If it ain't broke - don't fix it

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  • If it ain't broke - don't fix it

    I have worked a lot with change management in the Military, and wanted to share my thoughts on the matter regarding the 1.2 update.


    Change is good. Change makes products better. Updates makes products relevant. But there are also downsides to changes:

    - Most people are inhenrently inclined to be against changes. If people like something the way it is, chances are they wont be happy when it changes. People spend time and energy learning and mastering their craft. They develop affections towards the specific mechanics and "fluff". Even names. I still call my Inquisitor Witch Hunter and my Preacher for Warrior Priest. Because I've grown affection to the old names. And quite frankly think they're cooler. When people are suddenly told that they cannot do things the way they are used to they react with opposition. This means that even if the changes are actually for the better, some people will still react against them.

    - Changes take effort to implement and be successful. Even if the the change will optimize 5% there will be a period with 10% less efficiency before the gains, because people still have to adapt to the changes and will be less efficient while adapting. This also applies to games. If a game changes its rules too much too often, people will have to invest more effort into keeping track.

    - Every time you change something that works sufficiently chances are you might make it worse. People make mistakes and should therefore be careful before optimizing something that actually works the way it is. You could always change things back, but people will become frustrated with constant changes.

    - Changes are subjective. What is positive for some is negative for others. Make a gathering of people who like something, then change it, and some people wont like it any more. This means that the further 9th Age moves away from Warhammer, the bigger the risk that some of the old players wont like it anymore. Unless you can substitute these players with new ones, your community will diminish.

    Conclusion:

    Unless you can convince the community of the need for the specific changes before you make them, they should be implemented step by step and carefully. Even if you believe you could make a product better by changing 20%, it might be better to just changing it 5% and see peoples reaction to it. This also gives you more time to each change, and minimize the risks of mistakes.

    To be more specific:

    Many of the 1.2 changes were needed and fix known problems. Many weren't needed per se but might still improve the game. Some will probably worsen the game and be changed again. And a lot are a question of personal taste which are certain to divide people.

    Personally I see many good things in 1.2, but I also think it is too much, too soon and not all of it thought through.

    As an EoS player I expected and cheered for changes. The Prelate on War Alter was too good and needed to be nerfed. The Rockets were never used and needed a boost. This was fixed and I applaud that. But I never expected nor wished for drastic changes to an already balanced and well made army book. I find some of the changes quite influential and not in a direction I personally agree with. Especially since some of the characters that I find add flavour to the army is now unlikely to be used. Of course this is just my personal opinion but it's also my impression that many feel the same way about their specific armies.

    - The magic lores is an other obvious change likely to create mixed feelings. I really liked the different lores. I even liked their names. Now I can choose less lores, with names I can't pronounce nor understand. What was wrong with Shadows, Death, Heavens etc.? Why is Creeping Corrosion now called corruption of tin? Who ever wore or fought with tin in combat? I understand the reasons behind less lores. And I agree that it was a good thing to go down this road. But maybe we went a step too far?

    All in all the 1.2 update feels more like a 2.0 update. Or maybe even 3.0. I really like some of the new stuff. A lot if the fixes were needed and there was broad consensus about it. But I do think the changes went too far. And it seems many people think the same.

    EDIT:
    To clarify, I will still play the 9th Age. I still believe it will be a fun game. Probably the best one out there.

    Im also very impressed with the work that the 9th Age team has made so far. 1.1 was better than Warhammer ever was. Maybe except the fluff. I love the Warhammer fluff and don't think a new world can replace it.

    I just think the game - in some areas - made a turn to the worse with this update. Or at least a turn that might be in the right direction, but simply went too far.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Bloody MIsfire ().

  • Bloody MIsfire wrote:

    You could always change things back, but people will become frustrated- Changes are subjective. What is positive for some is negative for others. Make a gathering of people who like something, then change it, and some people wont like it any more. This means that the further 9th Age moves away from Warhammer, the bigger the risk that some of the old players wont like it anymore. Unless you can substitute these players with new ones, your community will diminish.
    I'm one of those potential new players...T9A has gained quite a following in my local area, so I've been contemplating choice of army, buying and dusting off models, and reading the forums a lot. My other game (which I'm not new to) is KoW. That game is certainly simpler but I enjoy it a lot. That said, I was feeling drawn to T9A for some added depth...

    But this hasn't been a very good first impression. It's disconcerting to see that a bunch of rules and balance changes were done at once, were "rushed" somewhat, and have made a pretty significant chunk of players unhappy. I'm still feeling interested...but in a way it's making me think KoW is better to stick with!

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Minijunkie ().

  • @Bloody MIsfire. This is a very interesting approach to the topic of the update and I like where you are going with it. Good post!

    My initial reaction was a lot of shock to what I saw in the preview videos. I am going to be very curious how my first few games go to see what I like and what I don't. This being the internetz, I am seeing plenty of doom and darkness (see what I did there??) from people saying the sky is falling. But when haven't we heard that...?

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  • To be frank, the majority of my local meta is about to walk. And yeah, that's only 20ish players, but it sounds like we're not the only ones with this conflict going on.

    A big part of the problem isn't that the changes are coming too fast, but that such a major change has come SO LATE in the project... and the writers are telling us "This is where we were trying to go all along; this isn't going to be much like WFB when we're through'. This distresses us because we THOUGH we were signing on with a game that WOULD be like WFB. Just with the serial numbers filed off to avoid a lawsuit.
  • Vulcan wrote:

    To be frank, the majority of my local meta is about to walk. And yeah, that's only 20ish players, but it sounds like we're not the only ones with this conflict going on.

    A big part of the problem isn't that the changes are coming too fast, but that such a major change has come SO LATE in the project... and the writers are telling us "This is where we were trying to go all along; this isn't going to be much like WFB when we're through'. This distresses us because we THOUGH we were signing on with a game that WOULD be like WFB. Just with the serial numbers filed off to avoid a lawsuit.

    Yea i thought it was going to be a way to continue playing the game we loved but not just that but a better version of it. More balanced, more fair, and why not, more units, more fluff, more fun.

    But this sounds like we "will delete tons of things and tons of fluff and we will give you a new fluff and game and you will love it because yes", the same that AoS did.

    Some people comes and says " you can always play 8th ed if you want it. Well, not 8th, but in my group playing 1.1 and forgeting about everything new is a strong idea. And they dont have any problem because they are having fun right now.
  • To clarify, I will still play the 9th Age. I still believe it will be a fun game. Probably the best one out there.

    Im also very impressed with the work that the 9th Age team has made so far. 1.1 was better than Warhammer ever was. Maybe except the fluff. I love the Warhammer fluff and don't think a new world can replace it.

    I just think the game - in some areas - made a turn to the worse with this update. Or at least a turn that might be in the right direction, but simply went too far.
  • raumork wrote:

    Vulcan wrote:

    To be frank, the majority of my local meta is about to walk. And yeah, that's only 20ish players, but it sounds like we're not the only ones with this conflict going on.

    A big part of the problem isn't that the changes are coming too fast, but that such a major change has come SO LATE in the project... and the writers are telling us "This is where we were trying to go all along; this isn't going to be much like WFB when we're through'. This distresses us because we THOUGH we were signing on with a game that WOULD be like WFB. Just with the serial numbers filed off to avoid a lawsuit.
    Yea i thought it was going to be a way to continue playing the game we loved but not just that but a better version of it. More balanced, more fair, and why not, more units, more fluff, more fun.

    But this sounds like we "will delete tons of things and tons of fluff and we will give you a new fluff and game and you will love it because yes", the same that AoS did.

    Some people comes and says " you can always play 8th ed if you want it. Well, not 8th, but in my group playing 1.1 and forgeting about everything new is a strong idea. And they dont have any problem because they are having fun right now.
    Going back to 1.1 might be a good idea. The problem is, as soon as I mention going back, I also get people who say "Why not go back to 8th/6th/4th edition Warhammer Fantasy"? And then I really don't have arguments to convince them.

    Currently, what kills it for most people is the loss of army-specific magic. People loved having their own magic, tailored to the fluff of their army.
    True Heirs of Avras: Vermin Swarm Auxillary Army books
    Some call it shameless Wishlisting! Some call it an Unplayable Mess! Some ask what is the Point of This! Is it an Auxillary Book? A Copy-paste Ripoff? A Fan Version of an existing Book? See for yourself, citizens!
  • raumork wrote:

    Vulcan wrote:

    To be frank, the majority of my local meta is about to walk. And yeah, that's only 20ish players, but it sounds like we're not the only ones with this conflict going on.

    A big part of the problem isn't that the changes are coming too fast, but that such a major change has come SO LATE in the project... and the writers are telling us "This is where we were trying to go all along; this isn't going to be much like WFB when we're through'. This distresses us because we THOUGH we were signing on with a game that WOULD be like WFB. Just with the serial numbers filed off to avoid a lawsuit.
    Yea i thought it was going to be a way to continue playing the game we loved but not just that but a better version of it. More balanced, more fair, and why not, more units, more fluff, more fun.

    But this sounds like we "will delete tons of things and tons of fluff and we will give you a new fluff and game and you will love it because yes", the same that AoS did.

    Some people comes and says " you can always play 8th ed if you want it. Well, not 8th, but in my group playing 1.1 and forgeting about everything new is a strong idea. And they dont have any problem because they are having fun right now.
    The issue is that just "filing off the serial numbers" as you put it WON'T avoid a lawsuit. GW are the sort of company to sue to make a point even if know they'll lose.

    You guys need to understand how the legal system works. GW (probably) cannot win an IP lawsuit against v1.1 but they don't need to win to destroy the project. T9A cannot afford to fight a lawsuit, even if it is in the right. One way to win a court battle is to have a lot more money (you drag the case out and wait until your opponent runs out of money) and GW has a lot more money than us and their legal bills will be cheaper due to in house lawyers.

    If GW can convince a judge to hear the case (and not dismiss it out of hand) then T9A is finished. GW can (and will) string out the case and the legal bills will be far higher than we could afford (even collectively).

    This was all posted and explained somewhere else by someone on the legal team but I can't find it.....

    EDIT: I found it: Its in the Saucy Quill Inn thread. Start reading at the top of page 83.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Sir_Sully wrote:

    raumork wrote:

    Vulcan wrote:

    This distresses us because we THOUGHT we were signing on with a game that WOULD be like WFB. Just with the serial numbers filed off to avoid a lawsuit.
    Yea I thought it was going to be a way to continue playing the game we loved but not just that but a better version of it. More balanced, more fair, and why not, more units, more fluff, more fun.
    The issue is that just "filing off the serial numbers" as you put it WON'T avoid a lawsuit. GW are the sort of company to sue to make a point even if know they'll lose.
    So far they haven't and T9A started off as 8th edition with the serial numbers filed off.....a bit at any rate.
    We're moving further from 8th ed with each rules update, GW has less and less reason to care.
  • theunwantedbeing wrote:

    Sir_Sully wrote:

    raumork wrote:

    Vulcan wrote:

    This distresses us because we THOUGHT we were signing on with a game that WOULD be like WFB. Just with the serial numbers filed off to avoid a lawsuit.
    Yea I thought it was going to be a way to continue playing the game we loved but not just that but a better version of it. More balanced, more fair, and why not, more units, more fluff, more fun.
    The issue is that just "filing off the serial numbers" as you put it WON'T avoid a lawsuit. GW are the sort of company to sue to make a point even if know they'll lose.
    So far they haven't and T9A started off as 8th edition with the serial numbers filed off.....a bit at any rate.We're moving further from 8th ed with each rules update, GW has less and less reason to care.
    This was one of the points I was trying to make :)

    The thing is that just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't. The less GW care the better :D
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Eldan makes a good point... I didn't really think about it much until now. But as an UD player the removal of Path of Sands is a huge blow to my army.

    My goblins can probably live without Path of the Little Green Gods, but UD/TK without Sands/Nehekhara is just no.... No Bueno....

    Can we start a petition of "Go back to 1.1 and make different (AKA less) changes" lol... We could call it a "punt" ;)
  • chandlergriz wrote:

    Eldan makes a good point... I didn't really think about it much until now. But as an UD player the removal of Path of Sands is a huge blow to my army.

    My goblins can probably live without Path of the Little Green Gods, but UD/TK without Sands/Nehekhara is just no.... No Bueno....

    Can we start a petition of "Go back to 1.1 and make different (AKA less) changes" lol... We could call it a "punt" ;)

    Yeah sure. Thanks for your support, people like you is what give us the will to continue to improve this game !

    #irony

    Seriously the update isn't released yet... playtest it, come back and then we'll discuss how it is :)
    " Des chercheurs qui cherchent, on en trouve. Des chercheurs qui trouvent, on en cherche " Charles de Gaulle
    " Si l'on bâtissait la maison du bonheur, la plus grande pièce en serait la salle d'attente " Jules Renard
    " Plus j'aime l'humanité en général, moins j'aime les gens en particulier " Fedor Dostoïevski
    " Only in the darkness can you see the stars " Martin Luther King Jr
  • Drakkar du Chaos wrote:

    chandlergriz wrote:

    Eldan makes a good point... I didn't really think about it much until now. But as an UD player the removal of Path of Sands is a huge blow to my army.

    My goblins can probably live without Path of the Little Green Gods, but UD/TK without Sands/Nehekhara is just no.... No Bueno....

    Can we start a petition of "Go back to 1.1 and make different (AKA less) changes" lol... We could call it a "punt" ;)
    Yeah sure. Thanks for your support, people like you is what give us the will to continue to improve this game !

    #irony

    Seriously the update isn't released yet... playtest it, come back and then we'll discuss how crap it is :)
    He's right, though. Removing army specific magic is a removal of a huge amount of fluff. All I hear is balance, balance, balance. What's the point of balance if it's boring? Balance is a distant tertiary concern for me, after fluff and good looking models.

    And I don't need to playtest it to tell that. Army-specific magic is gone, no playtest necessary.
    True Heirs of Avras: Vermin Swarm Auxillary Army books
    Some call it shameless Wishlisting! Some call it an Unplayable Mess! Some ask what is the Point of This! Is it an Auxillary Book? A Copy-paste Ripoff? A Fan Version of an existing Book? See for yourself, citizens!
  • Drakkar du Chaos wrote:

    chandlergriz wrote:

    Eldan makes a good point... I didn't really think about it much until now. But as an UD player the removal of Path of Sands is a huge blow to my army.

    My goblins can probably live without Path of the Little Green Gods, but UD/TK without Sands/Nehekhara is just no.... No Bueno....

    Can we start a petition of "Go back to 1.1 and make different (AKA less) changes" lol... We could call it a "punt" ;)
    Yeah sure. Thanks for your support, people like you is what give us the will to continue to improve this game !

    #irony

    Seriously the update isn't released yet... playtest it, come back and then we'll discuss how crap it is :)
    It doesnt matter if i test the "tomatoes" or not, they can be good or bad but if i always have eaten "potatoes" or if I really like potatoes, i wouldnt like to choose between potatoes and tomatoes. Now people are forced to choose. Thats not nice. And people will choose.

    Maybe im crazy but i think its easy to understand. Not having potatoes is a crap for 40% of the players... Do you prefer people to do negative feedback trying to make you think over it or do you prefer people to shut up and leave?
  • Eldan wrote:

    Drakkar du Chaos wrote:

    chandlergriz wrote:

    Eldan makes a good point... I didn't really think about it much until now. But as an UD player the removal of Path of Sands is a huge blow to my army.

    My goblins can probably live without Path of the Little Green Gods, but UD/TK without Sands/Nehekhara is just no.... No Bueno....

    Can we start a petition of "Go back to 1.1 and make different (AKA less) changes" lol... We could call it a "punt" ;)
    Yeah sure. Thanks for your support, people like you is what give us the will to continue to improve this game !
    #irony

    Seriously the update isn't released yet... playtest it, come back and then we'll discuss how crap it is :)
    He's right, though. Removing army specific magic is a removal of a huge amount of fluff. All I hear is balance, balance, balance. What's the point of balance if it's boring? Balance is a distant tertiary concern for me, after fluff and good looking models.
    And I don't need to playtest it to tell that. Army-specific magic is gone, no playtest necessary.

    That's your opinion.
    I won't discuss anymore about "is 1.2 good or bad ?" with people who haven't tried it, thanks :)
    " Des chercheurs qui cherchent, on en trouve. Des chercheurs qui trouvent, on en cherche " Charles de Gaulle
    " Si l'on bâtissait la maison du bonheur, la plus grande pièce en serait la salle d'attente " Jules Renard
    " Plus j'aime l'humanité en général, moins j'aime les gens en particulier " Fedor Dostoïevski
    " Only in the darkness can you see the stars " Martin Luther King Jr
  • May I please ask and/or remind you of one thing: Back in WHFB-days there was the (probably) second-most important rule: If you ever feel something is totally out of place, go ahead and houserule it. Feel free to change things you absolutely dislike to make a better game.

    Why don't we role with this? I'm not saying every group should come up with their own version of the game, that's just plain bullstuff. But after a couple of games, if you feel something is broken, talk to your group and houserule it so everyone (or most everyone at least) can agree and roll with it. Several members of rules and balance and background team have stated that it is impossible to foresee every implication, every list, every possible outcome of rules clashing. Sure, maybe the changes are a bit too drastic alltogether. Maybe they work very well. If you feel bummed about something, houserule it and wait for the official releases and STAY TUNED and in contact with team-members so you can be heard.

    I know this is far from a perfect solution, but I just had the feeling that most people totally forgot about this opportunity. Nobody ever told me to strictly adhere to all the official rules under the threat of capital punishment. And I honestly don't believe this game is going down the drain. Quite the opposite actually, but it will probably take a lot of time to explore and get used to all the changes and find a way make it work.
    "There is no escape. No hope. Only hunger and pain." - Marlow
  • raumork wrote:

    Maybe im crazy but i think its easy to understand. Not having potatoes is a crap for 40% of the players... Do you prefer people to do negative feedback trying to make you think over it or do you prefer people to shut up and leave?
    He'de prefer you to shut up and leave. :thumbdown:

    Your best bet is to pretend to play a few games, then come back and point out how the game was way more fun with the army specific lores than the general ones. Say something about feeling more like you were playing something immersive if you want as that helps make it seem like you're being positive.

    Unfortunately there's little you(or most of us for that matter) can do beyond state your opinion and hope people listen.
  • theunwantedbeing wrote:

    Sir_Sully wrote:

    raumork wrote:

    Vulcan wrote:

    This distresses us because we THOUGHT we were signing on with a game that WOULD be like WFB. Just with the serial numbers filed off to avoid a lawsuit.
    Yea I thought it was going to be a way to continue playing the game we loved but not just that but a better version of it. More balanced, more fair, and why not, more units, more fluff, more fun.
    The issue is that just "filing off the serial numbers" as you put it WON'T avoid a lawsuit. GW are the sort of company to sue to make a point even if know they'll lose.
    So far they haven't and T9A started off as 8th edition with the serial numbers filed off.....a bit at any rate.We're moving further from 8th ed with each rules update, GW has less and less reason to care.
    Indeed, and they certainly will not care if they can keep selling Age of Sigmar mini's to Age of Sigmar and 9th Age players.