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Von Blonde Beer,

Dear Community,


You have had a couple of days already to read the new beta rules presented in the rulebook (BRB), Path of Magic (PoM) and all the army books (AB).
We hope that you enjoyed the full WDG AB as much as we did!

We also noted the rich return many of you gave us already.
Many comments were enthusiastic, but many expressed also some visible disappointment. No wonder, we never expected to get everything spot on in that release. That is the very reason why we called it a beta, not a definitive edition. We have roughly a year to make it right.


What is the beta, and what it is not:
Here is the good news: we are going to improve these rules, and the improvements will be based on your feedback.
Note that we are not calling for fancy new ideas which will change a lot how the rules work, or how an army book plays. This will be done in the coming years, one army book at a time. The improvements we are looking for at this moment are how to amend the books you play with, and improve your enjoyment with them.
For some AB, it should be easy. The first returns we have, shows that many AB are are well received by the community for most of it.
For other AB, it will be a tougher challenge. The first returns we have show that many in the concerned community do not like the way their AB works, or possibly do not appreciate all the possibilities envisioned by the writers.

Sometimes, changing unit's costs can alleviate the problems found.
Sometimes, twisting a rule here and there can make a unit more playable.
Sometimes, the problem is more fundamental and the effort will need to be in shorter term, to get the AB to be more enjoyable nevertheless until the times comes for its complete overhaul.

Remember, we need not just mere impressions from reading the books, no matter how well educated these impressions are. Because when impressions diverge and are not supported by data, we cannot make educated decisions.
What we need is experience on the field. Army lists that you tried to write and could not because of this and that. Battles that you fought and which outcome was not right because of this and that. Getting more tournament and non tournament results from all over the world to give a clearer view of the different game meta's.
This is the data we need from you, our community.

First step: Beta 202v update hotfix
You have been presented the basic frame of the beta fixes on Dec 17th 2017 in the news Advent Day 17: Release of The Ninth Age Second Edition Rulebook!
So you know already that the first step will be only about fixing urgent issues, in order to have a longer and stable time in the spring to test the balance of the beta ruleset.

Here below is how we will make this work, through the ACS.
Note: there will be also a procedure for UN to collect input from the parts of the community which do not speak English as fluently or aren't as active on our forum.

Aim
The aim of Beta 202v update is to make minimal tweaks to big and urgent problems. It is done as quickly as possible after the initial beta release, aiming to be released early February, in order to allow as much data gathering as possible for the big early summer update. We want to address the big balance and design mess-ups that risks screwing up the meta game and therefore damage our data gathering.
Note the words "urgent" and "big". Ideally no book has any such problems. This is not intended to fix all problems in the book, nor is it intended to fix small problems that doesn't really have any effect on the game.


Feedback report asked from ACS
Each of the 16 ACS teams is to provide RT with a list of up to 5 big problems, numbering 1 to 5, (if needed additional 5) 1 being the most important issue with (design or balance) in their army book. These should be the biggest problems. An additional 5 issues may be added if these are things that needs to be tuned down.

Under each report should be a brief description (~1-3 sentences) of why this is a problem and also why it is urgent.
Note that the report should focus on what the problems are, not how to potentially solve it.

Deadline for his is January 14th.

How to determine what the community sees as big problems
We'd like to see the Community well involved in this. ACS are recommended to create a first thread for people to post urgent problems in, and a second thread where they would copy the best ideas, using the number of likes of each post. This could be a base to develop the ACS feedback report.


WDG additional guidelines.
ACS will be asked to send more in depth reports for the WDG task team, which will work on a slower schedule but still need the reports in by the 14th of January. The different is that there will be no limit on how detailed or numerous are the issues you'd like to advise the Task team of.


What will happen to reports?
Rules team will read all the ACS reports. Each entry in the report will be put into one of the following categories.
1. Urgent problem best solved by design tweak
2. Urgent problem best solved by points tweak
3. Not an urgent problem
4. Not a problem

If 1, RT will make design tweak to address the problem.
If 2, RT will sent the issue to BLT, who will then determine if points changes are appropriate or not.
If 3 or 4, nothing will be done at this time.

The following are considered "urgent"
  • Big balance offenders: Clearly over- and underpriced unit
  • Game breaking designs: Unforeseen items and/or rules interactions (likely.: Defenders Shield or War Banner of Rhyma 0-3
  • Obvious mistakes: Especially mistakes that were introduced due to the 4+4 redesigns / BRB changes / paths of magic changes / ect. (eg.: Forest Rangers joined by character on foot losing 1” advance rate)
If there is not enough time to deal with all issues, RT will address the entries listed as more urgent first, possibly never reaching the least urgent ones.Note that the potential tweaks that are to be done are only minor tweaks. The larger design phase is still to come, this update is to resolve urgent issues that design/balance has missed.

What's the End Goal for these updates?
The End goal is have the Beta enter a soft freeze and be stable enough for the summer tournament season during 2018, followed by tweak updates few months after before we hit another freeze of rules.

Together, let's make better AB!
Now is time for you to write army lists - and lead your armies to battles!
Please watch for your ACS post in your favorite sub-forum, and please report!


Thank you,

Team T9A
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