No more Hard Weaknesses - A community plea

  • To help you complete the information somewhat - it's teamwork afterall

    DanT wrote:

    Newnew summary
    1. Let go of the notion that by rigorously implementing hard weaknesses per faction, you make the game more interesting, ->
    2. As such, stop reducing options/play-styles. This game has to be as much fun for a player with one army (being able to play several styles) as for player with multiple armies (addicts)
    3. Stop taking models/units off us. Some units do not need to be unique in it's role perse. Immersion, background and fluff are more important here. without giving stuff back
    4. More fluff driven rules, even if they don't have a large or common impact on the game. More fluff in gerenal, and more direct fluff (not through narrators reports), this worked miracles in the Asklander book
    5. Don't come up with designs that require extra restrictions or conditions

    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!
  • New

    DanT wrote:

    Not balance, but I agree that the removal of unrepresentable upgrades has caused problems. Its not even consistently applied.
    Serious question that I suspect might solve a lot of communication issues on these forums: what would you call that?

    And I agree with you, DanT: that really isn't "balance." But what is it?

    "Streamlining"?

    "Simplification"?

    "Pruning"?

    "Rules optimization"?

    "Removal of complexity when somebody on one of the countless design teams felt it was unnecessary"?

    What design principle was responsible for the removal of those unrepresentable upgrades?

    What would you call it?

    Because I strongly suspect that >90% of complaints about "balance" over the past year were actually complaints about this separate design principle.

    And right now nobody knows what to call it, so they keep raising the inaccurate cry of "balance vs. fun."

    But nobody really believes that balance is the enemy of fun. Not even filthy casuals like me. What we mean to say is that rules, options, and interactions that reinforce our immersion and role-playing are becoming casualties of...something. Something that kind of looks like the pursuit of balance, but isn't really.

    Remember the "Hidden" special rule?

    1.2 got rid of it, and people like me don't know why. There was a one-sentence explanation in one of the Scrolls about how it was "not enough benefit" or something, and it vanished.

    Nobody in my local gaming group ever used any models with that rule. But we still hated to see it removed like that. It was a good, fluffy, immersive rule that was very well-suited to narrative play.

    I assume that rule was removed because of the same nameless design principle that led to the removal of unrepresentable upgrades: it was complexity that somebody on one of the design teams felt was unnecessary.

    So I guess on behalf of narrative players everywhere, let me try to present a suggestion.

    Unnecessary complexity IS necessary.

    Customization options are a requirement for us in this sort of game, and removing them is directly chasing us away.

    People have left T9A because of this nameless design principle.

    My local gaming group and I left T9A because of this nameless design principle.

    Of course T9A isn't going to stand or fall on the back of three casual gamers in Podunk, USA. Losing us was barely an annoyance to this project, if even that.

    But I was specifically invited to come back later and check out 2.0:

    Calisson wrote:

    Rules should be stable and well rounded when we reach V2.0. Give it less than a year and have a look then.
    To be fair to Calisson, I suspect he misunderstood our reasons for leaving.

    I didn't quit T9A because it was "too experimental" or that it was changing too quickly.

    We quit T9A because the changes being made consistently demonstrated that narrative play was not a priority.

    It was never a question of stability.

    It was a question of direction.

    ...And the direction hasn't changed.

    What's more, the very same arguments are flying back and forth on the forum.

    But this isn't about "balance vs. fun."

    This is about "what's important to me is not what's important to you."

    This is about "one of the changes you made is directly opposed to something that's important to me."

    That nameless design feature has been catastrophic for the narrative-driven players.

    T9A is designed for and by tournament players. I think most people here understand that. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    But designing a game for tournament players simply might not be compatible with what's important to narrative players.

    And every now and then somebody makes the suggestion that maybe those narrative players should create house rules to add those important elements back into their games. That's not a terrible idea in and of itself. When T9A makes a change you don't like, go ahead and rewrite that part of the rules for your own use.

    But do you know where that leads? Eventually T9A makes enough changes I don't like that I end up saying "Screw it: I'll just put together my own tabletop game and forget about T9A."

    That's what happened with us.

    And again, T9A isn't going to stand or fall on the backs of the three of us. But if everybody who doesn't like something about the game eventually decides to walk away and make their own game?

    What happens then?

    And the culprit won't be "balance." Balance is good. The pursuit of balance can become too obsessive, but that isn't really the problem T9A has.

    The problem is that nameless design principle that leads to removal of options and immersive rules, because those things are vitally important to a significant portion of the community.

    This post ran about 4x as long as I meant it to, so let me try to wrestle it back to the original point:

    You're right, DanT: removal of unrepresentable options wasn't "balance."

    What was it? Because whatever you call that design principle, there are still people here a year later who don't care for it.
  • New

    DanT wrote:

    New summary
    (1) Stop reducing options/playstyles
    (2) Stop taking models/units off us without giving stuff back
    (3) More fluff driven rules, even if they don't have a large or common impact on the game

    Adam wrote:

    DanT wrote:

    Adam wrote:

    DanT wrote:

    What were the material differences or properties in the asklanders that made it different?
    It looks like they were made with rule of cool in mind by a small team of fanboys instead of large corporate like organization that passed design around. So more of rule of cool and less of rigid design framework.
    Can I be really difficult here?Can you try to point to specific things that give you this feeling please?I know its hard, because ultimately you are telling me about the (subjective) feel that the book gave you, but if you could try to point to the things that cause these feelings (either things that are in the book or things that are in other books and absent in this one) it would be very helpful.
    I just reread Asklanders book with that in mind and initially I couldn't find anything that I could easily name as the thing that makes it good. Of course it was coherent so that was a plus, is wasn't powerful so power was not the case, not many units and so on but for some reason it was much better than other books. So I opened up 1.3 HBE book and at first glance I found what was bugging me:
    • when taking Leadership Tests other than Panic or BreakTests,
    • only applies to specified Characters without a Honour,unless that Honour is Royal Huntsman
    • 2x When fired from a mundane Bow or Longbow
    • 0-1 Honour per army. Models on foot only.

    • This cannot be combined with Essence of a Free Mind

    • 0-1 Honour per army. High Prince only.

    • No choices from the Peacekeepers Category may be taken in thearmy

    • If the model is on foot

    These are restrictions in first 2 pages of HBE 1.3 book. Asklanders has none of them. Only 1 special category and units to play with. No gotchas, achas, special corner cases and so on just free list building.

    HBE have honor that's sole reason is to change one set of restrictions into another - that is crazy to me.

    Also most of them are unnecessary really - would it hurt if bow of elu shot poisoned shots if you paid for arrows for it? Would sky fall over if never taken fleet officer on sloop could also make combat reform when charged?
    @Adam @Salgar you guys are nailing it. Some times its difficult to identify it express what is troubling. Well you did it so thank you.

    @DanT your summary and these guys' posts are hitting the root of what some of us have called (mistakenly) hyper balance.
    It's not balance it's that design method.
    AVOIDANCE FAILS 28% OF THE TIME FOLKS. -SE
    Undying Deathstar Construction Inc.
  • New

    Salgar wrote:

    the changes being made consistently demonstrated that narrative play was not a priority.

    T9A is designed for and by tournament players. I think most people here understand that.

    There are still people here a year later who don't care for it.
    Thank you @Salgar for your well argued post. It is the kind of comments which helps us internally to develop a greater focus on narrative and casual games, in parallel to tournaments which were served first indeed.

    It takes an awful lot of time to evolve internal habits, and even more to deliver. But we started to deliver:
    May I ask you what you think of the new WDG book and its offspring, the Åsklander Auxiliary?

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • New

    Stygian wrote:

    Adam wrote:

    glance I found what was bugging me:
    • when taking Leadership Tests other than Panic or BreakTests,
    • only applies to specified Characters without a Honour,unless that Honour is Royal Huntsman
    • 2x When fired from a mundane Bow or Longbow
    • 0-1 Honour per army. Models on foot only.
    • This cannot be combined with Essence of a Free Mind
    • 0-1 Honour per army. High Prince only.
    • No choices from the Peacekeepers Category may be taken in thearmy
    • If the model is on foot

    @A
    While this is a genuine problem T9A has, it needs it's own thread because this is never going to fall under the category of "hard weaknesses" and is going to get ignored as a result.
  • New

    Pellegrim wrote:

    To help you complete the information somewhat - it's teamwork afterall

    DanT wrote:

    Newnew summary
    1. Let go of the notion that by rigorously implementing hard weaknesses per faction, you make the game more interesting, ->
    2. As such, stop reducing options/play-styles. This game has to be as much fun for a player with one army (being able to play several styles) as for player with multiple armies (addicts)
    3. Stop taking models/units off us. Some units do not need to be unique in it's role perse. Immersion, background and fluff are more important here. without giving stuff back
    4. More fluff driven rules, even if they don't have a large or common impact on the game. More fluff in gerenal, and more direct fluff (not through narrators reports), this worked miracles in the Asklander book
    5. Don't come up with designs that require extra restrictions or conditions


    Is this a summary of the thread, or your summary of the thread? Or is it what you want the summary of the thread to be? Or is it your opinions masquerading as a summary of the thread? No-one else seemed to massively object to my summary.
    Its also not useful, because I don't fully understand it, like I did with the summary I made.

    Salgar wrote:

    Serious question that I suspect might solve a lot of communication issues on these forums: what would you call that?
    And I agree with you, DanT: that really isn't "balance." But what is it?

    "Streamlining"?

    "Simplification"?

    "Pruning"?

    "Rules optimization"?

    "Removal of complexity when somebody on one of the countless design teams felt it was unnecessary"?

    What design principle was responsible for the removal of those unrepresentable upgrades?

    What would you call it?

    Because I strongly suspect that >90% of complaints about "balance" over the past year were actually complaints about this separate design principle.

    And right now nobody knows what to call it, so they keep raising the inaccurate cry of "balance vs. fun."

    But nobody really believes that balance is the enemy of fun. Not even filthy casuals like me. What we mean to say is that rules, options, and interactions that reinforce our immersion and role-playing are becoming casualties of...something. Something that kind of looks like the pursuit of balance, but isn't really.

    Remember the "Hidden" special rule?

    1.2 got rid of it, and people like me don't know why. There was a one-sentence explanation in one of the Scrolls about how it was "not enough benefit" or something, and it vanished.

    Nobody in my local gaming group ever used any models with that rule. But we still hated to see it removed like that. It was a good, fluffy, immersive rule that was very well-suited to narrative play.

    I assume that rule was removed because of the same nameless design principle that led to the removal of unrepresentable upgrades: it was complexity that somebody on one of the design teams felt was unnecessary.

    So I guess on behalf of narrative players everywhere, let me try to present a suggestion.

    Unnecessary complexity IS necessary.

    Customization options are a requirement for us in this sort of game, and removing them is directly chasing us away.

    People have left T9A because of this nameless design principle.

    My local gaming group and I left T9A because of this nameless design principle.

    Of course T9A isn't going to stand or fall on the back of three casual gamers in Podunk, USA. Losing us was barely an annoyance to this project, if even that.

    But I was specifically invited to come back later and check out 2.0:

    Calisson wrote:

    Rules should be stable and well rounded when we reach V2.0. Give it less than a year and have a look then.
    To be fair to Calisson, I suspect he misunderstood our reasons for leaving.
    I didn't quit T9A because it was "too experimental" or that it was changing too quickly.

    We quit T9A because the changes being made consistently demonstrated that narrative play was not a priority.

    It was never a question of stability.

    It was a question of direction.

    ...And the direction hasn't changed.

    What's more, the very same arguments are flying back and forth on the forum.

    But this isn't about "balance vs. fun."

    This is about "what's important to me is not what's important to you."

    This is about "one of the changes you made is directly opposed to something that's important to me."

    That nameless design feature has been catastrophic for the narrative-driven players.

    T9A is designed for and by tournament players. I think most people here understand that. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    But designing a game for tournament players simply might not be compatible with what's important to narrative players.

    And every now and then somebody makes the suggestion that maybe those narrative players should create house rules to add those important elements back into their games. That's not a terrible idea in and of itself. When T9A makes a change you don't like, go ahead and rewrite that part of the rules for your own use.

    But do you know where that leads? Eventually T9A makes enough changes I don't like that I end up saying "Screw it: I'll just put together my own tabletop game and forget about T9A."

    That's what happened with us.

    And again, T9A isn't going to stand or fall on the backs of the three of us. But if everybody who doesn't like something about the game eventually decides to walk away and make their own game?

    What happens then?

    And the culprit won't be "balance." Balance is good. The pursuit of balance can become too obsessive, but that isn't really the problem T9A has.

    The problem is that nameless design principle that leads to removal of options and immersive rules, because those things are vitally important to a significant portion of the community.

    This post ran about 4x as long as I meant it to, so let me try to wrestle it back to the original point:

    You're right, DanT: removal of unrepresentable options wasn't "balance."

    What was it? Because whatever you call that design principle, there are still people here a year later who don't care for it.
    "Serious question that I suspect might solve a lot of communication issues on these forums: what would you call that?"
    Me personally: <redacted>-ing <redacted>

    I don't know if we have a name for it internally.
    I wasn't even staff when 1.2 and 1.3 dropped, so I know nothing of these internal discussions I am afraid.


    I agree that there are several design directions that split the community:
    • Removal of unrepresentable options
    • Simplification/streamlining, particularly when it results in special rules becoming stats changes
    • Reduction of randomness/variance
    • Faction and unit differentiation
    • Model agnosticism (this one is less negotiable than the others, for obvious reasons)
    Any others?


    Sadly, one problem that will never go away is that WFB catered to a very broad church and many camps of people.
    All of those people thought it had problems, but those camps disagree on what the problems were and what needs fixing.
    So any attempt to improve WFB worsens it for someone.

    For what its worth, I think we can do a better job of catering towards "narrative/experience" players without being meaningfully detrimental in what we are providing for "cognitive challenge" people (my choice of words to describe the greatest polarising axis amongst the player base, I know others internally disagree with my choice of words).
    New rules:
    (1) I will do my best to answer your criticisms, particularly of RT, but don't forget to thank one of the unsung heros who hold this project together: rules clarity team, lectors, website admin, background etc...
    (2) If you tag me and I don't answer you, its because I'm busy, sorry :( . If you still want an answer ~4 days later then tag me again and I will try to do better :)
  • New

    It is good than this thread has served to reach some consensus, or at least highlighted, about some of the root problems of the project.

    I would say than people, or majority of it, is in a middle term about the problems (it is my POV also, so maybe I'm biased here):

    - Restrictions are nice, but to some degree: 0-N entries of this unit in game are fin, X% of category Y is fine, item not allowed for towering presence is fine... But unit counting in 2 categories+caped at N models and not allowed if the mage brings object B is a mess.

    - ASAW got use: it is ok to define what an army is good and bad at, but completly banning playstiles instead of just making them less good just pushes some players out. I have never seen a WDG army with 2 chimeras, hero on manticore and demon prince with wings, but I'm sure there was a guy playing that flying circus out there because it is fun fir him, yet now it is unplayable. Also, in some aspects there are too much categories (5-6 in magic phase) and in others too less (2 in combat, even if combat is the salt & pepper which condiments the game)

    - Customitzation: the whole fact to invisible custumitzation banning, at least as I see it, is than it "can't" be represented in miniatures. But it can be painted or modelled indeed (blue glow to represent magical attacs, glowing read in the mounth to represent a breath attack, touch of nurgle rot in top of lance to show poison attack). And, as before, some armies have that represented, even if it is just one dude.

    Regarding Asklanders, I loved the 3 lines of background on top of each entry. That descrives pretty well what that unit is, involves you with the army.

    We were told in the forum than ID view giants as equal, but someone which just downloads the book doesn't know that. I think in something, in the sense of Asklanders book, to ket peopke know that could be nice, sort of like this:

    Despite their low intelect, Infernal Dwarves considere Giants as equals instead of slaves. The deamonsmiths forge special sized armor to protect them from enemy, and Viziers put the cunning of them in charge of slaves. The giants less inteligent are used as a brute force to crush enemy armies or provided with picks to break the walls in a siege.
  • New

    @DanT It's a more complete summary - obviously in my wording. There is more finnesse to certain aspects then you take in in your original summary. You cant desrcibe certain issues in 5 words, sometimes. Its too short to describe the issues at hand, if you will. And @Salgar did solid clarification and gave some examples that might help.

    PS the fact that people are not massively against your summary doesnt make it a great summary. What people really want could best be assessed through a poll with various statement. Perhaps a few posts of posters that have alotta tracktion can help with that, as they understand the ussues at hand pretty good.
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!
  • New

    Manxol wrote:

    It is good than this thread has served to reach some consensus, or at least highlighted, about some of the root problems of the project.

    I would say than people, or majority of it, is in a middle term about the problems (it is my POV also, so maybe I'm biased here):

    - Restrictions are nice, but to some degree: 0-N entries of this unit in game are fin, X% of category Y is fine, item not allowed for towering presence is fine... But unit counting in 2 categories+caped at N models and not allowed if the mage brings object B is a mess.

    - ASAW got use: it is ok to define what an army is good and bad at, but completly banning playstiles instead of just making them less good just pushes some players out. I have never seen a WDG army with 2 chimeras, hero on manticore and demon prince with wings, but I'm sure there was a guy playing that flying circus out there because it is fun fir him, yet now it is unplayable. Also, in some aspects there are too much categories (5-6 in magic phase) and in others too less (2 in combat, even if combat is the salt & pepper which condiments the game)

    - Customitzation: the whole fact to invisible custumitzation banning, at least as I see it, is than it "can't" be represented in miniatures. But it can be painted or modelled indeed (blue glow to represent magical attacs, glowing read in the mounth to represent a breath attack, touch of nurgle rot in top of lance to show poison attack). And, as before, some armies have that represented, even if it is just one dude.

    Regarding Asklanders, I loved the 3 lines of background on top of each entry. That descrives pretty well what that unit is, involves you with the army.

    We were told in the forum than ID view giants as equal, but someone which just downloads the book doesn't know that. I think in something, in the sense of Asklanders book, to ket peopke know that could be nice, sort of like this:

    Despite their low intelect, Infernal Dwarves considere Giants as equals instead of slaves. The deamonsmiths forge special sized armor to protect them from enemy, and Viziers put the cunning of them in charge of slaves. The giants less inteligent are used as a brute force to crush enemy armies or provided with picks to break the walls in a siege.

    Slim Army Books aren't supposed to have fluff, but Full Army Books are enormous tasks. I feel like we need a Medium Army Book - one with a little bit of fluff. Or, like, a two page spread per army that at least outlines some of the more awesome bits.



    As for ID Giants, here's my stab:

    "Giants have a place of honour in the religion and culture of the Infernal Dwarves, who somehow consider them their siblings. The giants are respected for their strength and power, and given the armour due an Infernal Warrior. Some giants labour to expand the Steel Road, while others are assigned to keep slaves in line through the menace of their size. Personally, I see this as a cheap way to buy the loyalty of simple-minded beings who can outfight entire squads of ordinary soldiers and crush forged steel with their bare hands. Maybe we should try being nice to the dumb brutes." - from the logs of a Sunite Merchant.
  • New

    Manxol wrote:

    - Customitzation: the whole fact to invisible custumitzation banning, at least as I see it, is than it "can't" be represented in miniatures. But it can be painted or modelled indeed (blue glow to represent magical attacs, glowing read in the mounth to represent a breath attack, touch of nurgle rot in top of lance to show poison attack). And, as before, some armies have that represented, even if it is just one dude.
    I have a really cool way to sculpt flames bursting from a model's mouth/gun nozzle etc. It looks really good and won me a painting+converting contest once!


    Also I don't get this "no invisible customization" thing. If the game is model agnostic and no WYSIWYG...then why does anybody care enough to remove them as options? (I do agree when the model was fielded with the option nearly every single time, like the Jabberwock's acid breath)
  • New

    Pellegrim wrote:

    the official T9A tournamentrules advices WYSIWYG in T9A tournaments.
    Depends what you mean by official.

    My understanding is that this is just a document provided for TOs to use if they wish.
    It does not imply to form part of the 9th age game.
    New rules:
    (1) I will do my best to answer your criticisms, particularly of RT, but don't forget to thank one of the unsung heros who hold this project together: rules clarity team, lectors, website admin, background etc...
    (2) If you tag me and I don't answer you, its because I'm busy, sorry :( . If you still want an answer ~4 days later then tag me again and I will try to do better :)
  • New

    Ok, I will ask internally about clarifying this.
    Maybe we can put a giant stamp across the document of soemthing.
    New rules:
    (1) I will do my best to answer your criticisms, particularly of RT, but don't forget to thank one of the unsung heros who hold this project together: rules clarity team, lectors, website admin, background etc...
    (2) If you tag me and I don't answer you, its because I'm busy, sorry :( . If you still want an answer ~4 days later then tag me again and I will try to do better :)
  • New

    Calisson wrote:

    May I ask you what you think of the new WDG book and its offspring, the Åsklander Auxiliary?
    To be perfectly honest, I have barely skimmed them and was completely unfamiliar with the previous WDG book, so I don't really feel qualified to comment.

    ...But you probably don't want to know what I think of the Main Rulebook so far.

    EDIT:

    DanT wrote:

    For what its worth, I think we can do a better job of catering towards "narrative/experience" players without being meaningfully detrimental in what we are providing for "cognitive challenge" people (my choice of words to describe the greatest polarising axis amongst the player base, I know others internally disagree with my choice of words).
    I agree that it can be done.

    I don't think that it WILL be done.

    Too much work and not enough impetus, IMO.
  • New

    Well, if course, since I'm not member of BG team I'm not pointing than my example is the right one; didn't thought about the rails, for example. It was just an example.

    Maybe it should be like you say, a "medium" book which provides 1-2 pages of fluff, the general idea of the army, and 2-3 lines of bg in each entry. Maybe also 1-2 phrases on special rules, items and options ("Blunderbuss: easy to craft, Infernal warriors carry this gun which demolishes enemies in short distances").

    This medium books could give fluff players something to bite, read and, the most important thing, inspiration to build armies.
  • New

    Manxol wrote:

    - Restrictions are nice, but to some degree: 0-N entries of this unit in game are fin, X% of category Y is fine, item not allowed for towering presence is fine... But unit counting in 2 categories+caped at N models and not allowed if the mage brings object B is a mess.
    I 100% endorse this ...

    A maximum of TWO restrictions per upgrade or items would be perfect.
    Like on foot and wizard ..
    0-3 per army and cavalry only
    Or Cult of Olaron and on foot ..
    Playing/painting: HbE, SA & DE ..