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View Full Version : What's bad for GW seems to be good for us



Gwyddyon
19-01-2010, 18:46
It's slowly dawned on me over the last few years that, despite the ever-present griping about miniature prices, lack of game balance, and problems with GWs relationship to its customers, from what I can tell the Games Workshop community (us) is better off now than at any point I can recall in the last 15 years. In fact, it seems that many of GWs mistakes as a business have lead directly to a better experience for customers. In particular...

1 - GW shuts down the official forums. Boo, hiss. Cutting off direct contact with your fanbase is a horrible idea. While seemingly every other company out there is trying to build online presence, GW pretty efficiently decapitated theirs. The end result? An explosion of fan-run blogs and forums. Before the GW forums disappeared, I had no real inclination to visit places like WarSeer or army-specific communities. I just didn't see the need. Whether the demise of the official forums lead directly to the creation of replacements, or simply raised the visibility of what was left, the result (at least for me) has been a much more enjoyable community atmosphere catering to my interests with much greater precision (I can visit a forum dedicated to Dogs of War rather than sift through the official forum for scraps, for instance).
2 - White Dwarf's long descent into the realm of the glorified sales brochure. I don't remember the last time I looked forward to a WD release. No, scratch that. I don't remember the last time I read WD. Why should I? If I want to know what's for sale, I can go to the online store. If I want interesting articles, I (again) have a pretty good selection of fan-created webzines. Word of Hashut and Dogs of War Online give me more content than the typical WD, they're free, and there are no adds on every other page telling me about awesome new $100 regiment boxes I don't want for armies I don't play. I know I'm happier.
3 - Price gouging. This is a major problem for tournament regulars. For those of us who can't make it to tournaments, I see it as encouragement to either really dig into conversion or to look at the wide array of very nice minis available from other manufacturers. Comparing my growing DoW force (mostly historical minis with some Reaper and GW thrown in) to the typical GW-only army, I'm very happy with my choice aesthetically and financially. GW doesn't always produce the best, say, human wizard. And since I don't feel like paying $15 for one most of the time, there's no reason (outside of tournaments) to pay more for an inferior mini.
4 - Taking the first two points together, increasingly unbalanced armies from GW simply feed back into the process of fan-created material. blackhorizon's Eldar MMS rules are the single best addition to Battlefleet Gothic since the original rules were published, in my opinion, making a core fleet fun to play as and against. Similar projects are underway all over the place. Who cares about official rules problems when people online are doing the work of making really solid house-rules for you?
5 - Cutting support for armies. Now, I know this hasn't worked out so well for, say, Squats. But going to BFG again, from what I can tell there's been much more development of the game since Specialist Games got the axe. The same seems to be true of Inquisitor. Again, it's all about fans taking control and realizing that GW is a company selling products, not a deity dictating how we play wargames.

I'm not sure that was incredibly coherent, but I think it gets the point across. The next time you're faced with a terrible army book update or an overpriced mini, take a moment to think. How bad is that decision from GW for your enjoyment of the game? I say the sooner GW runs itself into the ground the better their game systems will probably be...

Lord Malorne
19-01-2010, 18:50
I think its more a case of what we want, is what GW does not want us to have.

Your post is just putting a good spin on alternatives, with the exception of fan sites, I never had any inclination to go on the GW site, I ended up on warseer and love it.

TheBigBadWolf
19-01-2010, 18:53
It's slowly dawned on me over the last few years that, despite the ever-present griping about miniature prices, lack of game balance, and problems with GWs relationship to its customers, from what I can tell the Games Workshop community (us) is better off now than at any point I can recall in the last 15 years. In fact, it seems that many of GWs mistakes as a business have lead directly to a better experience for customers. In particular...

1 - GW shuts down the official forums. Boo, hiss. Cutting off direct contact with your fanbase is a horrible idea. While seemingly every other company out there is trying to build online presence, GW pretty efficiently decapitated theirs. The end result? An explosion of fan-run blogs and forums. Before the GW forums disappeared, I had no real inclination to visit places like WarSeer or army-specific communities. I just didn't see the need. Whether the demise of the official forums lead directly to the creation of replacements, or simply raised the visibility of what was left, the result (at least for me) has been a much more enjoyable community atmosphere catering to my interests with much greater precision (I can visit a forum dedicated to Dogs of War rather than sift through the official forum for scraps, for instance).

I used to visit Portent back in the day (wasnt a member though :o), it was a GW employee that suggested I look on it instead of the GW site so I could see some new stuff.

On the specialist games thing, Im not too sure on that, the type of games they are always ment a considerably player component.

Lord Malorne
19-01-2010, 18:56
The only SG's we play often is Necromunda and epic, all the other systems have sadly not generated enough interest.

Oddly a GW staffer pointed me towards warseer :D.

Griefbringer
19-01-2010, 19:17
I am not sure if I ever visited the official GW forums in the first place, but I used to hear horrible stories about them elsewhere.

narrativium
19-01-2010, 19:42
GW's official community forums ran into one big problem: expectation. The boards can be busy all day round, but there's a limit on how much time a games developer can spend answering questions and explaining things before it impacts upon their work, and the demand for attention led to frustration and annoyance among the forumites. This, I'd say, is worse for GW than no forum.

Warseer, lacking in official communication and thus expectation, is less frustrating to visit. The occasional staffer who visits is thus more welcome.

thearchiver
20-01-2010, 01:03
The GW forums were on par with wows for the quality of info, filled with just as much pointless crap, whining and spite, and looked and worked worse.

Condottiere
20-01-2010, 07:56
A company needs vision and good customer relations; if it feels it has a monopolistic hold of the market, it may become lazy and uncaring in this regard.

The Diaspora that followed the shutting down of GW's forums probably strengthened the various interest groups, since with their own dedicated forums, they are in a better position to lobby for their interests.

Thud
20-01-2010, 11:56
I am not sure if I ever visited the official GW forums in the first place, but I used to hear horrible stories about them elsewhere.

They're probably all true. The only good things that ever came out of the GW forums were teh Stealth Mareenz and Andy Hoare's witicisms.

Interestingly, I found Portent by a link on GW's "Community" page.

ashc
20-01-2010, 14:38
GW Community: A community consisting of everyone but GW, it seems... :shifty:

Condottiere
21-01-2010, 07:39
Communities have hierarchies, picture an Aztec pyramid and your relative position on it.

ashc
21-01-2010, 10:08
As far as GW are concerned they aren't even on the pyramid; they are the gods above it, and everyone else on the pyramid should be worshipping them :p

Earthbeard
21-01-2010, 10:50
Ha, the old GW forums truly were the mos eisley of the internet back in the day.

Still found it funny certain topics were forbidden to be discussed, including the Wraithlord and others.

Promethius
21-01-2010, 14:18
The GW forums were set out in a frustrating way, and unfortunately were not very well moderated. I rarely looked at them. Portent was leagues better.

I broadly agree with the op's points. With regards to WD in particular, I'm not sure why they haven't changed to a quaterly hobby supplement and a 50p monthly 'buy the new stuff' newsletter. Pulling in both directions has made the old dwarf's beard fall out.

Dexter099
22-01-2010, 04:23
Seriously, stop complaining about the price rises. They have to deal with inflation in some way, and raising prices directly counteracts inflation itself.

iamfanboy
22-01-2010, 06:14
Seriously, stop complaining about the price rises. They have to deal with inflation in some way, and raising prices directly counteracts inflation itself.
But has inflation been 175% over the last 8 years? Has the price of everything else available for entertainment almost doubled? I pulled out a box of Zombies that a buddy and I split 8 years ago when the first boxes came out, and they were $20 for 20 zombies.

Now, they're $35 for the same box - and if GW saw any profit motive in it, they'd split it into a box of 10 for 20 bucks, or $40 for 20. That's what they've been doing to almost ALL the boxes lately, trying to disguise a price increase by decreasing the amount per box. And failing.

Hm, seems that video games are about the same price... $60 instead of $50 for the cutting-edge ones, less if you decided to get a Nintendo Wii instead of a 360 or PS3. Movies are around $20 apiece - still, and Blu-Ray is creeping down to that price point more and more. I seem to recall paying $10 for a Battlemech in 2002 that's $12 from Ironwindmetals now. Bicycles are the same price they were 10, 15 years ago, along with skateboards and other stuff.



And yet... and yet... somehow, many of the things sold by Games Workshop has doubled in price, without being double the value.

Is it any wonder that those of us with a bit of perspective on the matter look with a bit of cynicism upon GW's rather lackluster attempts to make up lost revenue by raising prices? I'm not the only person who's dissuaded a friend lately from buying GW stuff in favor of cheaper alternatives that are hands down more fun - Hell, a friend is getting ME into Flames of War.

so yeah, the splintering of the "GW Hobby" myth into a broader, less-focused hobby is all to the good. I've had my fun with GW games; hell, still do - I'm hoping to organise a Bloodbowl League sometime this year - but until they realise the mistakes they're making I ain't interested in helping them out any further.

ashc
22-01-2010, 10:23
If putting a good spin on a bad situation is good for you then do it I say.

its a glass half-empty glass half-full kind of scenario I guess :)

Griefbringer
22-01-2010, 10:58
Communities have hierarchies, picture an Aztec pyramid and your relative position on it.

You mean that once you get to the top of the pyramid, you will have your still beating heart ripped out of your chest? :eek:

ashc
22-01-2010, 11:03
You mean that once you get to the top of the pyramid, you will have your still beating heart ripped out of your chest? :eek:

All dedicated to the GW Gods, of course! :skull::skull::skull:

actually, knowing GW, they would charge you for the pleasure too... :shifty:

Condottiere
22-01-2010, 12:35
You mean that once you get to the top of the pyramid, you will have your still beating heart ripped out of your chest? :eek:The analogy is not too dissimilar.

Commodore Perry
22-01-2010, 15:38
Communities have hierarchies, picture an Aztec pyramid and your relative position on it.

yes, but unless you are the one holding the knife at the top of this pyramid, it sucked to be you.

Commodore Perry

Wintermute
22-01-2010, 19:34
I'm closing this thread because its becoming a pricing discussion.

Wintermute