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Von Bugman,

Hello all T9A fans!

We are hoping that you're enjoying the BETA release of the The Ninth Age Second Edition.
From the amount of feedback being reported, we know we have "a few" (!) things to change.
Thank you for all who reported so far!

Many of you asked what will be the whole procedure for the BETA changes, so we went to the head of the Rules Team, @fjugin, to learn how the plan was shaping up.

Here is the plan at the moment, for the whole BETA update:

Update 202, "hot fix", early February
Already announced in the News: The Beta 202v update Hot Fixes Setup
This will be a hot fix of urgent problems in all armybooks and BRB, incorporating both design and balance which have been brought to the attention by the ACS. Big balance offenders and game breaking stuff only. The rest will not touched for now, but delayed until 204.
Only RT and BLT will work on this, based on the issues reported by the coommunity through ACS.
This is done between week 1 and 5.

This hopefully allows the ensuing majority of data collection to be done without being too skewed by game breaking stuff dominating the meta. It's done very quickly so that we can collect as much data as possible for update 204.

Update 203, "WDG focus", early March
A pure WDG update, where WDG book gets design and balance updates. This will be carried out by WDG task team and BLT, taking into account the return from the Community. RT will be only involved in reviewing design changes. To be done between week 3 and 8.

WDG has its own update because it is in bigger need of adaptation than any other book. It is not done as part of the hot-fix update because it will take longer than the other 15 AB, which we did not want to delay in order to get the longest possible stable testing duration.
We would love to release the new DL book here as well. It was changed as much as WDG, but at the moment we cannot tell for sure when we will be ready for that.

Update 204, "Big Update", early May
This will be the biggest update during beta phase. Data will have been collected from 201 update, which will be used to evaluate the balance.

Do not be mislead by the title "Big": that will look big for those in charge of making the changes, but for those who hope to see whole aspects of their favorite AB rewritten, they will find those changes to be rather minor. For each AB, changes are expected to be mostly small and few. This could be be compared to the "final tweaks" we did early November to all AB, which every ACS remembers vividly.
To update of all armybooks in 10 weeks should not be impossible from workload perspective if we limit ourselves to reasonable changes.
The Rulebook itself will get design changes where needed, based on the community's feedback.

Today, we plan to work on that during weeks 7 to 17.

Armybooks will be sorted in 3 groups, to allow AB task teams to work on them in smaller groups without doing everything at once:
Batch 1: DE, KoE, VS, DH, OnG, ID, SE. We anticipate them to be a bit more problematic, and will do some internal play testing to help out here.
Batch 2: HE, EoS, BH, SA, UD, VC, OK. We anticipate no need for internal play testing, so work on these will happen while Playtesters test the first Batch.
Batch 3: WDG, and if ready, also DL.

After release of 204, the ADT will focus on full rewrite of the two armybooks which were started, but were soon interrupted because of the BETA release. Those books are DE and ID. There is months of work needed on them, better not wait anymore.

Update 205, "balance tweaks", early October
This update is aimed at "perfecting" the balance. Data collected from May to September will be used to tweak balance. Design changes are limited to correct obvious mistakes made in previous steps, and will be done by rules team and based on ACSfeedback reports.

A month or so after 205 has been out and typos has been corrected, we will exit beta testing phase and enter true stable 2nd edition.

The plan now is therefore to have the Gold edition ready somewhere around November, but you all know how plans behave when confronted with reality: it would be a miracle that the plan would unfold as written.
We will therefore come back to you before each update, to rectify where the plan was changed.

So there you have it, you know as much as the whole internal team.

Stay tuned for further news, as early as this weekend, as Update 201 hits the shelves!

If you want to leave feedback about this post you can do so here

See you on the battlefield!

T9A Team
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