Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A reply to the Rant...

Hmm seeing we are useless (the silent lurkers who are meant to be contributing to Mind War here for the beloved TKE yet don't) I have decided to make a post and I will take a slightly differing view from my celebrated companion on his latest rant.

I have played since 89. I have seen GW evolve and like TKE I don't always like what I see. For me the game long ago stopped being about Toy Soldiers and became more about a hobby and as I am sure some of the readers here will agree at times became more than a hobby and became an escape from other things going on in my life. (Sad eh?)

The state of the game today in 2010, seems to be one of flux. In one camp you have the tournament style player, who is playing at a serious level, enjoys their game and is playing competitively to make a list that will give them the edge in the next big tournament. Next you have what I call the "store lurker". These are the people the hobby could really do without and honestly I think the game could do without too. They are always there at the LHS or at your GW. They will have strong opinions on everything from GW to what is the hot new list. They usually and I am generalizing have few modeling skills and even less painting skills. However they dominate the local shop and for some of us, make the experience of playing at a friendly level against a random opponent on a lazy saturday afternoon intolerable at best. They also tend to think that the fact they have 5,000 points of necrons or whatever it happens to be, they must be good. The next group is probably where I fit in, the old warhorse brigade. We have played since day 1, or at least RT issue and as time has gone on we have lost most of our regular gaming group or have taken extended breaks from the hobby and come and go, but usually return at some stage. We love a friendly game, but also like as much the social and hobby aspect as playing. If your over 30, playing and sit there painting on weekends or week nights once a week or so and maybe have a child your introducing to the hobby... then this is probably you too. We tend not to get into rules arguments or debates and if your a very early Gen Xer like myself.... you are bewildered by how some people can post 12 times over a deathrolla ruling saying the same thing. The last general group is the young gamer of the 2010+ brigade who is between 13 and 16 and decides, hmmm whats all this then... lets grab a copy of AOBR and see what happens.

Gw is catering to such a broad spectrum of players today than it did 20 years ago and unfortuantely it has created its own worst enemy situation. My esteemed colleague here, who's blog I do read.... (as I do think he contributes more than ranting...) is a frustrated man. Do you blame him? He wants rules that are clear and fair, but also broad enough to create an individual list or theme army to play with in his chosen setting, that can be competitive. (I am sure dear reader, that TKE probably has a Swooping Hawk squad somewhere.... and although he may not admit it, he probably would love to play with them, but he sees them as next to useless in the current format). TKE is not what I would consider to be an ultra hard core gamer. He knows his stuff, he knows how to play, he can compete at a high level and probably walk away with a serious win from a skilled opponent. He researches, and he has several armies.

I on the other hand, would love rules that are clear but I am happy to pay for more and more fluff! I don't care how competitive I am, in fact I am probably more than competitive personally against an opponent than some tournament players. But its a matter of perspective. Is me playing with a full guard infantry army in 5th edition competitive? No... but is it pushing how I learn and play? Do I know more about movement, LOS and can say that gap is 8 inches from 5 ft away? without a second glance? Yes. Can I whip some local so called experts with whats not the best fit for IG at the moment? Yes. I want clear rules too, but as I am non tournament for the main part if something is unclear unlike my dear friend here, I am happy to throw down a d6 and say cool roll then....

GW has done this why? Why don't they bring out an update quickly enough? or answer the damn questions that prevail the net?

Probably because they are blind to it. It really is that simple. Look at the GW development staff, do you honestly think RT or 2nd edition had less holes? I have 3,500 points of current Ultramarine Terminators that tell me otherwise.... (2nd edition, no FOC was there). So why don't they fix things? Well for one, we really have no forum to express it. GW doesn't have offical forums like World of Warcraft that get looked at by mods. The people responsible for writting something are not held accountable for it by a bunch of freaks using unoffical forums to post their frustration. GW is also not likely to listen to its Store Management either..... they are money making machines.... leave the creativity to those who best know how is probably how they see it.

So why don't they listen to the masses about rules? Don't you think this would make sense? For those of us who can see it, clearly yes. But for GW they cannot see it. They probably never will. For all its hype the tournament scene changes within 12 months of what is effective. Give it 1 year and lash is defeated utterly as a way to fight, give it 2 years and it will be replaced by another, give it 3 and its not worth mentioning. Things come and go, GW is aware of that. And its largest market is the 16 year old who buys AOBR. They don't care in the first six months of their experience if a full mech IG army vetran force with Inq allies is going to wipe them out. The player will either stick around and learn and adapt and begin anew or they will leave the game.

Thats the crisis which will develop with GW and its mindset, that "store lurker" that I have described, the guy who has to be an expert on everything will drive the younger semi awkward 16 year old into becoming one of them... joining the pack or destroy the gaming experience for them. Eventually the games store will become so dominated by them, that it will create a situation in which nobody is happy. The old warhorses like me, will find other mature gamers and if we don't we fiddle with terrain and painting and whatever else we do. The semi serious gamer like TKE however bears the entire brunt of it. They play fairly competitively with competitive lists and they are faced with a bunch of know it alls on forums or casual players to compete against and it alienates them. Bad move GW..... your killing your market by not making your answers clear and easy to understand and timely for your FAQ. As for the tournament player.... they are both the best and worst of it. They are usually fairly friendly.... but alas they also suffer elitism at times. 20 years ago you never sent your minatures to Poland to be completed to a standard that makes Renoir look like a fool. Today you do supposedly. Tournament players also tend to be fairly clicky.... breaking into that group requires two things. A great painted army and then the ability to whip one of them at a few games. This will get you on the inside so to speak. But they rarely frequent the local GW anymore as its full of the store lurkers....

I hope the above post gives some insight into why I think GW just can't see what we all do. Maybe they should be taking more note of what we think as players. As one thing even the myself, the 16 year old noob, and the store lurker can all agree on... we would all like some clarity.

Note to TKE, if your going to kiss me (kissses). I should warn you, I bite.
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