A New Force Awakens!

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The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

Our beta phase is finally over. Download The Ninth Age: Fantasy Battles, 2nd Edition now!

  • Yes, this is late.

    My dog ate my e-mail, I had a crippling hangnail for 3 weeks, and cold weather slowed my internet down...

    Before we get started on the latest gossip, please welcome my new RT-Blog partner @Kathal who will be gently restraining my more mellifluous forays into aggrandizing loquacity keeping me grounded with his down-to-earth Austrian (G'Day mate!) clarity of thought.

    Let the Bureaucratic Games Begin!
    So, let's start with Advisory Board members.

    Currently, the Advisory Board's role is under re-evaluation by the Execution Executive Board. Until now, the unspoken duty of most free-agent (non-Head) Advisory Board members has been to:
    1. Act as the eyes and hands of the Executive Board in many dark threads of the 9th Age that need a little light to help keep things running.
    2. Posting in specialized team threads to make sure cross communication is working.
    3. Sharing their deep wisdom with anyone bothered to listen.
    In other words, nosy busybodies who get in everyone's way. Unfortunately, it looks like we've been a bit too successful here, so the big bosses are now looking into dumping more work delegating PRO, THH, and MGN managerial work to smaller, more agile teams to help define long-term goals for the various Team Heads to resolve as they think best. This increases both the flexibility of the respective teams, as it will make the information and work flow more fluid between the respective teams.

    Now as exciting as it is talking about the joys of delegation, bureaucracy, and the art of pretending that you actually know what you're "doing", I suppose we should also give an update on new books being redesigned: WotDG & DL)

    GoPRO Spycam Time!
    It seems the Designers of the Dark Gods are approaching Ascension in terms of pre-Alpha book design, but there are still several tricky unit/character entries that are being scrutinized by the Rules Team & Balancing Team. This means that a lot of the current ADT work is heavily centred on items - of which most are adaptations from the community at this stage.

    Does this mean the book will be released next week?

    There are still lots inevitable revisions & redesigns to be made as requested by the more global perspectives of Rules Team and Balancing Team, costing, playtesting, and a dozen or so likely exploits to be fixed before it's ready to be shared. Playtesting alone will likely indicate several areas needing revision or redesign, and I think it's safe to say that the Flying Mammoth Core will not be making it into the final book.

    Meanwhile, the Daemonic Legions have submitted their initial Core units for review and indeed, there are some formidable unit proposals that blur the line between awesome and terrifyingly well-suited to their assigned tasks. As a non-DL player, I'm awfully tempted to add to my Wasteland Plate some of the awesome Otherworldly concepts and designs! They aren't joking when they say Unit X is designed to optimally do it's task...exciting times for talented Daemonic Legion generals ahead, I predict.

    A less-known task, which few outside of PRO will be aware of, is the re-redesigning of the humble giant (now there's an oxymoron with extra superfluousness on the side). This was already attempted a couple of months ago, but the first attempt ended up being a classic design trap that often occurs in teams:

    Imagine you are a chef with a very talented kitchen team, and you've been told to cook up something great for the critic outside. Each member of the team has a speciality that they do extremely well: one guy makes a mean Tom-Yum-Goong, another an amazing Crème Brulee, and the last one can burn toast, just like dad. So, by combining all 3 together you expect to produce a very fine dish indeed and send it out for review... [what is it with me and food analogies?!]

    One of the hardest things to do as a design team is knowing when to stop, when to edit out ideas, and how to enhance these core ideas with subtle touches in terms of rules and stats, while keeping the unit fun, emotive, and easy to understand. It's also when criticism needs to be incisive & succinct, and designers need the discipline to re-examine their ideas critically - a very challenging task!

    Fortunately, the Giant Team is back on track, still fired up to make the big guy awesome, and we've taken on some hired 'muscle' in the form of @slivek who will be helping guide the team with a very clear understanding of what is and is not acceptable design-wise :warn:

    Meanwhile, on the more competitive end of the PRO spectrum, we have the Balancing Team. These hard-bitten, trophy-chewing, ETC/UB veterans have turned their 1000-yard stare towards the current army units in order to weed out the underperforming stuff and whip it into shape for 2.0. But fear not, the BGT guys are flexing muscles nearby and they are covered from head to toe in tattoos of the living background of the T9A, ensuring that flavour is kept and not sacrificed to the Gods of Balance in the process. Naturally, even the most savage of sages will eventually need Data & Analysis to confirm their suspicions, for the calculator is always mightier than the nerd! Let's see if we can't tempt the Math-Heads into issuing a new full public report of statistical sexiness for 1.3 in the next few months.

    Last but not least, the Rules Team is wading through a mountain of public magic proposals - but don't worry, it's only going to take about 80 hours of their free time, and sleep is highly overrated.

    Fortunately, @Calcathin of the HbE - him of the limitless ink - is also helping to standardize the various entries, so hopefully this helps efficiency a little.

    It seems that there are more solicitations for community input coming soon, because the feedback has been great, and we want to really see how far we can really go in improving this game. A huge number of things are being examined for 2.0 from making Weapon Skill more meaningful, to toning down mega-Stats like Strength that many people want.

    The Hubby Hobby Hub
    Deep down in the Hobby Hub Internals, @Ney and his elite squad of Forum-Fu Monks AKA the ACS Team continue to impress pretty much everyone who works with them, and are now enjoying a direct link alla the "red telephone" to the Balancing Team as well as the Rules Team. Lots of questions are running up and down the organization centred on the scope of changes, community input, and how best to share information with the broader audience. PR is also closely coordinating with them, which as a net sum, makes them one of the most connected and broadly informed groups in the 9th Age. Next time you chat with your ACS, don't forget to tell them what an awesome job they are doing juggling sensitive information against community needs.

    See documentary clip below for some real-life footage of them interacting with the community.

    Over to Content, and we're not allowed to post any spoilers, but it seems that an old favourite will be making a return - so you won't just need to read this crappy Blog to get some insight into what's happening around the 9th Age. Hint: It's better, because it has pictures and is prettier...

    Last up, the WDG ACS guys will be setting up some polls for the community to vote on regarding information in the new WDG book. Since they already know what's coming, you can trust that they also know the biggest potential concerns that players might have with changes. Once we have some results, the ADT, CDS, AvB, & BGT will do their best to answer them - and try not to drop too many SPOILERS...

    (Tune in later this week after we have paid our fine for Part II...)

    Your "Behind the Scene" Team!
    "When four Kings abdicate their thrones, do you really have a Kingdom anymore?"

    I kind have a "blog" now: From Beer and Bretzle vol 2

    [ETC 2016 - ID] [ETC 2017 - WDG] [ETC 2018 - ID] [ETC 2019 - ID]

    1,669 times read

Comments 8

  • Marchosias -

    Very well written, thank you very much! :)

  • Squirrelloid -

    What... did i just read?

    • Kathal -

      I guess an "Behind the Scene" blog? :sweat:

    • There Is No Spoon -

      Muhahahaha - it's all part of our plan to brainwash 9th Age players into melting down their armies and converting them into bases for WotDG models! :D

  • SkargitCrookfang -


    I know... it's not next week... but hot damn does this get me excited.

    See how easy that is? ;)

    • Kathal -

      Part 2 will be more informative and more of explanations, but still worth a read for close to everyone ^^

      Otherwise, we have to look what the next topics will be for the next release, it really depends on how the other projects shape up ^^

    • SkargitCrookfang -

      Like I said elsewhere- the DL community needs these kind of uplifting posts. This has me super-psyched.

    • Kathal -

      As an former DL player (6th/7th book till it got updated) I just love the unique takes on the army which the ADT currently does. This is especially true since they have some really crazy ideas and know, how to properly implement them ^^