting about how he creates the books, and we got on to talking about how points costs are scaled, and I said:

"Alot of people think a core unit that costs 12 points then gets regeneration is a bit over powered, in fact, alot of people think the demon book is overpowered."

He laughed and replied:

"It would be a shame if it wasn't."

*sigh*

Emeraldw
06-10-2009, 23:34
I don't think it is intentional that they make one book so much stronger than others, but I do think that they try to improve each army with each edition, that certainly seems to be there. I mean, how many people think that their older edition book would be stronger than their current edition book?

I also think that good games are more important than strict balance. That said, it is hard not to want to critize book writers when you play a 40k game with Eldar against orks with Gazghull at 2k points and not help but think you got out booked as much as outplayed when you lose.

Tokamak
06-10-2009, 23:59
I do think that they try to improve each army with each edition, that certainly seems to be there. I mean, how many people think that their older edition book would be stronger than their current edition book?

Every single Orc & Goblin player.

Condottiere
07-10-2009, 00:11
It is intentional, and the chances are that it's a policy instituted from above linked to marketing certain miniatures.

Gimp
07-10-2009, 00:41
I maybe wrong (that is possible) but I always thought it was a method of selling more models.

Ozorik
07-10-2009, 00:45
GW is a buisness and they need to make money, how do they do that they take some cool armys (this edition is VC DoC and DE) make them really good and then all the kids in the world want to play the cheesy army with the cool dragons, vamps, monsters, ect

The best selling armies are reputedly Empire and O&G, both of these armies are not 'top tier'. The economic suggestions just doesn't seem likely to me.

Condottiere
07-10-2009, 01:03
Normally, I would push the products that aren't (or I think won't be) selling, not the ones that maintain their level of sales.

Brother Alexos
07-10-2009, 01:09
I think without Power Creep, that the units from first edition would be useless and the game would have died off. Think about the power creep of 40K, in the old rulebook, if a unit was behind any cover, you could not see or shoot him

antin3
07-10-2009, 01:15
It's intentional, it has to be. I mean how else could some of the more glaring issues make it through.
Ddogwood- I have never designed a game or wrote an army book, but then again I don't get paid to do it AND I haven't accepted the assignment when it was asked of me. I also don't own the most successful miniature wargaming company in the world. Who, by the way has been doing this sort of thing for 20 odd years.
I understand completely that some things will slip through the cracks when you are dealing with basic rules and over a dozen different armies. What I don't understand, and why I think it is intentional is simply this. Why not fix these bugs as they arise? It wouldn't be that difficult.
But no it is much easier and more financially sound to leave it as is and create more powerful army books with each new release so gamers will want the latest and greatest because X army is now outdated or weak.
That's another issue I have, out of one side of their mouths they say "Our games are beer and pretzels but out of the other side they promote tournaments like 'ard boyz.

Ultimate Life Form
07-10-2009, 04:05
Game design is harder than it looks. Have you designed a full army book or a game system and balanced it? If you haven't, I suggest you try it. If you find it easy to design something that complex, and still have it both interesting and balanced, then feel free to slam other game designers as incompetent fools.


I know that game design isn't easy and I don't say I could do a better job. However keep the following things in mind: We're talking about a company that

-perceives itself as the market leader in miniature wargaming
-has 30 years of experience with this kind of stuff
-has the time, manpower and ressources I can only dream of
-thinks it is justifiable to charge premium prices for their stuff

I think under these circumstances, I have the right to expect a certain quality from the product I purchase. In fact, I would expect it to be near perfect. However, since they obviously don't even take the time to proofread their Army Books (says a seasoned Slann Magwe-Priest), claim and actuality differ greatly from each other.

Most experienced players can flip through a book and instantly spot the things that are broken/overpowered. Recently, a friend of mine started DE and found that the Lifetaker is so damn good that after her first(!) game with the new army she decided to never ever leave home without it. I'm not even getting into Pendant of Kaleth here or the Hydra which she said could easily cost 100 pts more and still be good.

If the designers of this game cannot see these very basic things after one year of designing, then sorry if I sound rude, but they're incompetent fools. Since I still haven't given up hope completely, I pray that it is intentional. Though Avians theory that they simply don't understand what game balance is has a certain appeal...

Tenken
07-10-2009, 04:28
If the power creep isn't intentional the writers really need to go back to the drawing board. I can understand some minor power creep, it helps hype an army and drum up initial sales. But Daemons? Come on.

I find that most people (outside really young kids and jerks, for the most part) don't like to play the most powerful anything in anything. Most people want a challenge and to have fun, and especially in miniature games for their OPPONENTS to have fun, remember there is another person at the other end of the table playing the game for the same reasons as you. So I think if anything making daemons so crazy will hurt their sales in the long run, time will tell, but that's my bet.

Johnnyfrej
07-10-2009, 05:46
Think of it this way: If the new armies were weak and had lame models, would anyone buy that army?

Tenken
07-10-2009, 06:11
Think of it this way: If the new armies were weak and had lame models, would anyone buy that army?

I think all the O&G players would say yes (to the "weak" part). And have you seen daemon models? Eww, maybe that's just me but I think they all look like big piles of excrement with paint on them.

An army doesn't need to be ZOMFGBBQ strong to sell. Most armies already have an established (large) player-base, who will buy the new stuff just out of army loyalty. New people will buy armies if they're interesting. I won't get an army because it wins, but because it plays in an interesting way.

Avian
07-10-2009, 06:50
Think of it this way: If the new armies were weak and had lame models, would anyone buy that army?
The flip side to that is that if the latest army book blows all the older ones out of the water and nobody buys the old stuff, they end up with a lot of models just sitting on the shelves and not being sold, which makes no kind of economic sense.

To make the most money, you'd want everything selling more or less the same.
(adjusted for production cost)

Seville
07-10-2009, 07:03
After a fair bit of digging, I found it. It was actually with Matt Ward, not Phil Kelly:
http://ogrestronghold.com/forum/index.php?topic=3935.10;wap2

Oh, good lord. I see what you're saying. Wow. His design philosophy is almost childish.

I mean, I know it's hard to balance things between tournament and casual players, and appeasing veteran die-hards while trying to do new things, but.... there's no "science" to his approach at all. It's just kinda throw stuff in there and hope it works...

And this is the same guy who did demons, right? No wonder... :eyebrows:

I love GW, but, yeah, the balance problem seems to have gotten pretty bad lately.

Paraelix
07-10-2009, 07:05
GW designers are a bunch of incompetent fools who have no idea what the heck they're doing.

They're doing enough to keep you in the hobby

Occulto
07-10-2009, 07:42
I think they just don't have the same concept as you do. The GW attitude has always been about making it fun to throw down some minis and have a battle. Winning is not a significant concern; they're more interested in producing memorable results like a block of goblin infantry defeating a heavy cavalry charge, or a war machine blowing the crap out of its own side.

From that perspective, it makes sense that the game is so badly balanced. The game isn't meant to be a big competitive affair, it's meant to be an opportunity to show off some cool models. It's not a coincidence that there's no Golden Daemon for winning the most battles.

I don't think it's so much that.

I think it's more the attitude that you're playing against regular opponents and if someone smacks you around with Option X, that you take Option Y in the next game to counter it. (If you have to go out and actually buy Option Y, that's even better from their perspective).

oCoYoRoAoKo
07-10-2009, 09:23
Yes and No. THe way i see it is as so: When a new book is released, people buy it expecting it to be better then the last one for that army in background content, variety of units etc. Therefore, games designers are constantly trying to 'one-up' themselves.

I think that with the release of the High Elves, they set a new level on where armies should be in terms of relative power and ability. It is only natural that with each new book, the older ones will begin to show their age more and more (case in point: the necron book for 40k, or the ogre book for fantasy). Therefore, untill all the books are redone, there will be a massive imbalance.

Now, the thing is, the current 'Top 4' of VC, DE, Daemons and Lizards, are all some of the newest books out, set to this higher powerlevel. The question then is, once all books are done, will they still be considered 'OP'?

After all, you wouldnt want to buy a book for your army that was worse then the last, would you?

Cy.

antin3
07-10-2009, 12:21
It shouldn't be natural that each new book over powers the last, so that four or five books out, your chosen army which was written earlier is underpowered and you then get the joy of waiting five to seven years to play it and lose more than you win against all of the new shiny stuff. Especially when you know and GW know that it would only take a few well placed fixes to keep your army viable.
Like I said, it has to be difficult to balance all of the army books, I realize that, but come on if something isn't working throw someone a bone and simply release a small update online.
Rules should be created and then playtested and also released to the community as a PDF. Let the community try it out for a set period of time, review the feedback write and release the rule book. At the same time have the army books written by a group that review and are aware of the feedback and playtesting results and write them at the same time. Then release a book every month until they are all out there. If they still want the five to seven year turn around then hold off on new models for new armies and release them over the five to seven year period. That still creates excitement and hype for each of the armies.

oCoYoRoAoKo
07-10-2009, 12:31
antin: I think you may have misunderstood me. When i said each book is more powerful then the last i meant in terms of for that specific army. For example, we all expect the new ogre book (whenever it gets here) to be vastly better then the current one, and on par with the other new books.

I do aggree with you however, that each book (the rules section atleast) should be availiable as a 'living document'. I think that GWs old arguement of 'not everyone will be able to play with the same rules' is getting a bit stale.

Cy.

Avian
07-10-2009, 12:42
antin: I think you may have misunderstood me. When i said each book is more powerful then the last i meant in terms of for that specific army. For example, we all expect the new ogre book (whenever it gets here) to be vastly better then the current one, and on par with the other new books.
See, that doesn't really work, because if all armies get more powerful, the standard for what is average continually goes up. If you want everything on par, then only the weak books get more powerful, while the strong get less powerful and the average have no change.

Let's say you have four armies A, B, C and D with power levels as follows (4 being the best).
A: 1
B: 2
C: 3
D: 4
There is a policy of making each army book more powerful in terms of for that specific army.

Let's imagine army A gets updated first, going from power level 1 to 2. "Yay!" go all the players of that army, "we are at least on level with army B."
Then army B gets updated, going from power level 2 to 3. They get happy for being on level with army C and only slightly behind army D, but army A players are upset for lagging behind.
Then army C gets updated, then army D.

The power levels at the end of that cycle is then as follows:
A: 2
B: 3
C: 4
D: 5
End result: nothing actually changed. Players of army A were probably quite upset three quarters of the time when the other armies were pulling ahead, and marginally less so the time they were on par with army B.
Meanwhile, players of army D would be quite happy almost all the time.

oCoYoRoAoKo
07-10-2009, 12:50
So i guess the solution in that case would be to continue improving the books up to the standard we have at the moment with the newer ones, after which we should (in theory) have better book balance. After that, its a case of the developers not doing anything stupid when the next round of books roll in.

The only problem is that games workshop cant turn around books as quickly as we would like :(

Cy.

isidril93
07-10-2009, 12:58
but i dont personally think they are as bad as everyone thinks
there is balance...not 100% but there is for sure some balance
the only difference is that the newer books can take some guild which are more powerful but not by that much

Enigmatik1
07-10-2009, 13:16
I don't think it's so much that.

I think it's more the attitude that you're playing against regular opponents and if someone smacks you around with Option X, that you take Option Y in the next game to counter it. (If you have to go out and actually buy Option Y, that's even better from their perspective).

Of course you're assuming that Option Y exists at all. I don't think people would be as riled up about overall balance if every army had a viable Option Y for their opponents Option X. The problem here is that many don't, especially the older armies, especially Beastmen. Dear Lord, I don't know how they function in 7E at all...and I thought we had it bad.

Tokamak
07-10-2009, 13:38
I mean, I know it's hard to balance things between tournament and casual players

Not any harder than balancing chess between tournament and casual players.

Emeraldw
07-10-2009, 15:23
Not any harder than balancing chess between tournament and casual players.

So you want to make every army the exact same and have no variation what so ever when things happen?

Tokamak
07-10-2009, 15:27
I want all armies be exactly the same in performance not in characteristics, this counts for competitive play as casual play. It would be nonsense to say that competitive play requires more balance than anything else.

Lijacote
07-10-2009, 15:32
I want all armies be exactly the same in performance not in characteristics, this counts for competitive play as casual play. It would be nonsense to say that competitive play requires more balance than anything else.

You can't have exactly the same competetiveness while having different characteristics, not with these many armies. Different situations call for different troops and tournaments have different situations, as do scenarios, as does casual play. What you want is utopia (but doesn't everyone want that).

Emeraldw
07-10-2009, 15:35
I want all armies be exactly the same in performance not in characteristics, this counts for competitive play as casual play. It would be nonsense to say that competitive play requires more balance than anything else.

That is nearly impossible and you know as soon as a new book comes out people pick it apart.

In principal it sounds great but in practice it isn't so easy.

Admittedly some books are clearly over the top and some items make you go o.O but it has never been meant to be a highly competitive game.

Grimstonefire
07-10-2009, 15:50
I don't think all armies have to be identical for there to be balance. All they need to do is have an overall power level in mind, the same for all books. Then when they redesign books they allow more powerful things, but either enhance weaknesses or have some other balancing factors so it evens out. To be properly balanced the power level couldn't change.

The problem would be if there was intentional creep, but it would be better to just say (for example); all books up until now were power level 1. From the next book until we get all the way around the cycle and back round to this book the new power level is 2. This way they phase in power levels, but the last ones to be redone would always be poor performers as soon as they kicked in to the next power level. At least most of them would be the same power level, there would not be only a few extremes.

N810
07-10-2009, 16:03
I you want real ballance have everyone use the same amy book
and just have the models count as units in that book,
so there you go, your army is unique just like everyone eases. :rolleyes:

DDogwood
07-10-2009, 16:15
Not any harder than balancing chess between tournament and casual players.

Chess isn't balanced, bad example.

Shadowfax
07-10-2009, 16:24
After reading an interview with Phil Kelly, my distinct feeling is that the problem isn't that the games designers don't care about game balance or can't make it work, they don't actually understand the concept.
I think this is probably unfortunately true. I don't think I've read the specific interview you're referencing, but in general all of the comments that I've read from the GW designers seem to imply that they are perfectly happy in their cloistered little world of fair and honourable playwith an emphasis on fluff and fun and fancy.

They seem unwilling or unable to grasp that there are people out there who play for no other reason than to rack up victories, and will bend every GW ruleset to their perverted will unless the designers makes it airtight and resistant to abuse.

I think "power creep" can be interpreted as a confluence of these two truths. The designers add more and more powerful options, because in their world none of the options will be abused, and will be fair in moderation. But in the greater world, full of powergamers and cheesehounds, these options will be taken advantage of.

Avian
07-10-2009, 16:46
I you want real ballance have everyone use the same amy book
and just have the models count as units in that book,
so there you go, your army is unique just like everyone eases. :rolleyes:
Take the current situation and increase the cost of a Hydra by 10 points, while keeping everything else in the game the same.

Congratulations, you have just made the game more balanced, without making all armies identical! :D

Jedi152
07-10-2009, 16:52
Points dropping with every release is intentional. Amongst other things it ensures that even people that already own the army need to buy more models to field the same total points costs.

Condottiere
07-10-2009, 18:21
I thought that as well; I also suspect there's a psychological aspect involved in that 2000 points looks like a reasonable target to aim for when starting an army and three thousand seems a little off-putting for those starting to collect one.