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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:47 am 
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I totally understand that the generic units that we have been using in the Beta are good for playtesting the overall game balance of WZR. They are becoming rather boring to playtest with, since we have a total lack of variety other than card boosts, which are fun.

For this beta to really stress the systems mechanics we need to see some actual units from the full game to do just that. I am not saying that you have to pull the curtain all the way back and give us every factions army lists, but if we you were to give us lists and points breakdowns for just 2 of the 5 starters it would allow for better playtesting.

I'd say Dark Legion and one of the corps would be best.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:14 am 
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Already asked to Prodos since two weeks. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:24 am 
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I'm pretty fine waiting on units until we have a more hammered out base system. And yeah, it can get boring, but that is why beta-tester isn't exactly a hotly sought-after job. This is one of the issues of public betas.

Perform a good beta and people will find it boring because it requires being procedural and actually requires a lot of repetition. This can be boring and can chafe a little with some folks.

But if you skip steps and don't keep a tight reign on just to skip to the good parts, then you basically lose out on getting any testing data.

We're establishing a control right now, we are playing the rule system without bias using wholly symmetrical forces so that we see the mechanics instead of the armies. When the mechanics are hammered out, testing the armies can become a priority.

The rules are getting close to being ready, but still need another few iterations in my mind. So I can wait on actual armies for another little while. We know they will show up, but if they want to keep getting useful data from this beta test, it is in their best interest to get us to look at the rules without army composition getting in the way.

We really just need to be patient for now, we'll see actual units (we're already starting to see the proper armoury), but symmetrical, faceless units will provide better testing data until the basic mechanics are more finalized. Because the second they hand us actual faction stats, mechanics talk ends and people will start trying to balance them and get their stat tweaks in. People will stop looking at things like how the actions function, or whether a sub-system is a little off and they'll start debating what RS an Undead Legionnaire should have or whether it should be 11 points or 12 points.

When the nature of the base system is still changing, no good can come of people trying to balance the bits that rely on it. So I'm all for this until they have the basic system ironed out and ready to go. Yeah, it'll be boring (at least until vehicles are added in and they get added to the testing pool) but it will also be useful. This is a beta test and when we run it we're testers. When we have the book in our hands come release, that is when we all get to be players. If we want a good game, then patience is what we need.

We'll see units, maybe not next iteration, or even the one after, but they'll likely pop up before the end of the KS. Until then, the system is pretty tweakable if you want to spice things up. Play around with ammo types in the squad, maybe give the hero a weapon or two from the new armoury. I play a lot of scenario-based games where point systems are almost unknown and armies tend to be built by agreement. So it seems like a natural way to spice things up if you are getting a little bored. Hell, post the result and house rules. May be fun when the final game drops and we still have the old playtest houserules lying around to tweak.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:41 pm 
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Durandal, buddy, I really do agree with you on principle but we have a very short time frame for the beta to get shaken out and into print if Prodos are still intending a June release. If there were a few more months I would not have brought it up at all.

I have no problem playing with the generic units and making my own tweaks to keep things fun. I've already been messing with the numbers of squad members, weapons type for the special weapons ect..


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Overall I agree with Durandal here. Basic rules need to be fine tuned before factions are rolled out. Faction-specific units need to have a rock-solid foundation to be built upon otherwise you will get major balancing issues.

And he makes a very, very good point about how adding faction units to the beta will turn the focus away from the actual rules to things like point costs, stats, weapon choices, etc. This already happens in fully-developed miniature games. It would be a hundred times worse during a beta because things are still in flux. Furthermore if the basic rules aren't final by the time factions are added to the mix you could end up with scenarios where units drastically change due to changes in the basic rules. A melee unit may be awesome under one iteration of the rules because of something like CC range. After testing Prodos decides that this rule needs to be scaled back a bit. Now the melee unit isn't nearly as good and fans of said unit will mob up with pitchforks and torches.

With all of this aid, Big Jim here is dead-on about the testing period. It is incredibly short. Even if faction units show up next week and they plan on releasing the game at the end of June it is still in my mind a very short time frame. Even more so because they have to print all the books which will probably be done the old-fashion way. The model production aspect is probably going to be quicker given that they are using 3D printing which greatly speeds up the process. But the rule aspect will probably fall behind.

As much as I would like to see the game in June, my gut tells me there is going to be a delay as the rules won't be quite done yet. I'm fine with this as I would rather have polished rules as opposed to ones that will need a heavy dose of fixes later.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:53 pm 
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I do agree with everything you said, I would hate for the rules to be rushed. So if a delay happens so be it, better to get it right than rush and have to amend the rules shortly after.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Big Jim V wrote:
I do agree with everything you said, I would hate for the rules to be rushed. So if a delay happens so be it, better to get it right than rush and have to amend the rules shortly after.


Well in this day an age you should expect there to always be some errata. Sometimes problems don't show their ugly face until months or even years after the game's release when someone has an "eureka!" moment and finds a way to break the game. This break shows up on the internet and next thing you know for a good month there is a "Smash your face list" running wild. But a finely tuned rule system will usually have a minimal amount of this as opposed to a rushed one.

If the models end up being ready on time (possibility, it is quicker these days and as I said, 3D printing eliminates the wait for sculpts and so forth) but the rules still need time to bake there is a way for Prodos to give us our toys while still giving themselves enough time to polish the rules. I'll use Warmahordes as an example.

Leading up to their reboot, PIP released beta versions of the rules that would be updated on a regular basis over the course of several months. This had several benefits

1: Helped bring in even more specific, vital data on specific units.
2: Allowed players to get a better feel for how the rule system would work, not just in a general sense, but also for their chosen factions.
3: Players didn't have to feel like they were playing a "dead system" in the same way GW players would be playing, say, 5th Ed. when they know 6th Ed. was around the corner.

Now in Prodos' case they wouldn't have to worry about #3 that much. But I feel that it could be beneficial to the game as a whole. If the production end of the models was on time but the rules were not it would also have the added benefit of letting them, in part, "make good" on the June release date without releasing an unfinished rule system.

What they could do is give us the models the play with, say "Look we want to give you a really good rule system, but it isn't ready just yet. So instead here are the models, here are some more in-depth Beta rules, let us know what you think. We'll send you the rulebooks once everything is finalized." Could end up being the best of both worlds.

You'll of course have some people that will throw a hissy fit, particularly since some units would have their stats and/or abilities tweaked. But to be brutally honest players like that tend to not be the ones you want to play with very often.

Not sure if anyone from Prodos will be reading this but it may be something to consider.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:36 pm 
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Excellent post and points all around.

I have no illusions that some errata will happen no matter what a game designer does, I was pointing out that some systems I have purchased in the past have had major revamps shortly after release, which could have been easily handled before initial game release had they not rushed things.

I definitely don't want Prodos to rush the rules in any way, shape or form.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:56 am 
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I agree that there can be problems with releasing unit stats too early but that said I don't think it's unreasonable to expect something like 1 Unit, 1 Leader, 1 monster/equivalent from each force with initial stats on the understanding they're for testing purposes only at this stage. People are aware thing could change - perhaps dramatically - during this phase of product development.

Just start with the Starter Boxes at least!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:00 pm 
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Well, some interesting news from the KS front. They are going to be putting up an "army construction" chart tomorrow to help people figure out what to get in terms of building a force.

IMHO this points to the fact that they have a good idea of unit stats, abilities, and point costs. At least for the pre-90k stretch goal units. It is encouraging for those of you who want to see a few actual units show up in the beta. Still wouldn't expect them any time soon though.

Could also point towards them finalizing the rules. For the most part each iteration of the beta has remain unchanged except for the card system. For the most part they have only added rules and not changed very much when you think about it.

I may just be letting myself get too excited but a late June release doesn't seem so far off now.


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