The war on content

  • Squirrelloid wrote:


    Diplomacy? (Some slight rules changes/clarifications every decade or so to remove ambiguity from action resolution).

    Classic games don't get constant updates. They reach a fixed form and stay that way for a long time.
    There are a few expections in the gaming world, but not in the wargaming world.
    The 9 Age Army Book: Norse Wolfborn
  • Some people complaining about too many updates doesn't mean complete stasis is desirable either.

    Magic (the Gathering) design aims to put out enough new content each year that by the time a format is solved, there is a new format.

    With a huuuuge player base and Magic Online, this is a few months. For a wargame, a slower, more sedate pace is fine - when games take 2-8 times longer and you need to paint minis, churn takes longer. Plus we have less players.

    Plus MtG teaches us something else: rotation. Standard has a roughly static pool of cards in number and per faction, but they *change* over time.

    What this says is that T9A could freshen up metagames with occasional unit tweaks and new items and spells - and by removing some such items and spells.

    Perhaps even planned obsolescence: introduce some new non-model options but make it clear they are temporary (sorta like the GW Storm of Chaos etc stuff).

    Oh, one other thing:

    The WDG book WILL NOT be perfect. It is impossible for this to be so. Same for every other big book release.

    We ought to plan for that. We ought to have a designated "small rework" release every so often, because otherwise later books will have to be built around mistakes.
  • Bugman wrote:

    Klexe wrote:

    Look at Dota. Same map almost same heroes since many many manx years and still going strong.

    What you could do instead is changing the meta.

    Example KoE:
    ATM Questing knights and forlorn are bad.
    You could overbuff them and even know it is too much and just do it.

    This would create some chaos new list and would change the meta so much that it feels new and different.

    Even the smallest change is enough.

    All you would need is 1 guy for each book which does change and needs approval (as I know you won't do anything without approval of the top old dogs).

    This guy could easily do some changes over the time without introducing new units.

    Just increasing offensive Ws by 1 for some units and decreasing others changes everything.

    Just look at the current peasant spam for KoE.
    You could artificaly do something like that to create new content.
    It is sooooo more complicated then this. I think we all wish it was that simple.
    I don't think it is.
    Way to often people over think too many things... Most of the time the easy way is the best way

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  • New

    A tabletop has two distinct parts, the rules and the army lists.

    If your content with the rules you do not want the content (neither) to change.
    If the rules were crap you wouldn't play it.
    Some changes are good, but a complete overhaul is usually a bad idea as far as the existing player base is regarded, it might be a good idea as far as new players are regarded.

    Warhammer is a very good example. The rules changed only a bit between revisions some times more some times less, but overall it kept to be Warhammer. Players kept playing Warhammer for ages.
    The time between iterations was something around 5 years and it proved to be sufficient to keep people playing and interested.
    So this seems to be a good recipe to keep an established player base happy.
    A cycle of 5 years is plenty of time for players to adapt and to build and play different armies with the rules.
    A cycle time of a year would be too short as many people don't play daily and need some month to get the new rules straight and people need some time to develop tactics. And it would make it difficult to start, because why start a new army, if you know there will be new rules before you have finished your new army.
    A cycle time of half a year would be a catastrophe, people never being sure what version is current, some skipping a version etc, never getting anything finished in time.

    A major reason why the 5 year cycle worked so well is that the new cycle of rules also started a new cycle of army books. This added something new every month or other month and kept players interested until the next cycle. So despite having a 5 year cycle of rules you still had new items every 2 month thanks to army books, campaigns etc.

    The length of the cycle and the leaking of release order gave you stability. If you started an army now, you knew you have some month or years to finish it and would not suffer from surprising overnight changes, which would make the miniatures you just painted obsolete.

    This seems the way to go, if you want to keep your established player base. A long cycle with a release schedule offset by 2 month for army lists plus campaigns etc. will give you a continuous flow of new stuff without getting bad surprises.

    The alternative to small changes was a big change like the change to AoS.

    Warhammer wasn't Warhammer any more and so the die hard "Warhammer" players wandered or better ran off to be replaced by new players.

    This is the risk you will have with every big change of the rules (not as much the army lists).

    IMHO a big reason for the success of T9A is that it is basically Warhammer. If you move away from that, you will loose a big part of the established player base. Even if it is a better game, it will not be Warhammer any longer and that will cost players.
    They might be replaced by new players over time - or not.

    IMHO it's the T9A management's task to decide where they want to go.
    Shall T9A be a Warhammer replacement targeted at old and new Warhammer aficionados - which gives you the safety of an established player base - than I'd say do a release cycle based on what GW did. It worked well - giving regular new releases - but an overall update release cycle. And you already have a "good enough" rule set to refine instead of rewrite.

    Or shall T9A be the ultimate Tabletop, than make big changes until you reach your goal. This will need shorter release cycles or you will never get there. But you will have to establish your player base again and again with each major change. Once your satisfied with the rules, you might fall back to the long cycle anyway.

    That were probably more like 10cents
  • New

    Thanks for the 10 cents.

    As has been so readily discussed elsewhere, T9A can't be warhammer.

    However, it can be an amazing tabletop fantasy gaming experience with Orcs, dwarfs (Someone mention goats?), dragons, mages with powerful spells and heros doing what they do best.

    2 months release cycle is also an impossible cycle to work towards given we have no interest in producing miniatures. If however you look at the wider world of the fantasy hobby out there then something new is being released every week it appears, and T9A is truest bowled over by the huge support these companies have given us by producing such miniatures and accessories

    T9A remains a game run by volunteers, not paid workers so things are not as fast or as easy as it would be if the higher ups had true power like a manager does. Instead they lead and inspire us to give our time freely in order to produce the game you want and love

    If you want quicker release times, we need more volunteers, simple as that! - The largest most informative Fantasy Dwarf website on the net, covering every dwarfers needs from forum to tactics, balls to ships!
  • New

    Could you please share how many people are involved right now in rules-writing and army-book writing.

    If we bystanders know that there are only two guys doing all the work, it is obvious that you will be hard pressed to keep any schedule at all.
    Oth, if you have three people per army book, they should easily be able to do a new revision every 5 years and releasing them staggered by 3 month.

    Last not least
    thanks to everybody involved in T9A investing time and energy, to keep it evolving.
  • New

    brumbaer wrote:

    Could you please share how many people are involved right now in rules-writing and army-book writing.
    I'm not sure this will help at all - this isn't a company with full-time employees, so you cannot expect to understand anything by counting people involved. They are all volunteers and are putting in their spare time, so some might contribute more and others less.
  • New

    durion wrote:

    brumbaer wrote:

    Could you please share how many people are involved right now in rules-writing and army-book writing.
    I'm not sure this will help at all - this isn't a company with full-time employees, so you cannot expect to understand anything by counting people involved. They are all volunteers and are putting in their spare time, so some might contribute more and others less.
    Following your logic, it wouldn't help if they worked full time for T9A, because I couldn't know how good every one is, how motivated, how many personal problems he has etc.
    In fact that is a real problem for many companies who have to make an offer for a project, i.e. software companies.

    Still they manage, because there are assumptions you can make and than half the estimated output.

    Even without knowing the persons in question, if there are only 2 people working on all army books, it will make no sense to think about organising any schedule, because there is nothing to manage, nobody to fill a gap, when somebody drops out, no resources to shift.
    When there are 100 it's different.

    If you have a team of 2 for every army book it might be possible to release an army book after some lead time every 3 month. Because the cycle time per army book would be 5 years. That might even be too long to keep the authors interested, so teams of 2 for 2 army books (1.2 years per book) might be feasible. And yes, the 2 will not be enough, because there has to be playtesting and lectoring and balancing etc.
    And yes there is a big if, if those people stay motivated, whether they would like to work like that.
    But if there are only 2 in total, you can spare you the effort, because you will not get it running that way anyway.

    I ask out of curiosity, I have no stake at this, I see it as an abstract puzzle.

    I'm an engineer, for me there must be a product before it can be sold.
    If you don't have anybody doing the rules/lists, you need nobody to lector, chech for copyright or balancing issues and whatever.

    But I admit this is not my problem, and it probably drifts into the sea of off topic.
  • New

    There are about 150 persons contributing to producing the books on one level or the other (not just designing the actual rules). To the above list you can add artists, lectors, rules reviewers, layout team members, internal playtesters, conceptual designers, community support staff, ...
    It's a slow process because we have a lot of things to check and particularly right now because we're just learning how to do it. It's difficult to coordinate a lot of people but it's also difficult to work when we don't have enough people to make sure each task is being taken care of. We're walking a fine line on that aspect, it's challenging.
    Hopefully, once we've gotten through the first we should need fewer iterations to go through the process and hopefully produce books a bit faster. But yeah you're probably looking at a few years cycle anyway.

    Adding people can help but not on any level, since we have uneven volunteer level. If you want to help I can't say there is much room in the design teams at the moment (as you can guess there are a lot of people who want to write rules for their favourite army), but in contrast we have a hard time filling in the Layout team or Tournament Support for example.

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