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Mad Doc Grotsnik
18-06-2006, 19:30
A lot of people have been whinging incessantly about White Dwarf. Most of all, self proclaimed Veterans complain bitterly that theres nothing in it for them.

As such, I have decided to offer an appraisal of what exactly White Dwarf is meant to be!

Right....first of all, follow me back. Follow me back to a time of Save Modifiers in 40k, horrifically complicated rules, and Beaky Space Marines. Thats right...all the way back to Rogue Trader.

In these days, White Dwarf had only just stopped publishing articles for non Games Workshop games. Instead, it offered a veritable cornucopia of additional rules, both trial and official. 'Eavy Metal would comprise of gorgeously converted models, and an extremely brief explanation of how they were painted. Indeed, rather than a distinct theme, the 'Eavy Metal articles tended to be little more than a viewing of peoples private collections.

This was essentially the beginning of the Golden Age of White Dwarf, with many articles appeating more Fanzine than in house production.....

Time for a brief step forward in time, to an age of Power Cards, the introduction of Level 1-4 for Magic/Psykers (not 25, 50,75,100). The era of Robin Dews, and the origins of he who is Fat Bloke. Bit of a shake up around this time. The technical quality of White Dwarf sky rocketed, with silly little illustrations (Treemen eating stuff. Cold Ones sniffing poo etc) better paper quality, and the all important CARD CENTRE! Gone were the Fanzine articles for the most part, replaced instead with 100% in house rules. From additional Magic Items to an expanded set of Strategy Cards, White Dwarf offered more than just articles. It was good. Lots and lots of games being covered though, as the Citadel Journal was either non existent (early half) or in it's infancy. Indeed, if memory serves, Fat Bloke originally helmed the Journal. Whats the Journal? All the older facets of White Dwarf essentially.... Gamer written rules, unusual conversions and how tos....

And then we eventually come to the modern day. Everything is more regimented. The magazine is split into 3 subsections for each Core Game. The information is, well, basic. Tactical articles seem somewhat lack lustre, never really delving into the filthy little tricks we all know and love. Many people knock White Dwarf for this. But I don't. For their is a greater source of gaming info and advice than a pissy in house Magazine now.... Your reading it. Right now.

Thats right. The Internet!

From the first tentative steps of Portents Forumdom, to the very post your reading now, the Internet has revolutionised the way gamers get their fix. You want tactical advice? You got it. Want ridiculously detailed, step by step in depth painting tips? It's here. Fan Fiction? Well, sadly, yes, plenty of it, and just as many levels of quality.

So where does this leave White Dwarf? Essentially, we older gamers, it's bastard hellspawn no longer need it's pages. Why bother shelling out 4 odd a month for something which contains information I already know? Information I figured out by using the really rather marvellous Interweb? Theres no reason. So I don't.

However, there are those who do rely upon White Dwarf for information....Newbies, Parents and Games Workshop.

I don't know about you, but when I was wee, it was White Dwarf that finally got me through a GW door. I'd been playing Heroquest for a year or so when a friend showed me a copy of White Dwarf. I was stunned. And so began the end of me, which led to geekdom, and staffhood.

And not much has changed. I can remember being baffled by the Statlines presented in White Dwarf. I can remember drooling over the newly released Predator kit. It cemented my involvement in the Hobby. And it's continuing to do the same. You see, during my time as a Staffer I noticed young kids coming into the store with the same look of awe and bewilderment I must have had. Their parents, who looked thoroughly confused, would use White Dwarf as a kind of pacifier when I told them they were too young. The White Dwarf they bought that day would keep their interest sparked until they were old enough to get involved.

Equally, White Dwarf, being more catalogue than Magazine now has it's own Merits. Noobs who are unaware of Web communities like out own get their fix of articles for their level of gaming, and the parents get a visual representation of what it is they are trying to find. And THIS is the role of White Dwarf.

The moral and point of this thread? If your finding the articles a little low brow, and the adverts a little dense, put down your Dwarf, and pick up your Mouse. The Internet is relatively free, and an unending source of information, both good and bad. Don't however, sit their complaining about the state of White Dwarf. You've merely outgrown it. It happens to us all. Besides, if your that fussed for the odd article, just bide your time. It'll get posted up on GWs own site sooner or later!

cookiescrumble
18-06-2006, 19:43
Well said, give that man a cookie. Most vets seem to whine about WD because it has a LOTR section, "LOTR is teh Suxxor!"

Mad Doc Grotsnik
18-06-2006, 19:50
And had they ever played it, they'd probably realise it's quite good fun. Certainly, the rules have been ported over to Legends Of the Old West, and make for very fluid gameplay!

cookiescrumble
18-06-2006, 19:53
I find LOTR a good break from the other games, as you said most vets haven't played it as they have this negative image in their heads.

lee
18-06-2006, 20:11
:eyebrows: ant never seen you play lord of the rings paul and me beening a vet i think its a good game. on the subjet of white dwarf its what got me in to the hobbie in the first place.

Some guy (UK)
18-06-2006, 20:15
As much common sense as that is, I'm going to guess that the argument against that well thought out post is this: there is, well I'm not sure about the upcomming word, but I can't think of a better one, and thus the need for the speechmarks; a sort of "charm" about having a physical reading source in front of you.

It's like newspapers- many people who have the newspapers are families and slightly older adults, most of who I would suspect have digital/ satalite TV, and despite having the option to switch over to the 24hr, fully up to date news channels, prefere the humble newspaper to recieve the news. I used to find this rather amusing, until I realised that people like to have their newspaper in one hand, toast in the other, sitting in their comfy chair to have a read of the newspaper on a sunday morning.

I used to like that about WD (no, I witnessed none of so called glory days, but even I have noticed a rather slight :eyebrows: difference in quality from when I first bought it ( WD 286) and now), that I would buy a copy, get home, sit down, and have a good read. And, no matter how much I could get off this forum, I would still wish WD to be worth the pounds, and look forward to taking it home and reading it.

That, and also looking at the PC screen will strain your eyes people! ;)

Later, Some Guy

Mad Doc Grotsnik
18-06-2006, 20:22
I do agree with you there. Having something tangible in your hands is somehow more satisfying. Perhaps it's a posessive trait. If your holding it, that information is yours!

Interesting point made there!

Stingray_tm
18-06-2006, 21:01
Since i don't own a laptop, i usually have some major problems, if i want to read online articles on the toilet, on the train or in the bed...

Internet is great, but it can't fully replace good old paper.

RampagingRavener
18-06-2006, 21:04
Theres also the fact that it's easier. On the net, you often don't find proper, structured articles very often-most of the time, they're vague discussions about tactics and not simple articles that you can read, think about, then apply. I've lost count of the number of times when, upon starting an army, I've dug through dozens of forums to try and find a nice, clear tactica only to be faced with reams of wandering threads which, while they might have the odd nugget of brilliance, are likely hidden under tides of other posts, meaning that it can be hard to dig up any real information.

In a magazine, you don't get that. You just get an article. With information that you can use to help improve your game, or painting skills, or conversions, or whatever. Its clear and doesn't need to be dug about for. The Internet is a good place to discuss, but I don't think its as useful for simple reading and learning.

EvC
18-06-2006, 22:05
If we all followed this advice, White Dwarf's sales would drop to zero. Is that really the best path for White Dwarf to take? Why should the desire for a magazine that provides entertaining articles about the hobby be considered unrealistic?

my_name_is_tudor
18-06-2006, 22:08
I got quoted in TeddyC's signature regarding this idea..

old WD tactica: useful, amusing, fluffy, FUN
internet tactica: power gaming written by people who can write (sometimes)

old WD fluff: fun, written by people who really know what the background story is, professional writers
internet fluff: for the most part wannabes who can't write waffling out nonsense about their teh uber legion of marines

old WD conversion and painting articles: easy to read, easy to do, clear and concise concepts and ideas, a good head of what GW is about
internet conversion and painting articles: just whatever is in vogue at the moment, proper tutorials are hard to come by, just people showing off how mint they are, and ***** loads of bloody NMM

old WD battle reports: cool, fun scenarios, good photography (sort of) clear description of the game
internet battle reports: vague, boring scenarios, badly written, etc etc

Killgore
18-06-2006, 23:54
the problem is, that I'd like a quality magazine to read where ever i want to read it, be it on the throne, in the park or on a beach, and not be constricted to my wireless connection and bulky pc

I want a magazine that will make me want to read an article again and again, and to come back in a year or 5 years time and read that article again! I still read my old white drawfs, issues 207-224 bein peticular favorates but I'd very much doubt I'll want to reread the ones that have been comming out these past year.

Smoking Frog
19-06-2006, 02:00
I don't like the net. While theoretically it could be this great "library" with tonnes of info and news and articles and all that, I find that because there are no standards and no overlording authority, people essentially put up just about anything, no matter how revolting or indecent or generally just wrong.

Half of the net is a giant porn house. I can't find any tactical info in a porn house, I've tried most of what they clamour on about, though I don't really complain on finding ways to refine tactics... The other half has everything else, from "How to blow s*** up" to "I like pie" to the *occasional* nugget of info that can really help.

Most of your articles, Dok, I generally agree with, but not this one.


I'm gonna go to a club tonight... I'm in need of "healing", like in that song...

Hashut's Li'l Helper
19-06-2006, 02:52
What the older issues of WD had during their "glory days", was an amalgam of whats in white dwarf now as well as the internet content, all in one place. as well as fun new official rules. If I'm to use the internet to get this same content, I need to read the one forum for bat reps, another to see pictures of the models, and a third to find out why someone would want to try such a thing. In WD it was all there for you. Now, we have some poorly done Batreps, lots of pretty pictures, and another article partially rehashing a 5 year old article about ROR. The fonts are huge, the pictures larger, and the actual content infintessimal. Mind you, I don't like LOTR, but it doesn't seem that different space wise than what warmaster, epic, et al used to take.

White Dwarf is just another extention of marketing the game to younger players. It just wouldn't do to confuse them by offering choice, better to just tell them what they want.

cailus
19-06-2006, 04:22
I got quoted in TeddyC's signature regarding this idea..

old WD tactica: useful, amusing, fluffy, FUN
internet tactica: power gaming written by people who can write (sometimes)

old WD fluff: fun, written by people who really know what the background story is, professional writers
internet fluff: for the most part wannabes who can't write waffling out nonsense about their teh uber legion of marines

old WD conversion and painting articles: easy to read, easy to do, clear and concise concepts and ideas, a good head of what GW is about
internet conversion and painting articles: just whatever is in vogue at the moment, proper tutorials are hard to come by, just people showing off how mint they are, and ***** loads of bloody NMM

old WD battle reports: cool, fun scenarios, good photography (sort of) clear description of the game
internet battle reports: vague, boring scenarios, badly written, etc etc

You've hit the nail on the head.

And don't forget, you can't read the internet on the toilet! :D

Finn Sourscowl
19-06-2006, 08:50
I don't think that as a gamer of 16 years who remembers all the eras of WD you talk about, Dok, I should be confined to reading my GW fix on the internet. Yes I do use it extensively, but not at home (I only have dial up). Therefore, if I want to read an interesting tactics article or battle report, while at home, I turned to WD. Unfortunately, that is becoming less and less the case, since it now takes me all of 1/2 an hour to finish. It just isn't practical to replace a magazine with the internet.

And anyway, I wonder why GW feel the need to "dumb WD down" to attract 10 year olds? Do they consider the current generation to require large piccies and no text? Do they think they can't read to a sufficient standard to cope with more than 3 words? 'cause it was WD that attracted me (as a rather impressionable 11 year old) to GW in much the same way as it did others. I was absolutely fascinated by it all! Why change it, I wonder?? :(

Hlokk
19-06-2006, 12:08
I suspect a lot of apathy towards the dwarf is due to them getting rid of other magazines.

Back in the days of fat bloke you had (at one time or another):

White Dwarf
The Citadel Journal
Inferno
Warhammer Comic
Deathblow
Necromunda
Blood Bowl Magazine
That inquisitor 48 page thing

All these, bar WD have gone the way of the squat. So, whats WD to do? Veterans see the need for the companies flagship magazine to cater for them, as they've supported the hobby. Newbs need a magazine to get them through the doors and to get them to buy shiney stuff.

Problem with the net is that the stuff is of dubious quality. Tactics articles written by numbercrunchers and keyboard jockeys who havn't been near a gaming table in years, unclear and ambiguous painting articles with blurry pictures, fluff that reads like it was written by a smacked-up monkey covered in superglue. ypu have to go through a lot of crap before you get to the good stuff.

The solution on GW's part is simple. Re-launch the journal. Give it better articles, house rules, tutorials and such. Make veterans happy, make the newbs happy, whats to loose?

ArtificerArmour
19-06-2006, 12:26
You've hit the nail on the head.

And don't forget, you can't read the internet on the toilet! :D

My new spankin mobile phone says otherwise :D

To be honest, WD is getting better at supporting fanatic. It did do the 3 issue spanning mordheim article and the necromunda article (which was pretty humourous).

Lets cut them some slack. They have so many pages to fill. So many people with so many hours of work. They can't put something of everything in, as they can't afford to pay someone to do something for every game system every month. They cater for the masses. Which just happen to be younger people than us wizened old crows.

boogle
19-06-2006, 12:30
actually i'm waiting to see how Firebase comes on

Dr Death
19-06-2006, 15:27
At the moment i dont so much read white dwarf on the toilet but it does come in useful in there anyway...

As others have said, the internet is ineffectual, inefficient and the stuff you do find on there is pants in the extreme. I also dont see why i should have to give up WD for reasons of quality. Its not like WD has always been incapable of any show of literary skill. You refer to the glory days- why cant they exist any more? You refer to using WD to peek the interest if newcomers, how long ago was that? 5-10 years ago perhaps:eyebrows:?

WD is not catering to newbies, newbies like well written articles and quality product just as much as any hoary old "self proclaimed" veteran. WD is just plain slipping in quality, and fobbing it off as a "creative shift". I dont see why i should have to end reading WD, i dont see why WD doesnt welcome people with a memory capacity of more than a fish. WD could be so much more and still do all it does but yet isnt, and that strikes me as either laziness or idiocy.

Dr Death